Ron Knecht will run for re-election to post on Nevada Board of Regents
Nevada Regent Ron Knecht announced Saturday that he will run for re-election to the post he has held for more than five years.
Knecht said he wants to continue his work in northwestern Nevada promoting accountability of the state’s colleges and universities.
“Before I was elected to the board, it was widely known as the dysfunctional Board of Regents,” Knecht said in his announcement. “When I campaigned six years ago, I said that one of my major goals was to help the board and Nevada System of Higher Education shed that label and earn the respect that attends doing a good job for the public in education.”
Knecht said he hopes to continue to try to unify Nevadans.
“Recently, we have witnessed an increase in sectionalism – north/south and rural/small town versus urban – especially as higher education has faced the same tough financial times that all Nevada families and businesses have endured,” he said.
“While I have stood up for Western Nevada College and the other community colleges that get lost in the shuffle, and for our small towns and rural areas, I have always taken a statewide viewpoint, emphasizing what is good for all of higher education, and Nevada as a whole,” he said.
Knecht is an economist and policy analyst, registered professional mechanical engineer in California, and law school graduate.
He said he has spent half of his 40 working years in public service and education and half in private entrepreneurial small business, all in professional and managerial positions.
Through his work, he conducts a wide range of economic, financial, technical and policy analyses as the senior economist at Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission, and he has written and testified extensively as an expert witness in all those areas.
Knecht was elected to the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education in 2006 to represent District 9, which now includes Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lander, Lyon, Mineral and Storey counties, and southern Washoe County.
For two years, he served as chairman of the Business & Finance Committee, and for one year as vice chairman. He also chaired the board’s Audit Committee in 2007-08.
Knecht has been a founder, executive or board member for six business firms and various charitable and public interest groups. He was elected to the Nevada Assembly for the 2002-04 term.
Among the achievements Knecht says he has championed are:
• The fight the last two years to preserve community colleges intact, opposing a group of legislators, regents, administrators and others who threatened to close campuses such as Fallon.
• The fight to save Cooperative Extension services when they were threatened with reduction or elimination during the budget battles in the most recent session of the Legislature.
• New efforts, as chairman of the Regents’ Budget and Finance Committee, to publish more and clearer information about the real spending levels of higher education to assure transparency and accountability.