MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF

THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE LOCATING

A 4-YEAR STATE COLLEGE IN HENDERSON

           

A meeting of the Advisory Committee to Examine Locating a 4-Year State College in Henderson (created as a result of Assembly Bill 220 - 1999) was held at 10:25 a.m. on September 3, 1999, at the Saturn Community Room, 310 North Gibson Road, Henderson, Nevada.

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

Regent Mark Alden

Mayor James B. Gibson

Senator Jon C. Porter

Regent Howard Rosenberg

Assemblyman Richard D. Perkins, Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Mark Stevens, Assembly Fiscal Analyst

Joi Davis, Committee Secretary

 

GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE:

 

Sherwin Iverson, University and Community College System of Nevada

Tom Ray, University and Community College System of Nevada

Steve Soukup, University of Phoenix, Las Vegas

Thalia Dondero, Regent, University and Community College System of Nevada

Barbara Griffin, Tate & Snyder Architects

Suzanne Ernst, University and Community College System of Nevada

Jim Randolph, University and Community College System of Nevada

Bonnie Rinaldi, City of Henderson

Tom Anderes, Interim Chancellor, University & Community College System of Nevada

Rick Bennett, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dan Andersen, Farmers Insurance Company

Steve Sisolak, Regent, University and Community College System of Nevada

Leslie Fritz, Nevada State Education Association

Jill Derby, Regent, University and Community College System of Nevada

 

List of Exhibits

 

Exhibit A            -            Meeting Notice and Agenda

Exhibit B            -            Attendance Roster

Exhibit C            -            Copy of Assembly Bill 220

Exhibit D       - Draft List of Questions, provided by Tom Anderes, UCCSN

 

NOTE:           All Exhibits are on file at the Research Library and Fiscal Analysis Division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

Roll Call

 

Assemblyman Richard D. Perkins, Clark County Assembly District 23, as sponsor of Assembly Bill 220 (1999), called the meeting to order and announced that all Committee members were present.

 

Selection of Chairman

 

Assemblyman Perkins noted that the next order of business was to select a Chairman for the Committee. 

 

            MAYOR GIBSON MOVED TO APPOINT ASSEMBLYMAN PERKINS AS

            CHAIRMAN TO THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE LOCATING

            A 4-YEAR COLLEGE IN HENDERSON.

 

            SENATOR PORTER SECONDED THE MOTION.

 

Mark Alden, Regent, University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN), said he would acquiesce to the nomination of Assemblyman Perkins as Chairman, although he had planned to nominate Mayor Gibson.

 

            THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

Review of Assembly Bill 220

 

Mark Stevens, Legislative Counsel Bureau, stated that a copy of Assembly Bill 220 (Exhibit C) had been provided to the Committee and copies were available for the public.  Mr. Stevens pointed out that the membership of the Committee was outlined in Section 1, subsection 1 of the bill.  Section 1(4) requires that the Committee meet at least once every six months.  Section 2 of the bill appropriates $500,000 from the state general fund for the completion of a needs assessment and implementation plan for a 4-year state college in Henderson, Nevada.  Mr. Stevens specified that the $500,000 is available to the Committee to complete its work as it sees fit, and that any funds remaining at the end of the biennium shall revert to the state general fund.

 

Continuing with his outline of Assembly Bill 220, Mr. Stevens stated that Section 3 of the bill requires that on or before September 1, 2000, the Advisory Committee submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Director of the Department of Administration and the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau for transmittal to the 71st legislative session that will commence in February 2001.

 

Committee Discussion and Approval of the Process to Develop Information needed to Complete a Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan

 

Assemblyman Perkins asked if there was someone from the UCCSN to provide information to the Committee.  Tom Anderes, Interim Chancellor, UCCSN, said they would be working closely with the Committee to meet its objectives and reach the final goal of presenting a report by September 2000.  He stated there were intermediate steps that they will need to obtain in order to provide information to the Committee and points of access for the Board of Regents to review at different times.

 

Mr. Anderes indicated that the UCCSN was looking for direction from the Committee to work with them.  He noted that Assembly Bill 220 had two pieces:  1)  A Needs Assessment; and 2) An Implementation Plan.  He advised the Committee that the UCCSN had information available to support the needs assessment and they have ideas the Committee may wish to consider.  Mr. Anderes commented that once the needs assessment is completed, the report of the Committee could be shared with the Board of Regents as they make decisions on the 2001-2003 budget request.  He suggested that the Committee put thought into how they want to link the needs assessment to the Board of Regent’s approval process for the up-coming budget.  He advised the Committee that the UCCSN will consider their budget process for the next biennium as early as January 2000.  This includes priority-setting, existing funding formulas, etc., so timing is important to the Board of Regents.

 

Mr. Anderes stated the UCCSN would like to establish a schedule and identify consultants, if necessary.  The UCCSN is willing to work with the Committee in areas they have identified, as well as areas the UCCSN has identified that may be external to the system.  Mr. Anderes advised that leadership from the UCCSN will consist of Jane Nichols, Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, himself, and Jim Randolph, Interim Vice-Chancellor for Finance,.  This group will offer their services to the Committee in whatever fashion the Committee believes will work most effectively.

 

Chairman Perkins said the Committee may need to provide data to the Board of Regents for their deliberations by some time in January 2000.  Therefore, would the needs assessment portion of their goal need to be completed by December 1999? 

 

Mr. Anderes replied that it would be essential to obtain the data, review, analyze and forward the data as soon as possible to the Board of Regents in order to link into the budget process.  However, that information could be provided to the Board in stages.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if the UCCSN, through the Board of Regents, could provide the Committee with a tentative timeline to better establish goals and set Committee meetings.  Mr. Anderes replied that a timeline would be provided.

 

Chairman Perkins acknowledged the expertise that the leadership at UCCSN could provide to the Committee.  He asked whether the UCCSN thought that outside consulting would also be necessary to accomplish the goals of the Committee.

 

Mr. Anderes answered that the UCCSN may need some outside support as the Committee begins to look at the process of gathering data (focus groups, surveys, polling).  The UCCSN can guide and direct that outside support; however, Mr. Anderes opined, an “overall consultant” likely would not be necessary.

 

Regent Alden stated that he has lived in Henderson since 1974.  He stressed the importance of bringing education to the student--the student should not have to travel to the education.  Access is the key.  Also, money should follow enrollment.  Regent Alden requested that the UCCSN provide information on enrollment at the Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for the past ten years and demographics as to the student population at those institutions.  In particular, Regent Alden said he was interested in seeing where the students came from and what courses they registered for regarding the summer session that began in Henderson during the summer of 1999 which created a four-year program through UNLV. 

 

Additionally, Regent Alden expressed concern that the Committee might wish to hire an external consultant to guarantee that the assessment is independent and valid.  He clarified his intent was not to say that UCCSN staff would not be performing their work in a valid manner but thought he would bring up that point for Committee discussion.

 

In response to Regent Alden’s comments, Chairman Perkins stated he would not be comfortable having an out-of-state consultant telling Nevadans what they needed. He stated he was comfortable having the UCCSN act in that capacity, particularly if the Board of Regents agree.  Further, he supports advice from the UCCSN if they determine they need additional, outside help or expertise.

 

Howard Rosenberg, Board of Regents, UCCSN, opined that the Committee would need extra help because the UCCSN is already stretched.  For the record, Regent Rosenberg stated that he does not oppose a four-year college in Henderson, never has opposed it, and does not believe he will oppose a future four-year college in Henderson.  He simply would like to ensure that such a project could be handled within the UCCSN.  Currently, the system has 84,000 students enrolled.  Although more student enrollment is desirous, the system must be able to afford it.  Therefore, information regarding demographics and needs is equally as important as how the system could afford such a proposal. 

 

Jill Derby, Chair, Board of Regents, UCCSN, testified that staff at the UCCSN has reviewed the prospects of assisting the Committee with the objectives set forth in the legislation (Assembly Bill 220) and although they may need the use of outside resources for certain aspects, they are ready and willing to assist the Committee.

 

Senator Jon C. Porter, Clark County Senatorial District 1, stated that he had confidence in the staff at UCCSN to assist the Committee in obtaining their goals, and if they needed to hire outside contractors to assist them that would be fine.  It would be best to begin with UCCSN staff as they are experts on Nevada. 

 

Mayor James B. Gibson, Henderson, concurred.  He said the key is for the UCCSN and the Committee to determine what information has been accumulated and what information is still needed in order to move forward to obtain their goals.  After those issues have been identified, he would be interested in finding out what types of outside consulting would be suggested by the UCCSN.  Mayor Gibson pointed out that it would be nice not to have to expend the $500,000 provided in the legislation.  If the expertise is available within the system then perhaps they can accomplish much of the goals of the Committee. 

 

Mayor Gibson indicated he had some concern about the timeline for the tasks of the Committee.  He opined that the Committee should be aggressive and that goals should be established.  Personally, he would like to see the Committee complete its work by December 1999.  He would like to start the process of public input as soon as possible.  Mayor Gibson commented that the Board of Regents’ discussions in January might not be very effective if they only have a portion of the information from this Committee.  Therefore, if a more aggressive schedule would require some outside help, then he would support that. 

 

Regent Derby interjected that the Board of Regents have a mid-February meeting currently scheduled so if the goal of the Committee was to have a recommendation or report to the Board of Regents by the end of 1999, they could review it at the February meeting.

 

Senator Porter informed the Committee that he has been working on the concept of a four-year college for the past year and he did not want to be limited to one alternative.  He stressed that the Committee should consider all alternatives, including a state college.  His research has revealed that there are over 1,600 independent colleges and universities in the United States with approximately 2.9 million students.  Independent colleges enroll twice as many students from families earning less than $25,000 per year than from families earning more than $75,000 annually.  Also, minority students comprise approximately 25 percent of the students enrolled in independent colleges. 

 

Senator Porter pointed out that if states were to assume the responsibility of educating all students, there would be an additional $13 billion allocated to public education that is now going to private education, and that cost would be borne by the taxpayers.  Therefore, the Committee should review other alternatives and remove any barriers that may exist regarding the development of an independent college or a private college.  For example, the University of Phoenix that began its operation in Nevada some years ago, has proven to be successful.  An independent college in Henderson could eliminate pressure on the taxpayers and the UCCSN because it would generate private dollars. 

 

Regent Rosenberg said if they considered establishing a private college, that could be a “branch” to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) or University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), or the Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) or the UCCSN, and these would all be considered alternative delivery systems.  Senator Porter concurred that he believed the Committee should look at “all” alternatives.

 

Chairman Perkins asked Tom Anderes if the UCCSN had questions for the Committee so they could provide the necessary responses to the Board for their deliberations.  Mr. Anderes replied that the UCCSN has been formulating questions for the Committee’s consideration, including information that would be useful in the needs assessment.  A draft was completed with questions revolving around access, enrollments, economic developments, mission program, and financial issues (Exhibit D).

 

Continuing, Mr. Anderes stated that a large portion of what the Committee needs to do is to look closely at the mission issue.  Should the institution be limited to a 4-year institution, or a comprehensive 4-year institution that offers a Master’s Degree?  That decision is important in defining the ultimate goals of the Committee.  He added that the UCCSN can help define where there may be deficiencies; however, the community input should provide information on the types of programs the community views as important.  Mr. Anderes said another important aspect for the Committee to consider is the size of the institution and how many students could be served.

 

Mr. Anderes said the Committee could help define for the UCCSN how the needs assessment should be accomplished in terms of focus groups, data collection, surveys, and questionnaires.  Mr. Anderes mentioned that the handout (Exhibit D) provided a chronology of events that they believe will be important and that can be completed in more detail as a timeline is developed. 

 

Chairman Perkins mentioned that during the hearings on Assembly Bill 220 (1999), the system provided information on enrollments, enrollment projections, etc., and asked if a similar presentation by the UCCSN would be helpful to the Committee.  The Committee concurred.  Regent Alden said the Committee should proceed with vigor, yet at the same time he wanted to send a clear message to UCCSN and UNLV to continue to provide services to Henderson with the 4-year program.  He wanted assurance that such services would continue to be provided to citizens of Henderson and he would like more information on that issue.

 

Chairman Perkins announced that the Committee did not intend for any prospective institution to serve only Henderson students.  With transportation systems throughout the valley, any folks would be able to access the institution, wherever it is ultimately placed. 

 

Regarding possible focus groups, Chairman Perkins asked for Committee input on how community information would best be solicited.  Regent Alden said that Mayor Gibson could be helpful in that matter; however, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, Development Authority, schools, City of Henderson Economic Development Unit, could all be approached to provide the input the Committee is seeking.  Mayor Gibson agreed, but thought the Committee should be oriented further so they could better “frame the question” for the community.  Therefore, a presentation by UCCSN would be beneficial to the Committee.

 

Regent Rosenberg suggested the Committee meet within the next couple of weeks to receive a presentation by the UCCSN and have the UCCSN provide the Committee with a timeline to get the information they need.

 

Steve Sisolak, Board of Regents, UCCSN, testified that he agreed with an expedited schedule, and he had confidence in the staff at UCCSN to work under such a schedule.  He acknowledged that outside consulting might be needed, especially if they are working under an expedited schedule.  Mr. Sisolak asked Senator Porter for clarification on his comments regarding an independent college.

 

Senator Porter reiterated that he did not want to limit any alternatives, including private, independent colleges.  He said the intent of the legislation was to find an education source to take care of the state’s needs, so he believes all options should be considered.  Regent Sisolak agreed.

 

Thalia Dondero, Board of Regents, UCCSN, informed the Committee that the possibility of other campuses was a current topic with the Board (one on the northern side of Clark County and one on the southern side of Clark County) and the Committee needed to know that information for its deliberations. 

 

Regent Jill Derby advised the Committee that the Board of Regents began a strategic planning process in January 1999 and they hope to develop a 10-year plan.  She commented that the timing on that and the activities of the Advisory Committee would link together nicely.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if there were any other topics the Committee should consider at its next meeting.  Regent Alden said he would like to know the cost to educate a student, broken down by resources, for each institution.  Senator Porter said the Committee needed to look seriously at private, independent options for Nevada, especially in light of the tax burden that could be placed on residents.  If there is an alternative that could be funded by the private sector, than the community may benefit from that.  Assemblyman Perkins said that the charge of the legislation for the Committee was specific, but that did not necessarily preclude the Committee from looking into other alternatives. 

 

Date of Next Meeting

 

Chairman Perkins polled the Committee for suggested dates of the next meeting.  The Committee agreed to set the next meeting for 10:00 a.m., on Friday, October 1, 1999, with a location to be determined at a later date.

 

Public Testimony

 

There being no public testimony, the Chairman acknowledged and appreciated the attendance of the elected Board of Regents and thanked them for their input.  With nothing further to come before the Committee, they adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

 

 

 

                                                            _____________________________________

                                                            Joi Davis, Committee Secretary

 

______________________________________

Assemblyman Richard D. Perkins, Chairman

 

Date:  __________________________