Nevada regents refuse to rescind vote on two community college officials
LAS VEGAS – Students and faculty failed to convince the Nevada Board of Regents to rescind the demotion of two Community College of Southern Nevada administrators.
Instead, the board decided 7-6 Thursday to uphold its Nov. 20 decision to demote CCSN President Ron Remington and lobbyist John Cummings to faculty positions.
Remington’s lawyer promised a legal fight.
“We’ll fix it in court,” lawyer Kathy England said. “They’ve left him no option.”
Picketers and more than 40 speakers from as far away as Elko attended the meeting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Remington previously was president of Great Basin College in Elko.
Evelyn Flores, CCSN student body president, urged the 13-member statewide board to reconsider.
“CCSN has given me an opportunity to better myself and so has Dr. Remington,” she said.
Supporters said they wanted the regents to let Remington and Cummings respond to a 1,026-page private investigator’s report submitted to regents in a closed-door meeting before the demotions in November.
The board has offered no official reason for the demotions.
Board Chairman Stavros Anthony said Remington rejected a chance to meet with the board in a closed personnel session before Thursday’s public meeting.
Remington said he wanted an open personnel session in January, and left the podium to a standing ovation.
Cummings also attended the session with his attorney, Frank Cremen, but left immediately afterward.
Regents who voted to remove Remington and Cummings said they were confident their decision was correct and the investigator’s report was valid.
“People make allegations and you do an investigation,” said Anthony, a Las Vegas police captain. “You take a look at the facts and you follow due process. This wasn’t based on emotion.”
Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, who works at the college, urged the regents to make public the reasons for Remington’s ouster.
She also disputed allegations that she or Cummings secretly floated an Assembly bill proposing a four-year degree program at the college.
Giunchigliani said Assemblyman Wendell Williams, D-Las Vegas, supported the measure.
The private investigator looked at allegations that Cummings went around regents by working with Williams on the four-year degree bill, and also pushed to get $500,000 from the Legislature to beef up security.
The probe began after reports that Topazia “Briget” Jones was hired as a clerical trainee at the college and served as an aide to Williams in the 2003 Legislature.
College administrators attempted to fire Jones in August, but university Chancellor Jane Nichols intervened, granted Jones whistleblower status and ordered the investigation.