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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ethics & Morality

King was for the working man, for American Labor

 “All labor has dignity… You are going beyond purely civil rights to questions of human rights.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom Riders

See Rep. John Lewis at The Mirage, as he hosts a preview of the new documentary "Freedom Riders." Lewis is, of course, the greatest living icon of the Civil Rights movement and the event is free, albeit at the inconvenient time of 4 p.m. on Arbor Day.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents Freedom Riders, the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of eight months in 1961 that changed America forever.

CSN's President's Letter Updating Budget Cut Plan

As you know, CSN is observing its 40th year of service to southern Nevada this year.  We have become large and strong over four decades, rendering uncommonly significant service to our community and citizens.  Our faculty and staff continue that tradition of meaningful, high quality service to students, even in the face of budget uncertainties.  Indeed, no matter what we cut, we are committed to retaining quality.

Because of the budgeting process of hearings and meetings that has occurred since mid-March, we are facing a new level of specificity and severity in the proposed budget cuts that I need to share with you.  (Please see the attachments.)  This Friday, at a special meeting of the Board of Regents, institutional plans will be explained to the Board with greater detail than ever before.  We approach this methodically, knowing that our internal processes continue and that legislative deliberations are subject to change.   

CSN has many friends in the communities it serves and throughout Nevada as a result of our tradition of excellence, affordable access, and service.  Our friends know our value.  They have stood by us in hard times.  They know our strengths as an educational resource that, in turn, strengthens our community and, quite literally, changes lives.  Despite fiscal challenges, CSN has proven itself as an asset to our people.

The detailed budget plans released to the Regents and to the public place at risk the 40-year record of CSN as an accessible, quality educational institution.  The attached documents describe the plan and process in greater detail.   For a community college like CSN, the primary tool for cutting budgets this deeply is cutting access:  When CSN is provided increased funding for enrollment growth, we expand access; the reverse is also true.  Budget cuts of the magnitude proposed are only necessary following the Legislature’s determination of the state budget and related budgetary decisions by the Board of Regents.  Please know that we will continue our advocacy efforts to alleviate or moderate these cuts.  Many of our friends are willing to help preserve the mission of CSN.

In preparation for the worst case over the past several months, we have shared with you these plans as they have been developed.  We have affirmed and conformed our processes to principles of retrenchment and budget reduction that have protected instruction, jobs, and educational quality.  We continue to prize these priorities to the extent possible.  However, the proposed budget cuts that we detail today fundamentally reshape CSN, cutting programs and dramatically cutting student access—over 9,000 students will lose access to CSN under this plan.  Should these cuts come to fruition, CSN will no longer be an affordable access institution.  Prices will be higher.  Student access will be much more limited.  And in some cases, many positions will be lost and the lives of a people in the CSN family will be regrettably impacted.

You will read in the attached Chronicle about recent processes that have brought us to this point.  Please know that our faculty and staff committees remain at work on the next level of specificity and reviews.  The attachments provide, with detachment and objectivity, the latest information as an update for you.   What is missing is the human level, and at that level, the shifts of the tectonic plates in CSN’s essential purpose and its people that a budget reduction of $26 million represents.  This would reduce public access to a community college.  This would cut instruction.  This will change the character of CSN.   The already protracted progress of students toward their educational goals and graduation will be further impeded through the direct and indirect effects of these cuts.

If these budget reductions are fully implemented, state support for CSN would have dropped by 33% over four years while we have increased the number of FTE students by 20%.   Increases in fees and tuition are insufficient to wholly offset this drop in state support, and despite our continuing efforts to operate more efficiently, CSN will not have the resources to effectively engage its mission of open access that has taken 40 years to build.  If these budget reductions are fully implemented, CSN’s momentum and service to southern Nevada will be severely constricted for generations to come.



Michael D. Richards, Ph.D.
College of Southern Nevada
(fax) 702-651-5001

Chronicle excerpt (as mentioned above):

The reduction plan we have submitted outlines a number of strategies to address the magnitude of the reduction and includes:

·      Increase in registration fees by 13% per year with a 15% carve out for financial aid;
·      Increase in non-resident tuition of 13% per year;
·      Accounts for additional student registration fees above those reported in the 2009-2011 budget request to accommodate for FY 2010-11 projected actual enrollment levels, a minimal increase;
·      Closure/mothball of sites and centers – only distance education would be offered to students residing outside of the Las Vegas Valley;
·      Reduction of course offerings and reduction in availability of sections to students, which would result in increased time for graduation;
·      Reduction of enrollment  – by approximately 2,478 FTE in FY 2013 and an estimated loss of 9,275 headcount, for 12,336 seats on top of the estimated 5,000 students we already turned away in Fall 2010;
·      Reduction of sections of approximately 514 or 10% per semester.
·      Elimination of positions.  

We have posted the narrative of the plan on our web site for further information.


·      On March 11, the Board of Regents removed from consideration campus mergers, consolidations, or eliminations.  However, on March 22, the joint money committee of the Legislature directed that that action be reconsidered.
·      Governor Sandoval’s position of no tax increases, only cuts, remains his policy.
·      NSHE is analyzing three scenarios for fee and tuition increases:  10%, 13% and 15% in each year of the biennium with a 15% carve out for financial aid.
·      A special meeting of the Board of Regents will take place April 8.  I understand that this meeting will be webcast.

Finally, a word on legislation.  We are tracking a number of pieces of legislation, ranging from concealed weapons permits allowing guns on campuses to the Millennium Scholarship program, from restructuring Nevada’s economic development operations to a job assessment initiative.  A report to the Board of Regents will be part of the agenda for the April 8th meeting.

Media, Culture and the Parapazzi, tonight at Henderson Campus (may be used for Extra Credit)

25 year old Japanese Hero, RIP

Miki Endo, a 25-year-old public worker, saved thousands of lives in Minami Sanriku, one of the Japanese cities hardest hit by the tsunami.
A circulating video clip lasts only 10 seconds, but it features the repeated warning calls from Endo's post -- "run away fast" -- as she alerts villagers of the coming disaster. Some 10,000 residents of Minami Sanriku were killed, but thanks to this worker's heroic efforts, thousands more were able to escape.

From Night RPM Blog:

The embedded video clip lasts a scant 10 seconds. It’s a broadcast call of Miki Endo, urging the citizens repeatedly to hurry and escape. Miki Endo was a 25 year-old public worker who worked in the Crisis Management Dept. of the city of Minami Sanriku, one of the worst-hit cities in the Miyagi prefecture - of its 17,000 inhabitants, 10,000 perished and only 7,000 or so survived the tsunami.
Many of those 7,000 that survived escaped death because of Miki Endo’s broadcast. Mainichi Shimbun reports that Miki Endo did not let go of her microphone, even during the very moment the black waves of the tsunami engulfed the city, so that every last villager could hear her warning call. One co-worker told Miki’s mother, that he saw Miki being swept away by the tsunami wave.
A 61 year-old man named Taeza Haga heard Miki Endo’s warning broadcast, and scrambled to his car, just his cellphone in hand. He barely made it to the higher regions of Minami Sanriku, where he could see entire buildings and houses being swallowed up by the tsunami. Mr. Haga noticed Miki Endo’s mother, standing anxiously by the list of survivors, and took hold of her hand, and told her -
I could hear your daughter’s voice all the while I came up here.
All over Japan, these stories proliferate, encourage and move us even in the midst of this unbelievable chaos. There is even a video capture I saw of a ramen noodle shop in Roppongi, in which the owner is doing his heroic best to protect the safety of the customers before his own or his store’s… and as the store is rattling as if it will crumble in a wink, even in that moment of life-or-death kind of panic, the customers - before leaving - do not forget to leave the proper money on the table for their food! The incredible civic honor of the Japanese people and polity makes me profoundly ashamed of my own culture: from a college student to politicians to basketball players - Alexandra WallaceGovernor Haley Barbour’s press secretaryCappie Pondexter - these people seem to regard Japan’s disaster as just an opportunity to air out their long-harbored racism or some narcissistic, self-serving purpose.
The skeletal structure of red beams in the YouTube clip above is the tattered remnant of the building where Miki Endo made her last broadcast, a girl in her beautiful 20s. No racist comments or insensitive quips made by any creep in any society can take away the lives that she saved: a precious multitude. Although cut tragically short, she lived the most worthwhile life of them all, a beautiful sentinel. Please spread the word of her legacy.
(Photo, by Tadashi-san, taken at a temple in Mt. Komatsu this past November, of prayer volitions tied onto wires)


Dish Network to acquire Blockbuster for $320 million

From LA Times Company Town (click here).
Satellite television provider Dish Network has emerged as the upcoming owner of Blockbuster Inc. It has agreed to pay $320 million for virtually all the assets of the troubled home-video chain, making it the winner of a bankruptcy auction that began Monday.
Other bidders at the proceedings in a bankruptcy court in New York included billionaire investor Carl Icahn, South Korea's SK Telecom, and a group of Blockbuster creditors.
In Blockbuster, Dish will get a once-dominant brand that is now struggling, having seen its business deteroriate rapidly in the last several years largely due to fast-growing compeitors such as Redboxand Netflix. Blockuster, saddled with debt, has shut down more than a thousand stores over the last year. It currently operates 1,751 stores in the U.S., compared with 3,425 in 2010.
In a statement, a Dish executive indicated that the satellite television company will use Blockbuster to promote its services and extend its ability to deliver movies, presumably by way of the Internet as the business increasingly goes digital.
“With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for Dish Network,” said Tom Cullen, executive vice president of sales, marketing and programming for Dish Network. “While Blockbuster’s business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to reestablish Blockbuster’s brand as a leader in video entertainment.”
The acquisition, which includes $228 million in cash and still needs court approval, is expected to close by the end of June.
Because it has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since September, Blockbuster no longer carries the almost $1 billion in debt that nearly crushed the company last year. Creditors including Icahn had planned to reorganize the home-video chain in Chapter 11 but disagreed over how much cash to infuse it with as sales deteroriated over the holidays, leading to the decision in February to sell Blockbuster's assets at auction.

Blockbuster, Dish, Netflix, Mad Men, Meg Ryan to direct and Christian Slater Sit Com

Dish makes it a Blockbuster night. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network won the auction for movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc. The company's $320-million bid topped bids from several others including investor Carl Icahn. Blockbuster has seen its business go up in flames over the last several years because of Netflix and Red Box. "Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for DISH Network," said Tom Cullen, Dish executive vice president. Details from Bloomberg. It was a busy day for Dish, the company also struck a deal for streaming rights to 3,000 movie titles from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount, the three partners of Epix, a pay-TV channel. More on that deal from Variety.
Don Draper gets a second home. Netflix is shelling out about $750,000 and $900,000 for rerun rights to the AMC drama "Mad Men." While just about any story with the word Netflix gets blown up into a big deal, what shouldn't be lost here is that the producer of "Mad Men" -- Lionsgate -- is selling to Netflix largely because it is willing to pay a lot more than any cable network would for reruns of the show. Despite all the Emmy Awards and media love, "Mad Men" has very small ratings. Furthermore, serialized dramas do not do well in reruns. Cable networks, including A&E with "The Sopranos," have been burned shelling out big bucks and are starting to steer clear. More from the Wall Street Journaland Los Angeles Times.
I feel her pain. "Today" show anchor Meredith Vieira is getting a little tired of the morning grind. According to TV Guide, she has let her bosses at NBC know that she won't be renewing her contract when it expires in September. Vieira stepped in for Katie Couric when she left NBC to anchor CBS' nightly newscast. Hmmm. Maybe Couric wants her old job back. Kidding. Most are speculating that Ann Curry will be bumped up to co-anchor of "Today."
The Hollywood code. Shawn Ryan, whose credits include "The Shield," "The Unit' and Fox's "The Chicago Code" is changing homes. After spending much of his career with 20th Century Fox Television, Ryan is jumping over to Sony Pictures Television with a three-year deal. Details from industry website Deadline Hollywood.
Wonder if John Mellencamp will handle the soundtrack. Meg Ryan has landed her first directing gig and will helm "Into the Beautiful," which Variety describes as a "Big Chill"-like comedy. Honestly, I didn't have any film stories and I'm seeing Mellencamp perform this Friday and she's dating him now so I figured what the heck.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Christian Slater tries his hand at a sitcom with Fox's new "Breaking In."

Lion King Benefit for CSN Horn Theatre

CSN: Go Green!

1 Day a Month is All It Takes to Go Green

The College of Southern Nevada-Charleston campus is a dedicated partner of Club Ride Commuter Services – a program from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) that works to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

As a member of the College of Southern Nevada team, consider helping us reach our sustainability goals by using a clean commute alternative just 1 Day a Month – that’s all it takes!  Carpool, vanpool, ride transit, walk, cycle, and together we can help remove nearly 200 tons of pollution from our air.  Get more information at

Cleaning your commute also means you get a chance at prizes every month through Club Ride Rewards.  Report between four and 11 commute days each month for a chance to win Club Ride logo items and 12 or more days for a chance to win $25 and $50 gift cards. 

To join the Club or get more information on the programs and services offered exclusively to Club Ride members, contact CSN’s Transportation Coordinator Makly Prophete in Student Government at 651-5614.  Or visit