Nevada committee adopts new university funding formula
By: Stephan Burklin
CARSON CITY, Nevada: A legislative committee in Carson City agreed to adopt a new funding formula that would reallocate $13.2 million per year to Southern Nevada campuses at the expense of other campuses.
The formula, which was proposed by the Nevada System of Higher Education and drafted with the aid of its consultant, SRI International, assigns weights to certain classes and performance benchmarks. Campuses that demonstrate high graduation rates and emphases on engineering and math clusters are poised to receive more state funding.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, there is agreement between higher education officials and lawmakers on some funding issues, including shifting away from a funding formula based on classroom enrollment in favor of one that takes into account the completion of college courses. They also agree that campuses should be allowed to keep the tuition paid by their students versus having to pool the tuition statewide and have it be reallocated by legislators.
The hard part for politicians and regents in adopting a reformed funding formula, according to the Las Vegas Sun, boils down to who will benefit from the shifting budget priorities and at what expense to other campuses.
A tentative budget passed by the Board of Regents last Friday, the Las Vegas Sun notes, would shift $13.2 million, primarily from rural campuses, to the College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College and UNLV. There would be a slight decrease at UNR but bigger hits to the community colleges in Northern and rural Nevada — Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada College and Great Basin College.