Vegas regents hire interim college president
LAS VEGAS – The Board of Regents has tapped a veteran out-of-state school administrator to be the interim replacement for demoted Community College of Southern Nevada President Ron Remington.
Friday’s decision came less than a day after the board reaffirmed its decision to demote Remington.
The board voted 7-5 to approve the hiring of Paul Gianini Jr., over the objections of student and faculty who pleaded with regents to postpone a decision until they could meet with Gianini.
“No one wanted to hear what we had to say,” said Michael Nielson, a CCSN student body representative.
Regent Steve Sisolak said he opposed naming an interim president without giving staff and students some say in choosing their temporary leader.
No representative of the Nevada system has met Gianini in person, Sisolak said. Chancellor Jane Nichols was the only person who had spoken with him over the telephone.
Gianini, 64, past president of Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla., and interim president of Colorado’s Aims Community College in 2002, was expected to begin Jan. 5.
The regents demoted Remington to a faculty position on Nov. 20. Lobbyist John Cummings also was demoted.
No official reason has been given for the board’s action against the pair.
The contentiousness surrounding Remington’s demotion has been building since November, flaring up in heated exchanges between the regents.
Protesters seeking Remington’s reinstatement picketed on Thursday.
On Friday, regents were interrupted by a messenger delivering copies of a Dec. 3 lawsuit in which Remington seeks his reinstatement.
Regent Bret Whipple said the angry response to the selection of an interim leader was “much ado about nothing.” He had Nichols confirm that students and faculty would be included in the search for a permanent president.
Regent Mark Alden, who opposed Remington’s demotion, voted to approve Gianini.
“I really understand the concerns of the other regents, but this is a pretty normal process for picking an interim,” Alden said.