Interim leader at WNC likes new role
January 24, 2014
Retired Navy commander Chester “Chet” Burton is adjusting to his new position as Western Nevada College’s acting president.
Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich recently recommended Burton to the Board of Regents after conferring with his selection committee and regents and receiving input from community groups.
“At their December meeting, the Board of Regents voted to appoint Chet Burton as acting president of WNC,” said Anne Hansen, director of information and marketing services.
There is no time line set to find a permanent president.
“The board deemed the time as not the best for immediately beginning a search because of the time needed to implement the new funding formula, and questions that had been raised about college service areas,” Hansen said.
Klaich said Thursday that it was best to wait until the regents receive reports that examine shared services with other institutions of higher learning, as well as what future funding awaits from the Legislature.
“Until we get back those reports, I felt we should not start a search (for president),” Klaich said.
He added that Burton is working on a new budget for WNC.
Burton spent 20 years on active duty with the Navy as a supply officer. He retired in 1996 in Fallon after completing his final tour at the naval air station. His other assignments included serving as a legislative liaison at the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. His family moved to Reno in 2007.
Burton succeeded Dan Neverett last summer as WNC’s new vice president of finance and administrative services. Burton previously worked at WNC as the controller and fiscal director from 2009-11.
“It’s great to reconnect with the WNC family and be back as part of the team,” Burton said when he returned to WNC in 2013.
Burton became the acting president almost two months after Dr. Carol Lucey stepped down in October, citing frustrations over funding cuts.
Regent Ron Knecht in Carson City said Burton is essentially the executive in charge. With Burton at the helm, Knecht said, operations at WNC have stabilized.
“Since we have budget issues and ongoing management issues going on, let’s have everything settle down,” he added.