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Home > Featured > Higher education system spent $10,000 for decorum recommendations after staff accused a regent of “child speak”

Higher education system spent $10,000 for decorum recommendations after staff accused a regent of “child speak”

By Bob Conrad
Youtube screenshot of Dean Gould, chief of staff to the Nevada Board of Regents.

Nevada System of Higher Education Chief of Staff Dean Gould criticized one of his bosses, a regent, last summer and told her to stop talking during a public meeting.

Gould admonished Regent Lisa Levine for what he called her “child speak.” Backlash against Gould was swift. Even Governor Steve Sisolak demanded Gould apologize to Levine.

Here’s how Gould responded, instead:

“I found [Levine’s] comment to be unprofessional and embarrassing and is not an appropriate way for an employer to speak to an employee. In retrospect, I should not have stooped to her level of acrimony.”

People were offended by Gould’s statements. They said he was perpetuating white-male privilege by talking down to Levine and telling her to turn off her microphone.

The Nevada Faculty Alliance demanded Gould be disciplined.

“His use of sexist language in an attempt to cut off her discussion regarding Title IX sexual harassment regulations was not only ironic but utterly unconscionable,” faculty said. “It appears this most recent breakdown of decorum reflects a more pervasive broken culture of Board of Regents proceedings.”

NSHE, however, won’t comment on Gould, citing the matter as confidential due to personnel reasons. NSHE’s Francis McCabe said he would be retiring at year’s end, however.

What happened instead is NSHE hired an attorney for nearly $10,000 “to provide legal guidance, conduct a confidential, thorough, and neutral review of the events, and offer recommendations to the Board,” said Board of Regents Chair Mark Doubrava.

Doubrava said NSHE is committed to treating people with respect. He said “inappropriate comments were made which fell below that standard.”

Levine said she could not comment on the outcome of the case.

Doubrava’s statements were criticized online after NSHE sent them in a news release late Friday.

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