Nevada Board of Regents to consider higher education budget cuts at next meeting

The William Pennington Student Achievement Center, University of Nevada Reno - image - Brian Bahouth/The Sierra Nevada Ally

This Friday, in the economic wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents will meet by teleconference at 1:00 pm to consider budget cuts to the state’s college system.

The Nevada System of Higher Education is made up of eight institutions and roughly 109,000 students. Schools and research centers include, the University of Nevada Reno, University of Nevada Las Vegas, College of Southern Nevada, Desert Research Institute, Great Basin College, Nevada State College, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Western Nevada College.

Based on “early warning metrics,” economic forecaster Moody’s Analytics predicts the leisure and hospitality industry to be one of the most effected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on six criteria, Moody’s predicts Nevada will be the most economically impacted state in the nation.

In a letter sent to state agency heads on April 3, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak asked administrators to prepare for a 4 percent budget cut in 2020 and up to a 14 percent cut in 2021.

During Friday’s meeting, Chief Financial Officer Andrew Clinger and Chancellor Thom Reilly are scheduled to present proposals on how all NSHE institutions may comply with the governor’s request.

According to the meeting’s agenda, budget cut proposals to comply with the Governor’s request are subject to Board action and may include, but are not limited to, one or a combination of the following:

  • Operating budget cuts and staffing reductions
  • Reducing all faculty, staff and employee salaries and/or mandating furloughs
  • Using the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds
  • Using institution’s reserve funds
  • Increasing student fees
  • Reducing and/or eliminating capital improvement projects
  • Any other proposals raised during the meeting by the Board.

Proposals from NSHE must be submitted to the Office of the Governor by April 13, 2020.

This Friday, Regents will also consider whether to extend the contract of UNR President Marc  Johnson to December 31, 2020, or until a permanent president of UNR is hired by the Board, whichever is sooner.

The meeting is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. this Friday and can be viewed here.