Henderson funding upsets some regents

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ELKO - The Board of Regents has voted to seek a 12 percent budget increase for 2001-03 that includes funds for the proposed Nevada State College at Henderson and the UNLV dental school.

Regents will ask the Legislature next year for about $692 million for Nevada's university and community college system, about $70 million more than current state spending.

The budget request includes $5.2 million in start-up costs for the Henderson campus and $7 million to pay for the instruction of its first students in 2002-03. It also includes $1.8 million to launch the UNLV dental school in 2002 and $2.5 million to create a pharmacy school at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Besides the operational money, regents want $216 million from the state for construction of new buildings, including $43.5 million for a library and other structures at the proposed Henderson campus.

This request irritated Regent Steve Sisolak, who complained Friday that legislators and State College President Richard Moore had promised the new campus would not cut into funding for the universities and community colleges.

''Twenty percent of the money is going to Henderson,'' he said. ''How can you says it is not going to take a bite out of the other institutions? We kept hearing on how all the private money is going to pay for this.''

Moore said he pledged to raise at least $5 million in donations for each of the buildings. He said fund-raising efforts so far have focused on acquiring a campus site valued at $40 million.

Regent Howard Rosenberg said he expects legislators will honor their commitment to the regents that the creation of the Henderson college would not lead to shortfalls at other campuses.

But Regent Tom Kirkpatrick complained that the request to build in Henderson was given a higher priority than projects at UNLV.

The requested budget increase doesn't keep up with the 15.5 percent increase in student enrollment expected in the next two years. And it doesn't include money for salary increases.

Under the budget request, adopted during a meeting at Great Basin College, the amount of state money going to UNLV would increase from $130.2 million in 2000-01 to $138.7 million the next year and $143 million the following year.

State money going to the Community College of Southern Nevada would increase from $66.3 million in 2000-01 to $74 million the next year and $78.2 million after that.

The new budget request is based on a recently adopted formula designed to clear up inequities in funding between UNLV and UNR. Salaries for professors at the two universities would be based on the same scale.

Also Friday, Anderes recommended that UNLV President Carol Harter's annual salary be raised to $192,532, up from her current $186,924.

That raise would be a 3 percent increase, but it is less than two of the state's small-college presidents would get.

Anderes said the work of Truckee Meadows College President John Richardson and Great Basin College President Ron Remington has been outstanding. Both should be given 5 percent pay increases, according to Anderes.

As presidents of far smaller schools than Harter, the two men receive less pay - Richardson would receive $153,532 and Remington $141,194.

But retiring UNR President Joe Crowley receives more than Harter. UNR also is smaller than UNLV. Crowley earns $202,269 a year.

Anderes said an evaluation committee found ''one or two areas'' where Harter should improve.

The Board of Regents will act on the salary proposals during a meeting in August.

Meanwhile, regents named Crowley the legislative lobbyist for the state's university and community college system.

Crowley retires Dec. 31 after 22 years leading UNR.

And former Clark County Commissioner Thalia Dondero of Las Vegas was unanimously chosen Friday as the new chairwoman of the Board of Regents.

She will serve one year as chairwoman.


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