Higher education’s Culture of Pizza | NevadaAppeal.com

Higher education’s Culture of Pizza

Chuck Muth
Special to the Appeal

University Chancellor Jim Rogers is Nevada’s foremost opponent to the government tightening its belt in these slowing economic times. He claims his university budget is already at the bare bones level and there just ain’t no fat anywhere to be found. Indeed, in a letter he sent to Gov. Jim Gibbons last week, Rogers emphatically proclaimed, “It is my sincere belief that mandating an 8 percent cut of the (university) System’s budgets will cause permanent and irreparable damage to higher education.”

Really? I wonder if Mr. Rogers would be so kind as to ‘splain to all of us taxpayers who are funding his system of “higher” education exactly what is so “higher” about the following UNLV and UNR courses and how cutting them would cause ANY harm whatsoever to “higher” education, let alone “permanent and irreparable damage.”

The Culture of Pizza, Hip-Hop Music & Culture, Massive Multi-Level Online Games, Sex, Dance & Entertainment, Introduction to Gay Plays, New World Wines, Old World Wines, Beers, U.S. Militarism, Horsemanship, Hate Crimes, Sociology of Leisure, Museum Studies, Fairs & Amusements, Ceramics, Stress Management, Interior Design, and Listening.

History of Rock Music, History of the Beatles, History of American Pop Songs, Dance History, Latin Nightclub Dance, Flamenco Dance, Ballroom Dance, Argentine Tango, Men’s Glee Club, Music Appreciation, Stage Makeup, Television Music, Grad Level Flute, Grad Level Trombone, Grad Level Tuba, Marching Band, and Pep Band.

People of La Raza, Feminist Theory, Gender, Sexuality & Race, Women and Literature, Women in Film, Women in Politics, Chicana Feminism, Consuming Pleasures, Gendered Violence, Basque Cultural Studies, Multicultural Diversity Education, and Urban Politics.

Or how about History of Sports in America, History & Theory of Golf Courses, Golf for Business & Life, Coaching Football, Coaching Basketball, Sports Writing, Kayaking, Fitness Walking. Jogging, Tennis, Weight Training, Kick Boxing, Scuba, Swimming, Basketball, Volleyball, Advanced Volleyball, Rock Climbing, Bowling, Yoga, Karate, Aerobics, Water Polo, and Fly Fishing.

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I just don’t see how cutting out any of these would cause “irreparable damage” to the “higher education” system. And I’m willing to bet a “Culture of Pizza” course that this is just the tip of the iceberg of “fat” which could be cut from Jim Rogers’ university system budget.

For instance, we pay the governor – the chief executive of the state of Nevada – an annual salary of $144,000. But the presidents of UNR and UNLV, both of whom work for the governor, are reportedly paid annual salaries in excess of $400,000. How does that make sense in a publicly-funded institution, regardless of the fact that part of the salary is paid by a private foundation?

Which raises another question altogether: Do these presidents work for the public, or the private foundation? As we all know, a canine-American can’t serve two masters.

And what about Western Nevada (Community) College President Carol Lucey’s claim in the Appeal this week that an 8 percent cut in the university budget means she’d have to “close and mothball” all of the system’s rural campuses for a savings of $200,000? That’s less than UNR pays just its athletic director, let alone its high-priced coaching staff. Where are Ms. Lucey’s and Mr. Rogers’ “higher education” priorities?

I guess they’re just wrapped up in today’s Culture of Pizza.

• Chuck Muth, of Carson City, is president and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a political blogger. Read his views Fridays on the Appeal Opinion page or visit http://www.muthstruths.com.