Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 | 2 a.m.
Editor’s note: Candidates receiving the Sun’s endorsements are listed in bold type.
NEVADA BOARD OF REGENTS
The Sun will preface our endorsements here by saying the most important vote regarding the Board of Regents will be on Ballot Question 1 — the measure that would pave the way for reform of the higher-education system by removing the regents from the state constitution.
We’ll write far more about this issue, but the upshot is that it’s time for the regents and the system’s administrative overlords to be brought under control. As is, the way the regents were written into the Nevada Constitution has created confusion over the years about the extent of the board’s authority, with the regents at times claiming it makes the higher-ed system a separate, fourth branch of government that is not accountable to the executive and legislative branches.
Question 1 would allow lawmakers to restructure the board and the system, and make it accountable.
Certainly, the state’s higher-ed overseers act as if they don’t answer to anyone but themselves. Their history is deeply stained with corruption, abuses of authority, dysfunction and a refusal to operate transparently. The board also has become a political backwater that routinely draws unqualified candidates.
Cumulatively, these problems are keeping Nevada’s universities and colleges from meeting their potential.
Again, we’ll have much more about this later, but we strongly urge voters to approve Question 1. It’s a far more critical issue than the board member elections this year, considering that it could result in major changes that could reduce the size of the board or limit the members’ powers.
That said, here are our recommendations on the board positions.