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.
Joe Bennett, Great Basin College student:
My first year of college was in Ely, Nevada. I could stay at home and take interactive video and online classes at Great Basin College in Ely. I wanted to take more live classes so I saved my money and moved to GBC in Elko.
My first two years at GBC have prepared me and given me the confidence to transfer to UNR and get my bachelor’s degree. I will complete my GBC Associate of Science degree this spring and plan on getting my Wildlife Ecology and Conservation degree at UNR.
I am concerned! Will GBC be able to offer programs like mine for future students and will UNR even have my program? I might have to go out of state and then my goal of returning to serve rural Nevada will probably not happen.
Jacqueline Lemback, Great Basin College student:
My life has always been about family and the support it provides. My goal is to be an educator in Nevada. As a student born in Elko County, I realize that my life would not be much if it weren’t for Great Basin College. Without GBC, I would not have realized my full potential in helping others while still maintaining the relationship I have with my family.
At GBC, I was able to recognize that I could be great if I believed in myself and kept reaching for the stars. Before GBC, I was not sure that was possible. Because of Great Basin College, I now have a future that is bigger and brighter. However, if GBC does cut programs or closes, those stars I was reaching for will be forever out of reach. My future will not be what I believed it to be, an educator of Nevada.