Regents reprimand chancellor for comments |

Regents reprimand chancellor for comments

Associated Press Writer

Chancellor Jim Rogers got a reprimand Wednesday from top state university-college regents for his harsh weekend criticism of Gov. Jim Gibbons, who has proposed deep cuts in higher education.

Michael Wixom, the regents’ chairman, and Jason Geddes, the vice chairman, released a copy of a 1-page letter to Rogers that states his remarks about Gibbons “were unauthorized and inappropriate.” The letter also says Rogers has agreed to refrain from future personal comments about Gibbons.

Wixom and Geddes said Rogers made comments in an op-ed article printed in the Nevada Appeal on Sunday calling Gibbons “a greedy, uninterested, unengaged human being,” may have compromised efforts to improve funding for the university-college system.

Rogers also said Gibbons’ repeated statements that he will support no new taxes “represent a total lack of understanding of the purpose of government” and show him to be more of a libertarian than a conservative Republican. He also said the first-term governor “has absolutely no regard for the welfare of any other human being.”

The letter from Wixom and Geddes also states that Rogers “indicated” that his remarks were inappropriate and that he didn’t want them to be seen as representing views of the regents’ board.

However, Rogers on Tuesday told reporters that he “meant every word that I said” in the op-ed piece published in the Nevada Appeal. He also said he’s more than willing to provide the governor with access to anyone on his staff “if he doesn’t want to talk with me.”

Gibbons on Monday responded to Rogers’ criticism by saying he won’t deal with Rogers any more and would discuss budget issues with a liaison instead. Wixom and Geddes said the liaison will be Dan Klaich, the system’s executive vice chancellor.

The governor added he was “extremely surprised and disappointed” to see Rogers’ op-ed article, which included statements that were “vile and insulting” and “bizarre and inaccurate.”

The governor’s proposed budget for the higher education system proposed major spending reductions, including cuts of about 50 percent for the two state universities in Reno and Las Vegas.