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The University System that Cried Wolf…Again

Richard Lake of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes in a story today that the folks over at Hyperole U have been predicting higher ed Armageddon for the last several years and asks, “Are they doing the same thing all over again?”

Yup, same story, different day, said conservative activist and blogger Chuck Muth. “Of course they’re still exaggerating,” he said. “It’s pure propaganda designed to get what they want, which is no cuts at all.”

Mr. Lake then details new examples of “sky is falling” rhetoric from Chancellor Dan Klaich, UNLV President Neal Smatresk, “Community” College of Southern Nevada chief Michael Richards (no, not “Kramer”) and, of course, the King of Prop (as in “propaganda”), TV mogul and former chancellor Jim Rogers. To which a few more Muth’s Truths were appended:

Nonsense, said Muth. They are still exaggerating.

Tuition and fees are extremely low in Nevada, he said. A 13 percent increase would add $30 to the cost of a class at a community college. That is not a “massive” fee increase.

And, he said, some programs on UNLV’s list of those it might eliminate should go away.

“Women’s studies should have been killed a long time ago,” he said.

There are other solutions, too, he said, that aren’t being considered. The state college opened nine years ago with the primary mission of educating nurses and teachers. So, Muth asked, why does UNLV still have nursing and teaching programs when it generally costs more to educate someone at a university than at a state college?

And, he said, pay cuts on tenured faculty who make the highest salaries could save money, too. Faculty have already agreed to take up to a 5 percent pay cut if the Legislature mandates it.

If the above mentioned university system pooh-bahs took the same 5 percent slice, poor Mr. Klaich would only be chalking up $287,642 a year, President Smatresk would only be hauling in $294,422, and Mr. Richards would only be cashing pauper-level checks totaling just $324,055…not counting unlisted bennies and private supplements. (Hat tip: Transparent Nevada)

Oh, the horror!