Carol Del Carlo claimed the University Board of Regents seat for District 9 with 54.16 percent of the votes, while Sara Lafrance received 45.84 percent.
Del Carlo had 36,208 votes to Lafrance’s 31,804. Del Carlo won Churchill County 4,610 to 4,226.
Del Carlo, 64, is a native Nevadan with an understanding of the military and a goal of increasing communication between education levels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of Maryland Overseas Division in Germany and a Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Chapman College.
Del Carlo ran to be a strong voice for the parents and students who live, work and study in District 9, which encompasses eight rural counties and a small portion of rural Washoe County. She said she has close ties to the rural communities and will ensure their needs are fully understood and met while supporting a seamless educational system, especially the community college system.
As businesses settle in Nevada, Del Carlo said the area must continue to offer higher education that propels workforce development in the state’s diversifying economy. She also supports the agriculture and cooperative extension at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The biggest issue facing the colleges is funding. Funding is higher education’s biggest issue including the transparency necessary at the legislature to regain confidence, she said. Earlier this year she said both sides of the aisles and the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce asked for the resignation of the chancellor for misleading lawmakers. Several lawmakers interviewed at the time stated they were working on legislation to restructure the system.
“The chancellor’s resignation was a step to help rebuild the trust between the legislature and the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE),” she said. T”he NSHE board needs to continue to build the trust of the legislature.”
Lafrance, retired from the software industry, has worked in higher education for 14 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism from UNR and a Master of Arts in Organizational Change from Skidmore College.
As an entrepreneur in the technology sector for 23 years, Lafrance homed in on creating jobs and said she understands the needs of companies moving to the state. As president of one of the few self-financed tech companies, she also understands fiscal responsiveness and how to be administratively efficient while ensuring money for necessary projects.
Lafrance said there needs to be workforce development to fill the new jobs coming, particularly at the community college level — from career and technical courses to industry-recognized certification programs. She also said there needs to be cost streamlining and new funding areas identified, including public-private partnerships and creative ways to reduce administrative costs. She’s also focused on educational access and affordability in rural and ethnic areas including local branch campuses and distance learning programs.