Higher Education Funding Plan Seeks Balance

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chancellor Dan Klaich’s proposed funding formula for higher education is expected to be translated into dollars and cents for Nevada’s seven public universities and colleges in a report next week.

Then the real scrutiny will begin about which colleges might be winners or losers.

If institutions in Southern Nevada are perceived as being disadvantaged, “the chancellor’s proposal will receive a cool reception by legislators and even regents,” said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. “The dominant perspective is UNR is treated more favorably than UNLV.”

By focusing the new formula on students, “it’s an attempt to defuse some of the north-south” disputes, Herzik said.

Under the proposal, state colleges will be awarded state general fund money based on students completing courses rather than enrollment numbers. Institutions would be allowed to keep their own tuition and fees rather than put them into one pot for distribution.

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