NSHE Notes
by Chancellor Dan Klaich
October 27, 2014
In 1865, Nevada's first Board of Regents met to appoint commissioners who had the task of raising money to establish "an Agricultural and Mechanical College." Their efforts were rewarded nine years later when our state's first college was founded in Elko. Nearly 150 years later, that college and governing body would evolve to the present-day Nevada System of Higher Education and encompass two universities, one state college, four community colleges and a research institute.

Fast forward 145 years to one of my early messages as NSHE's chancellor. At the time, we were we were mired in the depths of the greatest recession we have seen in generations. It was a difficult time for all Nevadans. It was a particularly difficult time for higher education as serious budget reductions caused us to reduce services and programs.

I wrote about building a New Nevada. I pledged to guide our higher education system based on principles of collaboration, efficiency, and alignment with the broader goals of the state and the many communities we serve.

Nearly five years later, our eight institutions have experienced an unprecedented level of collaboration. They are sharing services to keep our budgets focused on the business of educating Nevadans and leveraging brain power from across the state to create sustainable programs that Nevadans need.

We have entered into a creative and historic statewide partnership with the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to help Nevadans find jobs that meet their skills and then help them improve those skills to move up the job ladder. This same partnership will help us measure how our curriculum meets the needs of our local businesses.

We are either leading or directly involved in every industry sector identified in our state economic development plan. We have partnered in a statewide effort to have Nevada identified as one of six states to lead the nation in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles. We are planning a new school of medicine in Las Vegas to serve that critical metropolitan market, improving the health care delivery system for Nevadans.

With the help of the Nevada Legislature, we have carefully studied the governance of our community colleges and identified places where we need to improve. These colleges are at the forefront of economic development as we seek to build a more skilled and creative workforce that will attract businesses to broaden our economic base as well as better serve businesses already here. We have instituted reforms that will bring our colleges closer to the communities that they serve with an eye toward enhancing the critical and distinct missions of the colleges.

We have redoubled our commitment to ensuring that our higher education system mirrors our diverse state, and that every student, regardless of background or ethnicity, will find role models and peers throughout our system. As we move to majority minority status in Nevada, our institutions are closing in on designation as Hispanic Serving Institutions, a designation that will help us better serve our diverse population and indeed all students.

With all Nevadans we celebrate our state's landmark 150th birthday. Our Battle Born roots run deep and provide the foundation for our next 150 years of growth and service to the state's citizens as we undergo the transformation to a more knowledge-based economy.

So, happy birthday Nevada! We face the future with you, with excitement and with a firm commitment to continue the process of building a New Nevada.
Nevada System of Higher Education