Back to: News
May 22, 2012
Follow News

Nevada Appeal Candidate Guide: State Board of Regents District 9

The University Board of Regents, District 9, is a six-year term. Voters are asked to vote for one candidate. The top two vote-getters will advance to November's general election. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, that candidate is elected. Just last week, candidate Rick Riendeau announced he was withdrawing from the race. However, ballots were already printed, so his name will appear on the ballot.

Ron Knecht

Residence: Carson City

Occupation: Economist, consultant

Age: 63

Contact:; 775-882-2935;

Education: JD, University of San Francisco, 1995; MS, Engineering-Economic Systems, Stanford University, 1989; BA in Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Illinois, 1971.

Explain your background and how this qualifies you for the position you are seeking.

As an economist and policy analyst also with backgrounds in engineering, liberal arts and law, I've spent half my working life in public service and half in entrepreneurial small business. A Regent since 2006, I've chaired budget & finance twice and was vice-chair once; chaired audit and two presidential performance review committees; and served on other committees - especially active on Investment & Major Projects. I served in the Nevada Assembly in 2002-04 and in various other positions.

I've been a founder, executive or board member for six business firms and numerous charitable and public-interest groups, including Kiwanis and CASA. I taught for FISH, and in 2003-06 I taught Economics as an adjunct at WNC, plus other college and professional training courses. Education has been very good to me, and I want to continue as Regent to serve students from career and technical education through undergraduate and graduate studies.

What are the most important issues that you would address if elected?

For two years, I've led the successful fight to save all campuses of our community colleges, plus Cooperative Extension - opposing legislators, regents and others who use our small towns and rural areas as pawns in their north/south battles. This battle will continue as regents and legislators adopt a new funding formula and strategic plans - matters in which I've been and will remain very active.

In all my service, my first priority has been to tell the public important truths that politicians, bureaucrats and subsidy recipients don't want revealed, such as the fact that state spending has grown faster than the incomes of Nevada families and businesses. For that reason, in the 2003 legislature, I helped stop the gross receipts tax. We don't need to raise taxes to improve education; we need to focus on cost management (almost never discussed by public sector) and fair allocation of resources.

Why should voters choose you over the other candidates?

I have only good things to say about my opponents: Both of them taught for about three decades before having to accept the WNC contract buy-outs last year that I opposed, so I applaud their service as teachers, and I regret their lost jobs.

My qualifications include extensive experience and track record - not just in budget, strategic management and planning, but also excellence in education and public service. I focus on balance, which led me to oppose the recent 8 percent tuition/fee hikes, because college costs have risen too fast.

I also do low-key but important things, such as bringing modern financial management to our endowment funds; auditing space utilization and faculty workloads; and letting the public know that our higher-education spending and pay levels are in the national mainstream (contrary to what you may have heard).

I ask for your vote to continue good stewardship.

Michon Mackedon

Residence: Fallon

Occupation: Professor emeritus, Western Nevada College, English and humanities

Age: 67

Contact:; 775-423-4798;

Education: University of Nevada Reno, BA, history; University of Nevada Reno, MA, teaching English

Explain your background and how this qualifies you for the position you are seeking.

I am a lifelong Nevadan. I taught for Western Nevada College for 28 years and have served on several statewide commissions. I also am a published author ("Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert"). I have spent my life teaching, reading, writing, thinking critically and involved in work dedicated to the betterment of the entire state. I work well with people, but I think for myself and fight for what I believe in.

What are the most important issues that you would address if elected?

If elected I would be responsible for analyzing and responding to a proposed new funding model for higher education. As discussions about the proposal take place across the state, I hope to serve as a knowledgeable advocate for the educational values I have lived and, in particular, for the community college system I know.

Why should voters choose you over the other candidates?

I have a better background and temperament to serve as your university regent.

Stories you may be interested in

The Nevada Appeal Updated May 22, 2012 01:27AM Published May 22, 2012 01:25AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.