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Neal Smatresk’s Grand Delusion

A Las Vegas Sun interview last week revealed that UNLV President Neal Smatresk believes taxpayer “state funding for UNLV is not spending, but an *investment* in the Southern Nevada economy.” He claims UNLV is a “profit center” for Nevada and complains that taxpayers – who keep pumping more and more money into this “investment” without ever seeing a profit – view his institution as a “cost.”

Um, if it’s a “profit center,” then why do you need taxpayer subsidies, hmmm? Why don’t we just privatize UNLV and let it stand on its own?

Smastresk then goes on to further insult the taxpayers who fund his institution and pay his salary by declaring that Nevada’s citizens have “never placed high value in higher education.” He also falsely claims that economically strapped taxpayers “believe we can cut our way to greatness” and accuses them of “magical thinking.”

Bite me, Neal.

I am so sick of these pompous, holier-than-thou, ivory tower higher ed elitists who claim that the blue collar workers who pump millions upon millions of dollars into their institutions don’t “value” education.

This isn’t a matter of “valuing” education; it’s a matter of setting spending priorities rather than continuing to give the Nevada System of Higher Education a blank check to, for example, pay a tenured professor $108,000 a year to teach one class a week. Or to run two separate teaching and nursing schools at two separate campuses located just 15 minutes apart.

To put it another way, just because we tell our children that they can’t have a brand new car doesn’t mean we don’t value them. To suggest otherwise, in either case, is, at the very least, extremely offensive. The Smastresks of the world over at Hyperbole U ought to knock it off. Insulting your benefactors by biting the hand that feeds you is certainly no way to win friends and influence people.