University applicants will need higher GPA in 2006

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- University of Nevada regents on Friday voted to raise grade point requirements for entrance to the state's two universities.

Current eighth-graders will be the first Nevada students required to meet an increased standard of 2.75 in 2006. The current grade point requirement is 2.5.

In 2010, the required high school GPA could increase to 3.0 if university system studies show the 2.75 requirement didn't discourage Nevadans and a diverse group of high school graduates from attending UNLV or the University of Nevada, Reno.

Regent Tom Kirkpatrick opposed the increase, saying Nevada taxpayers favor more open admission policies and aren't interested in creating what he called elite research universities.

The proposal before regents was a scaled-back plan that originally called for a 2.75 high school GPA requirement for fall 2003 and a 3.0 requirement for fall 2005.

Also Friday, the regents agreed to continue their discussion on raising student fees. They will meet again Jan. 16 during a special meeting in Las Vegas.

UNR President John Lilley recommended the higher student fees to cover loans for UNR's controversial Fire Science Academy near Carlin.

Lilley proposed using fees now allocated to a new library project plus an emergency surcharge fee of $2 per credit-hour in the 2003 fiscal year to help the academy.

He also asked regents to retain $2 in 2004 and $3 in 2005 from regular per student fees to assist the academy, designed to train professional firefighters.

Revenue from the fee increases would be used to redeem $31 million in revenue bonds for the academy's purchase and to cover academy deficits and start-up costs through an $8.5 million bank loan.

But Lilley said the 2003 Legislature will be asked to help with the debt service -- nearly $2.8 million a year -- and if lawmakers come through, UNR would stop collecting credit-hour fees dedicated to the academy.

A complex settlement of lawsuits between UNR and other parties will allow the academy to reopen in May. The loan payoff was agreed to as part of the settlement.

On Thursday, regents voted to give UNLV President Carol Harter a raise from $186,924 to $201,000 -- a boost of 7.5 percent.

The $14,000 in cost-of-living and merit increases puts Harter's annual salary slightly above that of Lilley, who makes $199,000 a year.

The board also approved raises for three other campus presidents in the University and Community College System of Nevada: Rita Huneycutt, Truckee Meadows Community College, from $137,101 to $145,767; Carol Lucey, Western Nevada Community College, from $130,000 to $139,360, and Stephen Wells of the Desert Research Institute, from $172,000 to $183,040 a year.

Richard Moore, founding president of the proposed Nevada State College at Henderson, got a $7,000 cost-of-living increase to boost his annual salary to $182,000.

Ron Remington, president of the Community College of Southern Nevada, didn't get an increase because his salary increased substantially when he left his presidency at Elko's Great Basin College earlier this year for the $160,000-a-year southern Nevada post.

Regents also approved a $25 million revenue bond issue to help start a new dental school at UNLV. The money will be used to buy three buildings, totaling 187,000 square feet, that will house the dental school and two biotechnical research facilities.

UNLV officials said they will repay the bonds over 30 years with revenue from Medicaid customers, capital improvement funding and student fees.


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