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2012 September 17 - 12:00 am

MONEY TREE: Nev. College Funding Plan Boosts South, Cuts North

Nev. College Funding Plan Boosts South, Cuts North

LAS VEGAS (AP) — New college funding recommendations from the Nevada Board of Regents are aimed at making the budget more fair and transparent, although it could mean pain for Northern Nevada colleges who would see their money shift south, college officials said.

The two-year plan recommended in a 12-1 vote would be based on the number of students who complete courses, rather than the number of students who enroll in a course. It would also fund courses differently if they cost more to offer. The proposal now heads to lawmakers for consideration.

Chancellor Dan Klaich says there’s been resistance to the plan on two fronts.

“This hasn’t been a friend-making project,” Klaich said at a Board of Regents meeting, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Colleges getting a bump from the plan want even more, he said, while those losing money “feel they have been slighted.”

About $13.2 million would be cut from four colleges and redistributed to University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the College of Southern Nevada, and Nevada State College in Henderson. Southern Nevada, a community college which is the state’s largest college and has often complained of being underfunded, would get about $7 million more.

The plan calls for a 1 percent cut, or $1.3 million, at the University of Nevada, Reno. But three northern Nevada community colleges would see considerably less money.

Great Basin would receive $9.5 million, down from $14 million in 2011-12.

Western Nevada College would receive $10.5 million, compared with $15 million. Truckee Meadows Community College would get $27.7 million, down from $30.6 million.

Regents are recommending the state contribute another $5 million, one-time contribution to soften the blow to the community colleges.

The lone dissenting vote, Regent Ron Knecht, had a problem with giving more money to courses that have greater raw costs. He argued that the funding formula should also factor in a course’s “social value,” the newspaper reported.

The proposal is still in its early stages, according to Nevada System of Higher Education spokesman John Kuhlman. A legislative committee must pick a funding formula, implement it, and fund it.

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