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Building a new Nevada – destroying dreams, deferring futures Part I


Submitted by Chancellor Dan Klaich
Nevada System of Higher Education

I have spent a lot of time lately discussing the budget. My comments have tended to talk about millions of dollars coming out of campus funds and large percentage reductions to budgets or formulas. What that discussion has not conveyed is the personal damage these cuts are doing to the young men and women of our state.

Higher education changes lives, one student at a time, and it is our goal to build a better Nevada and a better future for all of us. In this report and in reports to come, I would like to stop talking for a moment about numbers and percentages and remind you of the wonderful students in this System and share some of their personal stories.

Natalie Nelson:

I have been a student at CSN since 2002. I have seen changes take place at the college over the years, but the new proposed budget cut will impact students in a major way. This semester, I had to replace two of my degree-required classes in order to graduate on time because some of the classes I need will not be offered in future semesters.

While I am pleased to know that my graduation day will come, I have missed out on classes that are essential to my college career. College students are in school to become successful professionals and it is imperative that we learn all the necessary material before graduation. Please do not let our education suffer as well.

As a working college student, it can be difficult to find time to study. It is hard work and can be discouraging. Waiting to realize that your degree program could be cut after all the hard work that was put into your studies will be disappointing and shocking. Education is very important and we should put the future of students first.

Randy Whittaker:

I am deeply troubled about the additional budget cuts proposed for higher education in Nevada. Three years ago, I was struck by a truck while crossing the street. This changed my whole life. I previously worked in the construction field for more than 20 years, but I am no longer able to use those job skills due to the injuries I sustained.

After sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I made the choice to visit a vocational rehabilitation counselor to discuss new employment opportunities and she assisted me with enrolling into the Slot Technician Program at the College of Southern Nevada.

I am currently half-way through my program, but may not be able to complete it due to the proposed budget cuts. They may cut some of my classes, in addition to the instructors, which will make it impossible for me to complete my degree. What will I do then?

Education has given me a second chance at living a full and productive life and this threatens to take it away. Please reconsider cutting education, not just for me, but for all students. Please do not cut our future short.

For more messages from Chancellor Klaich, click here.

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