NSHE Notes
by Chancellor Dan Klaich
March 28, 2016

The demographics within the Nevada System of Higher Education continue to rapidly evolve. While our enrollment gap between white and nonwhite students has virtually closed over the past 10 years, the achievement gap is a different story.  We have experienced steady improvement, but still have an approximate 20 percent difference in the number of awards conferred between white and nonwhite students.

Last December, I called a special meeting of the Diversity Roundtable to discuss diversity climate issues within NSHE.  This meeting included not only the community representatives, but also our presidents and campus diversity officers.

The Roundtable members* generated a list of 30 recommendations and I asked for volunteers to convene a small working group to distill their ideas into actionable recommendations.
Below are those recommendations:
  1. Increase cultural competency training for all NSHE faculty and staff.
    • Culturally competent faculty and staff are fundamental toward increasing outcomes for student success and achieving an optimal inclusive and welcoming campus environment. 
    • I understand that some NSHE campuses offer cultural competency training. It is important that training is offered across the System. Measurable outcomes from this training are essential.

  2. Provide professional development/leadership training for promotional advancement for all faculty and staff.
    • Administrative leadership across NSHE does not proportionately reflect the changing demographics of Nevada and the student population of NSHE. The provision of professional development/leadership training as an illustration of succession planning, offers the opportunity for NSHE to grow talent from within and assist in the professional development goals of faculty and staff who aspire to be our next leaders.
    •  I understand many campuses already offer leadership training/coaching. We need to be more intentional with providing this opportunity across the System and ensure underrepresented populations have access. 
  3. Increase opportunities for students and campus administration interactions.
    • One of the many lessons learned from other campuses is that when students do not feel heard, they do not feel valued and discontent is then heightened. Hearing from our students on a regular basis can only enhance our overall service delivery.  It is up to all of us in leadership positions to actively seek out these interactions on a regular basis.
    • Campuses should include student leaders across a wide array of student clubs and groups to provide regular feedback to campus administration.
    •  Campuses should have student forums/town halls no less than once a semester, where campus leadership can hear concerns and report back on how those concerns will be addressed. 

  4. Ensure diversity measures are included in professional evaluations for all NSHE faculty and staff.
    • Diversity in all forms should be valued by all faculty and staff. We need to ensure it is a measurable outcome that can be incorporated into faculty and staff evaluations.
    • Presidents are evaluated in this regard.  NSHE faculty and staff should have similar expectations.
These recommendations will undoubtedly complement the great work already underway throughout NSHE and assist in increasing our outcomes.

I will discuss these recommendations at length at the next Council of Presidents meeting and am looking forward to feedback from our presidents. I fully expect progress with the implementation of these recommendations in the coming months so we can report back to the Board of Regents and the Diversity Roundtable to monitor our progress.

I want to thank the Diversity Roundtable members for their time, concern, and valuable input as we strive to be a more inclusive System that continues to support success for all students and to build bridges to all of the diverse communities that make up our great state.

*Chancellor's Diversity Roundtable Members
  • Hannah Brown
  • Chelsie Campbell
  • Antoinette Cavanaugh
  • Vida Chan Lin
  • Ken Evans
  • Nicole Harvey
  • Michael Hernandez
  • Mikel Lopategui
  • Al Martinez
  • Tya Mathis
  • Jose Negrete Jr.
  • Duy Nguyen
  • Sherry Rupert
  • Ivet Santiago
  • Omar Saucedo
  • Colin Seale
  • Dan Tafoya
  • Tiffany B. Young