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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shut down CSN? It's possible

Chancellor unveils drastic scenarios for cuts to higher education

Dan Klaich, Nevada’s higher education chancellor, told the system’s governing Board of Regents the state is facing the worst economic shortfall in anyone’s memory, nearly $1 billion. This will mean either massive cuts to every aspect of government, or woefully unpopular tax increases. Or both.
The packed meeting was held on the College of Southern Nevada’s campus.

If the Legislature applies the cuts equally across state government, it will likely mean budgets will be reduced by 22 percent for the rest of this fiscal year and the next one.

A 22 percent cut from government support for the state’s higher ed system works out to about $110 million.

Klaich outlined three scenarios that would cut that much from the system:

1. Close Nevada State College and the College of Southern Nevada.

2. Close Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, Desert Research Institute, UNLV’s law and dental schools, and the system’s medical school.

3. Close the state college, Great Basin, Truckee Meadows, Western Nevada College, all athletics at the two universities and the agricultural experiment station at UNR.

Don’t like those options? Klaich laid out a few others.

The system could implement 20 percent salary cuts across the board.

It could lay off 1,290 faculty and staff.

It could implement tuition and fee hikes of 48 percent.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at or 702-383-0307.

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Deep cuts in classes and service coming for CSN?

The state of Nevada needs to cut nearly one billion dollars from state expenditures, just one year after the deepest cuts in state history and less than two years after previous deep cuts. There may be no fat to trim.

State schools may see up to one quarter of their courses, staff and facilities axed to meet the governor's budget targets.

University Regents met on February 2nd, to review the depth of potential cuts, discuss filing the equivalent of 'bankruptcy' and drastic cuts possible. Among the cuts are closing down entire programs, possibly shutting down Nevada State College, shutting down other entire campus locations, cuts in full time instructors pay, increasing the unpaid furlough days for staff to as many as six days a month,  eliminating student employment, reducing computer lab and library services, reductions in other student services, tuition and fee increases and eliminating the open admissions policy for the community colleges, including CSN.

CSN faces budget cuts as high as twenty five cents on the dollar, and almost certainly more than one of every five dollars, under proposed state emergency budget. A report in today's Las Vegas Review Journal reports that possible cuts in the state system could include the closure of Nevada State College, elimination of programs, more drastic tuition and fee increases, fewer sections of required courses and even emergency layoffs of full time faculty. All schools, including community colleges, may face mandatory enrollment caps for up to the next five years.

Patty Charlton, CSN's vice president of finance, told a crowd at a town hall meeting last week that the largest cuts would put the institution where it was in 2002.

"This is a time to be angry," Klaich told that crowd. "This is a time to be outraged. This is a time to be vocal. This is a time to be talking to your legislators."

The state faces a budget deficit of over one billion dollars due to drastic property tax revenue decline, poorly performing investments, increases in operation costs and a decline in gaming and hotel revenue. For the states size and population, that puts Nevada in deepest proportionate hole in the country.


Obama and the Republican Retreat

For a look at the full presentation by Obama at the Republican Retreat last weekend, check out C-Span. it speaks volumes about the man and is far more interesting then limited press coverage. A thank you to CBS and MSNBC commentator Nancy Giles for this link. Full disclosure: I serve with Nancy on the National Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild. She is a member of the New York Division Board, I am on the Regional Branch Division.

Academy Award Nominations Announced

"Avatar", "Hurt Locker" and "Up in the Air" dominate Academy Award nominees this year, with the favorite based on Writers Guild, Directors Guild and Producers Guild results being "Hurt Locker."

The following is from the New York Daily News, also reported in the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Th Wrap and many other sources.

Complete list of 82nd Annual Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:

1. Best Picture: "Avatar," "The Blind Side," "District 9," "An Education," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "A Serious Man," "Up," "Up in the Air."

2. Actor: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"; George Clooney, "Up in the Air"; Colin Firth, "A Single Man"; Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"; Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker."

3. Actress: Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"; Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"; Carey Mulligan, "An Education"; Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"; Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia."

4. Supporting Actor: Matt Damon, "Invictus"; Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"; Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"; Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"; Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds."

5. Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Nine"; Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"; Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"; Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"; Mo'Nique, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."

6. Directing: James Cameron, "Avatar"; Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"; Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"; Lee Daniels, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"; Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air."

7. Foreign Language Film: "Ajami," Israel; "El Secreto de Sus Ojos," Argentina; "The Milk of Sorrow," Peru; "Un Prophete," France; "The White Ribbon," Germany.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, "District 9"; Nick Hornby, "An Education"; Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, "In the Loop"; Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"; Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, "Up in the Air."

9. Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker"; Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"; Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "A Serious Man"; Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Tom McCarthy, "Up."

10. Animated Feature Film: "Coraline"; "Fantastic Mr. Fox"; "The Princess and the Frog"; "The Secret of Kells"; "Up."

11. Art Direction: "Avatar," "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," "Nine," "Sherlock Holmes," "The Young Victoria."

12. Cinematography: "Avatar," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "The White Ribbon."

13. Sound Mixing: "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Star Trek," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

14. Sound Editing: "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Star Trek," "Up."