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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tentative Budget Adjustments for College of Southern Nevada

State leaders and media outlets have reported a budget agreement in Carson City, and over the weekend, the Legislature passed many of the bills needed to implement the agreement.  While higher education fares better under this accord than under previous plans, there remain many difficult cuts we will need to face during the next two years. We are still learning the specifics of the agreement, and we’re finding that some issues remain undecided, but I want to let you know what we know at this time.

CSN and other institutions sought funding for the NSHE Four-Point Plan:  1) averaging budget cuts between fiscal years or “smoothing,” 2) tuition and fee increases of 13% in each fiscal year, 3) general fund restoration of $40 million each year to the system, and 4) institutional operating cuts.  We also supported the Regents’ request for equity funding.

Action from the money committees closed with a letter of intent that only allowed a single 13% overall fee increase instead of the 13% + 13% the system had brought forward.  This issue is still undecided.  Also undecided are issues related to retaining fees and other reforms NSHE institutions requested.

Other elements of the Four-Point Plan were adopted.  Cuts will be smoothed, $40 million in general funds will be restored each year to the system, and institutional operating cuts will be made at a reduced level.  CSN will also receive $1.5 million over the biennium to address equity issues.

Compensation cuts were also made, but at a reduced level.  Salaries for CSN employees will be reduced 2.5%, and six furlough days will be implemented in each year of the next biennium. It is our belief that this applies to classified and professional employees.  Anticipated changes in PEBP benefits will also be imposed.

CSN proposed to the Board of Regents and Legislature a plan to make program and access cuts, which will now be scaled back. We will, however, continue with our administrative consolidations and changes.  With the restoration of funds, CSN can continue its access mission, although at a reduced level.  CSN will continue to operate its learning centers at Palo Verde, Western and Green Valley high schools, in Mesquite, and at Nellis AFB.  The Henderson campus, once under discussion for possible closure, will also remain in full operation.  The Horn Theatre on the Cheyenne campus will remain operational as a community and teaching theatre.  Fewer vacant positions will be swept, and the budget will continue to provide equipment and library support.  CSN will still have a sizable budget cut affecting college operations and leading to the closure of the other sites and centers during the biennium. 

Clearly, the budget for the next biennium could have been much worse.  Two weeks ago the scenario for the budget was pretty dire.  Even with these improvements to the budget CSN will still operate at the lowest funding level per FTE in NSHE and among peer institutions, and reductions in compensation (salary and benefit levels) for our employees will severely handicap our ability to recruit and retain quality faculty and staff. 

I am increasingly concerned about the student “brain drain” in Nevada as more and more outstanding students leave our state to continue their education.  We’re losing gifted and able students to funding (i.e., state commitment to higher education) uncertainties.

Nevertheless, CSN will continue its mission in the next biennium to the fullest extent resources allow.


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

CSN Communication Lab Summer Hours Announced

The Communication Labs' hours of operation for the Summer 2011 Semester are as follows:

Monday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Monday 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

West Charleston
Monday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thanks.

Luke LeFebvre, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Communication Labs

phone: (702) 651-5073

Harry Potter Parks good investment, X box as your only TV?, Sony PlayStation Vita, Disney makes deep cuts while NBC buys all of Universal Theme Parks

From the LA Times Company Town (click here for the most recent coverage from the LA Times Company Town Blog).

Sony not playing around. Looking to get past its woes with rogue hackers who continue to wreak havoc with its computer networks, Sony on Monday night unveiled its upcoming portable console, which it dubbed PlayStation Vita, at the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles. Jack Tretton, the head of Sony's PlayStation business in North America, defused a potential public- relations bomb by addressing the "elephant in the room" at the opening of the company's presentation to thousands of journalists, game developers and retailers who attended the Sony's news conference at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of my company," said Tretton, who reported that the PlayStation Network, an online service for PlayStation 3 console users, was back up to 90% of its activity before hackers infiltrated the system and stole the account information of tens of millions of customers.
The brief apology seemed to suffice as the audience's attention turned to the PlayStation Vita, a portable game console that boasts a 5-inch ultra-high contrast OLED front display, a touch pad in the back and two cameras to support augmented reality games. The device is a successor to the PlayStation Portable, of which more than 70 million units have been sold since it was first introduced in 2004.

Not the happiest place on Earth. Walt Disney Studios is looking to cut 5% of its workforce around the globe, which translates to about 250 jobs. The majority of the cuts will be on the distribution side, according to people familiar with the company's plans. "A constellation of factors are squeezing the industry, including falling DVD sales, flat theater attendance and concerns that one of the biggest technological boons to hit the megaplex, 3-D, may have peaked," said the Los Angeles Times

Meanwhile back at 30 Rock... NBCUniversal invest a billion in Harry Potter and Universal Studios Theme Parks. 
Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal has agreed to pay slightly more than $1 billion to acquire full control of the Universal Orlando theme parks. 
Private equity firm Blackstone Group has held a 50% stake in the Florida parks for more than a decade. The assets include Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. NBCUniversal already owns 100% of the Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
The agreement puts the value of the Florida complex at $3.165 billion, the company said in a statement. The sale is expected to close by July 1.
Go, Glenn, go. Glenn Beck wants to charge a subscription fee for the daily Internet show he plans to launch. According to the New York Times, the paper of choice for Beck, fans can pay either $4.95 a month for just his show or $9.95 for all the other content he'll offer on GBTV. Whatever else one thinks of Beck, he's taking a big gamble here and if successful he could be something of a digital media pioneer and help other personalities as well as traditional media outlets establish pay models.
Cable through your Xbox. Microsoft wants to make the Xbox an all-purpose box. At E3, the video game confab that kicked off here this week, the software giant unveiled plans to make its popular Xbox a cable box as well as a voice-activated remote control. Now you can really yell at the TV. Details fromVariety (registration required) and the Los Angeles Times.
OK Go? Time Warner Inc., parent of People magazine and gossip site TMZ, is kicking the tires on the U.S. version of British gossip magazine OK!, according to Sky News blogger Mark Kleinman. The price tag that Kleinman says Time Warner has offered is between $30 million and $35 million.
Will Katie Couric kill 'General Hospital'? When ABC was wooing David Letterman several years ago, the late-night host was reluctant to go in large part because he did not want to be seen as the person who killed the newsmagazine "Nightline." Katie Couric apparently has no such quibbles when it comes to ABC's "General Hospital." The former "Today" host and CBS News anchor's move to ABC puts "General Hospital" on the endangered species list. Couric's show will premiere in fall 2012 and something will have to give. Perhaps one of the new chat shows "The Chew" and "Revolution," both of which debut this fall, will get the hook, but ABC has already shown its disdain for soaps by canceling "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." More from Deadline HollywoodTV GuideHollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times. Interesting side not, Couric will launch here new show on ABC with a promotional appearance on NBC with Jay Leno.
Yes! Announcer Marv Albert is joining CBS to cover professional football. Albert had covered the NFL for 20 years with NBC from 1977 to 1997, but has since been primarily a professional basketball announcer with TNT. Is it too tacky to joke about the hiring of Marv taking a bite out of the competition. Guess I'll find out. More on the move from USA Today.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on Scott Pelley's first day on the job as anchor of the "CBS Evening News."
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter and we'll try to make sense of it all.

Larry Wilson RIP (Remembering A Good Man)

June 7, 2008 Larry Wilson Sr.

Saturday June 7, 2008

Laura’s dad passed away this morning of leukemia. He was 82, and would have turned 83 August 16th, the day after my mom’s birthday.

Larry was the type of man who could make anyone feel better, with this long stories, jokes, salesman’s sense of timing. He could be short, because when his mind moved on to something else so did he. He would walk by a Trivial Pursuit game and know the answer, even to the hardest question. To say he was well read would be an understatement, in fact yet another book deliver arrived for Larry while Laura’s brother Tim was on the phone with her. History was his passion, but he could read about and talk about almost anything.

My wife Laura was his favorite, as first-born and for many other reasons. He was there for her, at least in his latter years. He would spend most of his hours away from home as she was growing up, as a milkman and then a real estate salesman who was peddling Apple Valley to those who lived in Los Angeles and were seeking resort like escape for the common man (boy has that town changed).

We celebrated my 50th and his 80th birthday together on a board on Lake Mead. We had a birthday dinner in Washington State for our 52nd and 82nd birthdays.
I would tell people you cannot feel old when you celebrate your birthday with a father-in-law within one week of being thirty years older than you are.

Now he is gone.