Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 | 2:04 a.m.
As an educator dedicated to bettering Nevada’s citizens, I was surprised and disappointed to read a Tuesday story on the Las Vegas Sun’s website, “UNLV president plans for ‘state of fiscal collapse,’ ” about the proposed dramatic cuts to UNLV that may bring it into financial exigency.
America has achieved tremendous economic and military might via the education of her citizenry. Without the large support of education in this country in the past, many great human achievements such as invention of the transistor, the computer, the laser, MRIs, the World Wide Web, nuclear energy, etc., would never have resulted. These miracles of science and innovation largely drive our economy and have attracted the best minds (such as Nikola Tesla) to America.
We are at a critical junction in our nation’s history. We can choose to overcome obstacles and build a better future for our children via education or merely rest on the laurels of our past achievements and continue our slow descent into Third World desperation.
When considering the decimating effects of further budget cuts on Southern Nevada’s premier university, it should be noted that states such as Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, which have strong community support for all levels of education, are doing much better financially than states that do not.
Education represents the means to reinvigorate our stagnant economy. UNLV is an excellent university with droves of students who are eager to learn. UNLV represents an innovative engine for Nevada. In the words of Derek Bok, former president of Harvard: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
Please, Gov. Brian Sandoval, don’t kill Nevada’s future.
The writer is a physics professor at UNLV.