Mark Feest for Regent RGJ Excerpt
Posted in the Hawthorne Forum
#1 Apr 27, 2010
4/27/2010 RGJ Article
“Where should higher education look to find additional money other than the state general fund?”
Candidate #2:“higher education needs more state-based funding ...”
Candidate #3:“We need a (state) revenue that is consistent ...”[not subject to reductions along with other budgets paid for by general funds]
Mark Feest:“[By focusing] on programs that are important to local industries, local industries will want to lend support.” When the system is “driver of the economy, and as a value to the state,[the public] will be more willing to put more money in.”
“How will you ensure the quality of higher education in light of the current budget cuts?”
Candidate #2:“K-12 and higher education representatives need to present a united front in the next legislative session so they aren’t pitted against on another for available funds.”
Mark Feest: I disagree with the notion that asking for more money, while aligned with another entity asking for more money, is a solution to dealing with budget cuts. The next session is anticipated to have a $3 billion shortfall between revenue and previous commitments. It would require a tax increase equal to approximately 4 times the largest tax increase in the history of Nevada just to provide the same level of funding as the last budget.
Candidate #3:“The regents must listen to the presidents at each of the institutions as well as the faculty and the student body and, presumably, those individuals have all worked together to develop plans and looked at the issues in relation to the mission of each institution.”
Mark Feest: While I agree that the two stakeholder groups mention are important in this process, my opponent fails to recognize the third stakeholder who provides 4 out of every $5 of funding to the system, or the taxpayer. I would not presume that the stakeholders who have worked to develop plans have considered whether the system will pay returns on the public’s investment. It is possible their primary concerns include good class schedules, minimal rate increases, and no salary cuts. I am not sure regents are even needed under this scenario.
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