The Nevada System of Higher Education announced on Friday, April 10 that it has extended the contract of University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson until December 2020. NSHE also announced the Board of Regents approved of a budget reduction proposal.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay of the ongoing NSHE Chancellor and UNLV and UNR President searches, the Board of Regents leadership is seeking continuity in these key leadership positions. Earlier this week, the Regents voted to extend the contracts of NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly and UNLV President Marta Meana to December 2020,” said NSHE in a press release.
Johnson announced his resignation on Oct. 31, 2019. His last day was set to be June 30, 2020, once the Board of Regents search committee chose a new president. The search has been postponed until the fall semester.
The search for the next chancellor of NSHE will start in June, according to a press release sent out by NSHE. The searches for the presidents of UNR and UNLV will occur in September of this year.
The UNR campus will be visited by the finalists on Sept. 14 and 15. Finalists will be interviewed on Sept. 16, and the president will be chosen by the Board of Regents on Sept. 17.
The Board of Regents additionally approved a budget reduction proposal that would aim to prepare the state for the economic decline caused by COVID-19. The proposal was in response to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s request for budget reduction proposals from all state agencies.
“The Office of the Governor has asked for budget reduction proposals from all state agencies, including NSHE, that show a 4% cut in Fiscal Year 2020, and a 6%, 10%, and 14 % reduction in Fiscal Year 2021. The budget reduction for NSHE totaled $124.7 million for the two-year period – $27 million in 2020 and $97 million in 2021,” NSHE said in an email.
The announcement also shared how NSHE has planned on producing these budget cuts. $60 million will come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. It will also use money saved from not filling vacant positions, a hiring freeze, redirecting capital funds, reducement of operating costs and furloughs for administrative faculty and staff.
NSHE also proposed a per-credit surcharge. If approved, UNR and UNLV undergraduate students would pay $6 more, or a 2.5 percent increase. Graduate students would pay $8 more, or a 2.7 percent increase. Nevada State College students would pay $5 more. College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College students will pay $3 more per course.
“By adding this per credit surcharge, NSHE will be able to use funding from the CARES Act to support low income students during this turbulent and unprecedented event, Reilly explained. “If we did not apply furloughs and the temporary per credit surcharge, we could be facing hundreds of layoffs which would adversely affect student services and student success,” said NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly in the announcement.
Taylor Avery can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @travery98.