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 9:30 a.m., on Friday, June 16, 2000, at the Desert Research Institute, 755 East Flamingo Road, Rooms 181 & 182, Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

Assemblyman Richard D. Perkins, Chairman

Mayor James B. Gibson

Regent Mark Alden                         

Regent Howard Rosenberg

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT:

 

Senator Jon C. Porter, Excused

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Mark Stevens, Assembly Fiscal Analyst

Joi Davis, Committee Secretary

 

GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE:

 

Jane Nichols, University and Community College System of Nevada

Bob Kasner, Henderson Chamber of Commerce

Bonnie Rinaldi, City of Henderson

Vicki Taylor, City of Henderson

Julie Brailsford

John Brailsford

Bob Campbell, City of Henderson

Dave Linder, Clark County Channel 4

Dan Musgrove, City of Las Vegas

Robin Bain, Basic Environmental Company

Rick Bennett, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Lisa Mayo-Deriso, L.A. Mayo & Associates

Melodee Wilcox

Keith Rumph, Cover Edge/Gresh

Richard Moore, Nevada State College

Doug Zimmerman, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


 

List of Exhibits

 

Exhibit A            Meeting Notice and Agenda

Exhibit B            Attendance Roster

Exhibit C        Meeting Packet

Exhibit D        Slides from Doug Zimmerman’s Presentation

 

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

 

1.         Roll Call – Introductory Comments

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at approximately 9:40 a.m., and noted Senator Porter as absent, excused.

 

2.            Approval of Minutes

 

Chairman Perkins indicated he would accept a motion to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2000, meeting (Exhibit C).

 

            REGENT ALDEN MOVED TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE

            MARCH 17, 2000, COMMITTEE MEETING.

 

            REGENT ROSENBERG SECONDED THE MOTION.

 

            THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

3.            Review of Environmental Issues concerning Nevada State College

 

Doug Zimmerman, Chief of Bureau of Corrective Actions, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, stated that the Bureau is responsible for the oversight of clean-up activities where releases of hazardous substances have occurred.  In that role, the Bureau ensures that standards are met, protection of human health and environment are achieved, and that the land is returned productive use. 

 

Mr. Zimmerman informed the Committee that he would be presenting a history of the remediation process of the Basic Management Institute (BMI) project, along with information on the Nevada State College site (NSC).  Copies of the slides used during Mr. Zimmerman’s power point presentation are attached as Exhibit D.  He stated that the aerial photographs he would be showing were oriented with North at the top, Boulder Highway to the East, the BMI common areas (upper and lower ponds) to the bottom right, and the proposed college site on the east side of Boulder Highway. 

 

Describing the history of the BMI project, Mr. Zimmerman stated that the Basic Magnesium Company was built on the subject site during World War II (1941) for the production of magnesium.  The company brought in a large work force (13,000) to build the facility in a short period of time.  The company located its facility on the property because of the close vicinity to water and power (Lake Mead), the site was inland from coastal areas, and the ore sources could be obtained from the neighboring town of Gabbs, Nevada.  

 

Mr. Zimmerman showed a photograph of the site as it stood in 1943 in order to show the waste disposal activities that occurred at that time.  The neighboring ponds were built to receive effluent from the facility which went through ditches and pipe systems.  As one pond filled, it would overflow to the next pond.  Additional on-site ponds were used for other types of disposal activities.  Mr. Zimmerman pointed out that some disposal activity took place at the proposed college site.  In fact, temporary housing consisting of tents and some permanent structures on that site due to the 13,000 person work force that was brought in to construct the Basic Magnesium Company.  In comparison, a workforce of 7,000 was brought in when Hoover Dam was built.

 

By the 1950’s much of the temporary housing facilities were removed.  The facility operated for approximately two years in the production of magnesium and then a host of private tenants came into the facility and produced a wide range of products with a wide range of waste streams:

 

·        Pesticide production

·        Metal processing

·        Caustic production

·        Chlorine production

 

All of the above waste streams were disposed of through the ditch system and out to the disposal ponds amounting to a complex set of waste in that location.  Mr. Zimmerman pointed out that the dark areas on the photographs represented waste activities.

 

Directing the Committee to the photograph taken in 1960, Mr. Zimmerman said the photo showed the proposed college site.  In 1969, on-site disposal was occurring, as was the use of the upper ponds for waste disposal.  By 1979, the active pond area was in place; lined ponds which were used in response to the following environmental laws: 

 

·        The Nevada Water Pollution Control Act (1972)

·        Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)

·        Resource Conservation and Recovery Act  (1976)

 

The above acts regulating the disposal of waste cumulated and by 1980 the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA) or the Superfund Law was enacted.  These laws required companies to use different types of disposal, including lined ponds, and requiring monitoring of ponds and disposal systems.  Prior to that time, the disposal to unlined ponds was a standard practice and was not regulated. 

 

As the environmental laws came into effect, the state and future companies at the site took action.  During 1983 and 1986, two underground water treatment systems were installed on the site to control a benzene release and a chromium release.  The next major event occurred in 1991 when the tenants at the time formed the Henderson Industrial Site Steering Committee (HISSC) and entered into a consent agreement with the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) to do a comprehensive clean up of the entire project—from the plant site to the upper and lower ponds.  That activity brought the site into the remediation process outlined below:

 

Site Characterization – It took four years to characterize the site.  The NDEP developed sampling plans, and conducted the fieldwork for collecting samples, which led to data gaps, and subsequent sampling plans.  By 1997, the NDEP had a good idea of what contaminants were on the site.  A host of resources were used to develop the sampling plans to test soil and ground water.  Due to the wide range of manufacturing that took place on the site over a period of years, a number of waste materials were involved, including:

 

 

Mr. Zimmerman said the characterization process covered over 260 locations where soil samples were collected and hundreds of sites where ground water samples were taken.  Directing the Committee to an aerial view of the site, he pointed out that samples were taken from the proposed college site.  The results of the characterization study revealed that both water (ground and surface) and soils had been impacted.  In addition, the NDEP determined that 300 acres of the 2400 acres of the upper and lower ponds were used for waste disposal and needed to be remediated.  The materials in those ponds accepted fluids quite readily so the ponds were never fully utilized during the 1930’s and 1940’s.

 

Remedial Alternative Study – This phase has just been completed and a public hearing was held on April 4, 2000, to present the study.  Evaluation and judgment of the community acceptance of that “preferred alternative” was being analyzed presently.  The following are considerations based on the Remedial Alternative Study:

 

·        Take no action – site would remain in current condition.

·        Institutional control – fencing, monitoring, deed restrictions

·        On-site capping – containment of contaminated soils

·        Excavation and disposal (on-site) – gather soils to localized area

·        Excavation and disposal (off-site) Apex or U.S. Ecology in Beatty

 

In deciding what remediation action to take, the companies and NDEP considered the land use.  The additional criteria were established to determine the next course of action:

 

·        Protection of human health and environment

·        Effectiveness and Permanence

·        Implementation – engineering feasibility

·        Cost

·        State and community acceptance

 

Mr. Zimmerman informed the Committee that the above criteria were taken directly from the Superfund Law, as well as public input, public meetings, etc.

 

The favored Remedial Alternative Plan that became the most desirable was to excavate and dispose of the soils at a landfill constructed at the plant site.  Mr. Zimmerman clarified that the plan should be finalized once community input has been concluded.  He pointed out the estimated cost of excavation was between $16 - $21 million.  The landfill that would be constructed would go through a process that requires soils to be excavated, brought to a staging area and then a conveyor system would bring them to the landfill located on the plant site.  Using a map, Mr. Zimmerman showed the Committee where the fixed landfill area would be located.  He stressed that two million cubic yards of material needed to be excavated.  The current proposal is to maintain the excavation by using a conveyor system underneath the Boulder Highway, which represents the least impact to the public.

 

Mr. Zimmerman showed a couple of photographs of the proposed landfill area, and explained that the existing landfill is referred to as the BMI Landfill and was closed in the 1970’s.  The proposed landfill area would not dramatically change the profile in the Black Mountain area.  In addition, the landfill would be a state of the art system with a liner system, leak detection and monitoring to manage the waste.  Mr. Zimmerman informed the Committee that the waste to be stored at the proposed landfill was solid, remediation waste, not hazardous waste, and has passed the Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Potential (TCLP) test.  Regulations term this waste as “remediation waste.”

 

Implementation of the Remedial Action & Confirmation Sampling, Clean-up Completion – Mr. Zimmerman said the remediation site has been selected as a residential development area which will requires the highest level of clean-up.  A schedule of how the clean-up process will occur is set as follows:

 

·        Finalize Remedial Alternative Plan – July 2000.

·        Develop Corrective Action Plan – This is an ongoing process to determine what type of equipment should be used to clean-up the area, what monitoring should take place to assure that during the clean-up dust does not blow around.  He said they plan to have monitoring stations at the site so corrective actions can be implemented should the need arise.

·        Implement/Monitor Clean-up Ponds – July 2001

·        Timet Ponds out of service – First Quarter 2002 these ponds should be out of service with the solutions remaining to be evaporated and the sludge would be moved to the landfill.  The NDEP is aware that areas underneath the ponds need to be remediated as well.

·        Final clean-up is complete – Late 2004

 

Mr. Zimmerman stated at the time the remediation project is completed, the landowner could proceed to fully develop the property. 

 

Mr. Zimmerman concluded his presentation with a slide of his children.  He informed the Committee that the photograph of his children playing in and eating dirt illustrated the level to which the site must be cleaned.  The owner wants to develop the land for a residential development and that requires the most conservative and strictest level of cleanup.  After the samples are collected, the NDEP will look at what levels were left to determine if a hazard is posed to the most sensitive receptor—a child eating dirt.  This must be demonstrated for one-eighth of an acre or lot size parcel.  He stressed that the remediation process is very strict and will be made suitable for a residential development.

 

Chairman Perkins thanked Mr. Zimmerman for his presentation and noted a couple of questions from the Committee.

 

Regent Rosenberg acknowledged Mr. Zimmerman’s assurance that the land will be cleaned up to allow children and families to reside on the site.  However, he expressed concern that critics will say that the college was located next to a toxic dump.  He asked how the landfill would be contained.

 

Mr. Zimmerman replied that the landfill was designed with a synthetic liner system and a leak detection system.  Also, the waste entering the landfill is dry, solid waste so no liquid should leach out of the container.  The final configuration was a soil cap over the top that, with proper vegetation and thickness of cover, essentially minimizes the amount of infiltration that goes into the system.  Underneath the liner system, however, is a leak detection system so that in the unlikely event that anything migrates through it (rainfall) there was a leach-aid collection and monitoring system.  Mr. Zimmerman emphasized that there was a ground water monitoring system to demonstrate that the landfill itself was not a source of further contamination.

 

Mayor Gibson stated that many years ago the City of Henderson, although it was not a jurisdiction that has any regulatory control or authority over the BMI properties, joined in the discussions and thereafter the formal agreements entered into between NDEP and the BMI properties.  The primary reason the City of Henderson became involved in the discussion was because there are Henderson city residents living within one mile of the site and the original landfill is the site of the expanded landfill.  The City of Henderson is confident that the citizens are not at risk with the present landfill.  Mayor Gibson also clarified that the City of Henderson was involved from a citizen’s health and welfare perspective, not from a state college perspective.

 

Mayor Gibson went on to state that the City of Henderson knew of the remediation plans and activities of the BMI Company for many years but in particular since The LandWell Project began and the gift of the property for the state college was made.  The City of Henderson has employed consultants and had a highly regarded law firm with expertise in this area review the matter—resulting in a high level of comfort for the City of Henderson.

 

Chairman Perkins acknowledged that Mr. Zimmerman characterized the waste at the proposed site to be “remediation waste” not “hazardous waste” and asked him to explain the difference in those terms.

 

Mr. Zimmerman stated that under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), the law that deals with hazardous waste, there was a provision that when remediating land from a waste stream and the material was managed on-site, it is defined as remediation waste, which is a regulatory definition.  The TCLP testing that has already been conducted has placed the land in that category as well and while the materials tested have the potential to degrade water and be a problem to human and animal receptors, it does not rise to the level of what was defined by regulations as a hazardous waste stream.

 

In response to Chairman Perkins’ inquiry, Mr. Zimmerman confirmed that the NDEP was dealing with the residuals of pesticide production, chromium and lead, and the other items listed in his presentation materials, and those wastes are at levels above the levels allowed for residential development. 

 

Chairman Perkins asked how deep the millions of cubic yards of materials were that would be removed.  Mr. Zimmerman replied that the depth of land that would be removed varied across the site, but he estimated that the average depth was approximately one foot deep with certain areas as deep as ten feet.  He reminded the Committee that there would be a great deal of monitoring taking place during the excavation and they would dig until it was clean. 

 

Chairman Perkins asked whether the dirt beyond the depth of the area contaminated was then considered “clean.”  Mr. Zimmerman answered that the concentration of the contamination decreased with depth so at a certain depth the soil no longer needed to be remediated.

 

Chairman Perkins asked whether there were other sites either in Nevada or other parts of the country where similar remediation has occurred and the uses made available for residential development. 

 

In response, Mr. Zimmerman indicated there were other areas of remediation occurring similar to the land in question.  In fact, there was a national effort (The Brownfields Program) to bring sites like the BMI site back into productive uses.  The Brownfields Program is geared to returning old, industrial sites into productive land uses, rather than developing new areas or disturbing native areas.  He reminded the Committee that the BMI site was very complex because of the long history of disposal and the various waste streams that were used.

 

Chairman Perkins asked Mr. Zimmerman if he was confident, beyond any shadow of doubt, that when the remediation process was completed and the land was brought to a safe level, that the site would be safe.  Mr. Zimmerman answered that he was absolutely certain that the land would be safe once remediation was completed and he would send his kids to the site to buy houses.

 

Chairman Perkins thanked Mr. Zimmerman for his presentation.

 

4.            Overview of Major Findings of Needs Assessment

 

Dr. Jane Nichols, Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, UCCSN, stated she has been working with the Advisory Committee for approximately one year when the UCCSN agreed to provide staff support to the Committee for the needs assessment related to the creation of a new 4-year state college.

 

The needs assessment involved looking at demographic numbers for the state and the UCCSN, comparison of the higher education system in Nevada to higher education systems in other states, and public input on what the needs might be to create a new state college in Nevada.

 

Dr. Nichols said she would provide an overview of the process that was used for the needs assessment.  She informed the Committee that the information she was providing has been seen before so she would move through the information quickly in a summary format (Exhibit C).

 

The key question when the assessment process began was “Should an institution of higher education be created, and if so, what type of institution should it be?”  To answer that question, the Advisory Committee looked at the existing higher education institutions in the state and determined that if an institution were to be created it should fall under the Carnegie Classification of Baccalaureate College, primarily undergraduate.  Thereafter, the Advisory Committee looked at various campuses throughout the western states and reviewed characteristics of a campus of the future, with particular emphasis on a desire to create an institution that was state of the art and used technology wisely, would be user-friendly to students, exceed Americans with Disabilities Act standards, students would feel safe and secure, the campus would be functional in terms of services, and the campus would be environmentally correct, including landscaping. 

 

Dr. Nichols said the Committee next identified the following five factors as “drivers” to support the need for a 4-year institution in the state.

 

1.  Demand:  The demand for additional baccalaureate level capacity will continue to grow at a dramatic rate in the state.  This rate is driven by expanding population growth in the state, the Regents’ commitment to improve access to the citizens of Nevada, the Millennium Scholarships Program that will eliminate financial barriers for many students, and the continued increase in the number of students graduating from high school.  There are additional factors feeding the demand for a new college:

 

 

Next, the Advisory Committee asked what choices do we have to meet the demands identified above?

 

2.  Choices:  Currently, students interested in public higher education have two choices: 

 

 

As the state’s population continues to increase, other institutions may be necessary to meet the demands of students.  A comparison of other states with similar population was reviewed to see how those states were meeting similar needs.  That comparison revealed that states with similar populations have many more types of higher education institutions available to students.  For example, Idaho has a Research institution, Doctoral institution, a Master’s Comprehensive and a Baccalaureate institution.  Likewise, Utah has two Research institutions, one Masters and one Baccalaureate.  Whereas, Nevada has only two Research institutions.  In addition, Dr. Nichols pointed out there were no private Baccalaureate institutions in southern Nevada.  There is, however, a range of small private institutions throughout the state.  The private institutions in Nevada meet a need, but there is no full-service, private institution in southern Nevada.

 

3.            Human Capacity:            Dr. Nichols said the State of Nevada did not have an educated citizenry holding baccalaureate degrees—the higher the educational level, the greater benefits to the state.   Some may question what the need is for people with baccalaureate degrees and why new colleges need to be built in Nevada since the dominant job occupation was in the service industry, particularly gaming.  An additional question stems from the original question, “Will there be jobs for people with Baccalaureate degrees?”   Dr. Nichols affirmed that obtaining a college degree provided students with the opportunity to be involved in a variety of occupations.  The state must be focused on creating those types of jobs for our students and attracting industries to our state so our students will have many opportunities available to them upon graduation from college.

 

4.             Economic Development:  Dr. Nichols stated that economic development brings more business and industry to the state and should have a positive impact on southern Nevada, particularly the Henderson area.  A new four-year institution will increase economic development by keeping more students in the state and attracting more out-of-state students to our institutions.  Additionally, a new facility will serve to improve the educational level of Nevada’s workforce and provide the specialized training that was needed to bring more businesses to the state.

 

5.            Opportunities:  Dr. Nichols said the opportunity to create a new institution was limited.  Over the last ten years, very few new institutions of higher education were created in the United States.   However, institutions that have been created over the past 15 years appear to have certain common characteristics:

 

 

In summary, Dr. Nichols pointed out that the demand for higher education in the state, the lack of choice for Nevadans, the need for increased human capacity, and the opportunities for economic development were all factors identified through the needs assessment process by the Advisory Committee in support of a new, 4-year college.

 

Once the needs assessment for the new college was completed, the Committee examined whether a new 4-year state college in Henderson was the best choice to fill the need.  Dr. Nichols recollected for the Committee that other options included:

 

 

Dr. Nichols stated that the above options were discussed fully and included an analysis of the cost of educating students.  Based on those discussions and the many factors that were identified, the Committee recommended a new four-year state college be built in Henderson. 

 

Dr. Nichols reiterated that the recommendation for the new state college was based upon the need for access to baccalaureate degrees for southern Nevadans, the savings to the state for baccalaureate degrees granted, the availability and the need for student choice and the type of institution they attend, and the availability of private and local support for the new initiative.

 

Regent Alden said that Governor Kenny Guinn has mentioned that economic diversification was a focus for the state and in fact certain studies pertaining to economic diversification in the state were taking place at this time.

 

Dr. Nichols affirmed Regent Alden’s comment and replied that the UCCSN was partnering with the Governor and the Commission on Economic Development to sponsor a study to look at economic diversification and the relationship with higher education to support economic diversification.

 

Regent Alden requested that the Advisory Committee receive a copy of the study on economic diversification once completed.  Secondly, with companies such as Kissler Aerospace, Lockhead, etc., wanting to relocate to southern Nevada, the state needed to put more funding into master and doctorate programs in the areas of Biology, Chemistry and Engineering.  With a state college focusing on undergraduate programs, the state benefits because: 1) There is less of a burden on the two universities as far as cost and the universities can proceed to the Research I categories to meet the needs in the coming years; and 2) Provides an opportunity for the state to meet local needs, such as the teacher initiative. 

 

Dr. Nichols thanked Regent Alden for summarizing the issue so well.  Regent Alden responded that it was his opinion that Nevada State College was one of the highest priorities for the 2001 Legislature.

 

Chairman Perkins asked how many states in the country had a 3-tier system:  Community Colleges, State Colleges, and Universities.  Dr. Nichols replied that she did not know the exact number; however, only five or six states were limited to only community colleges and doctoral research universities.

 

Chairman Perkins asked why the state had not yet built a state college.  Dr. Nichols answered that it was difficult to create a new institution in higher education.  Also, the state has been responding so quickly to the growing demand in higher education that the UCCSN has been unable to develop a “master plan” for the development of new institutions.  Dr. Nichols advised the Committee that at the next Board of Regents meeting, a contract with the Rand Corporation would be under consideration, and that would assist in the development of a master plan in Nevada for higher education.  She felt certain that that contract and subsequent work would include a variety of different types of institutions.  The UCCSN has been responding quickly and the universities and community colleges in the state have done a good job at responding to changing needs.

 

Chairman Perkins asked Dr. Nichols to comment on any concerns that have been expressed about the creation of a new state college.  Dr. Nichols replied that it was difficult for people to accept that the creation of a new state college was a cost effective measure.  It would appear that the creation of a new state college was just spending more money for higher education.  That concern was voiced from the public and the campuses—that more money was being spent on higher education, and money that might be taken from existing institutions.  Whereas, when the numbers were analyzed, the creation of a new state college was a cost effective response to educating more students by creating a new way of awarding baccalaureate degrees to students at less expense to the state.    Dr. Nichols recognized that it was a “long-term view” because it would take five to six years before the new college would become cost effective. 

 

Chairman Perkins asked if there were ways that a new state college could actually benefit the other institutions within the system.  Dr. Nichols responded that she would not be able to support the concept of a new state college if she did not believe that was true.  First of all, the community colleges have approved the creation of a new state college because a state college will aid in forming a new partner with the community colleges with ease of transferring students and by creating new degree programs that higher education administration and the public has been wanting to implement for some time but the universities were unable to offer or might not be appropriate for a research institution to offer.  A state college would remove the pressure from the universities “to be all things to all people.”  The new state college will “fill in the gaps” and enable the universities to do what they do best even better and will provide a strict concentration on the mission for the new state college.

 

Chairman Perkins commented that the lack of competition or the addition of competition might drive other institutions to work harder and be more creative.  In response, Dr. Nichols stated that competition was good and the UCCSN has witnessed the benefits from competition with the private sector in that the institutions were more apt to respond to types of programs and times of classes and creative scheduling in ways that were not seen five years ago.  The UCCSN was delighted to see competition in the picture, and the new state college will compete for students with the existing institutions and maybe institutions will be required to work harder to be the institution of choice.

 

Continuing, Chairman Perkins acknowledged that Dr. Nichols summarized what the needs are in the state and what the projected enrollments will be in higher education.  However, he asked whether it was safe to include in support of the concept of a new state college that the new college would add a factor of competition to help drive excellence.  Dr. Nichols concurred.

 

Mayor Gibson asked whether it was fair to say that there would be financial consequences to the state if the decision to create a new state college was postponed.  Dr. Nichols replied that there were a variety of financial consequences for postponing the decision to move forward with a new four-year state college.  First, there would be lost opportunities and the sooner the college begins and enrollment is built, the sooner savings can be recognized by the state.  Further, the Advisory Committee has studied the issue and invested time and money toward the implementation plan.  Any delay would potentially cause the Board of Regents and the higher education industry to look at other options to address the needs that have been clearly identified in support of a new state college.  Dr. Nichols opined that a new state college was the best solution to address the needs of Nevadans and it was best to move on the concept now.

 

Chairman Perkins recollected that Dr. Nichols indicated it would take approximately five to six years for the new state college to reach top efficiency.  He noted that within that same timeframe, the Governor has projected that without any changes in the current revenue system the state may experience serious shortfalls.

 

5.            Review of the Final Report from the City of Henderson

 

Bonnie Rinaldi, Assistant City Manager, City of Henderson, said that the Committee has heard why a new state college was important to the state and she would like to mention why a state college was important to the City of Henderson.  She related that the City of Henderson felt so strongly about a new state college, that the City has invested over 2,000 hours in staff time and over $40,000 in costs for the project.

 

Ms. Rinaldi informed the Committee that approximately a year ago, the City of Henderson conducted a comprehensive survey of the citizens that dealt with a range of issues.  That survey revealed that the City of Henderson citizens’ number one priority, above crime and traffic, was education.  In addition, the survey revealed that over 50 percent of the population would be interested in returning to college.  Due to this overwhelming interest in education, the Henderson City Council adopted the priority to find a site for a new state college.  Out of seven priorities adopted by the Henderson City Council, that was the number one priority.  

 

In January 2000, City of Henderson staff realized the volume of work that needed to be completed before the budget season for the UCCSN and were able to move into contracts quickly and assist with the needs assessment and implementation plan to make the new state college concept become a reality.  Ms. Rinaldi stated the City of Henderson committed to working on the project and entered into a contract with the Advisory Committee to perform some of the work necessary to develop a plan and a budget.

 

Ms. Rinaldi indicated that much of her report was provided to and accepted by the Advisory Committee in March 2000 since the information was necessary in order to meet the budget schedule.  Ms. Rinaldi pointed out that the City’s final report was located at Tab 5 of the Meeting Packet (Exhibit C) and she would be highlighting some of the revisions.

 

In January 2000, the Henderson City Council approved a contract with the Advisory Committee to complete two things:  1)  Develop a mission statement and programs for the new state college; and 2)  Develop a campus plan.  The City of Henderson contracted to work as a team with Dr. Richard Moore, the Founding President of Nevada State College at Henderson and his staff, the UCCSN staff and a number of consultants.

 

Continuing, Ms. Rinaldi stated the first task was the development of the mission statement and development of degree programs.  That included conducting a statewide public outreach program to gather input, drafting of the mission statement, identifying program offerings and services that would be offered by the college, and identifying potential partnerships for the college.  The statewide public outreach effort was handled over several phases.  The initial phase was to conduct public forums within the higher education communities.  There were eight academic forums held during February 2000 across the state, with approximately 180 folks attending those forums.  Ms. Rinaldi stated that the forums identified concerns regarding the funding process of the new college, and concerns regarding mission development, even though at that point no mission statement had been drafted.  The public forums were held to gather input about what the needs were in the system in order to aid in the drafting of a mission statement.  One factor that repeatedly surfaced was a strong desire for easy credit transfer from the community colleges to other higher education institutions.  Ms. Rinaldi indicated that the public forums revealed a strong interest in education, health, business, technology and applied sciences as key program areas.

 

From the information derived at the public forums, Dr. Moore, the UCCSN and other consultants worked together to develop a mission statement.  The initial mission statement was presented and approved by the Advisory Committee in March 2000.  However, that mission statement was reviewed and revised by the Board of Regents and a new mission statement was approved in May 2000.

 

Highlighting the mission statement, Ms. Rinaldi stated that the revised mission statement sets forth that Nevada State College will be primarily a baccalaureate degree institution; that the faculty will emphasize exceptional teaching; that the students would be able to pursue an array of high quality educational programs leading to baccalaureate degrees and masters degrees to assist in the education of Nevada’s workforce and diversification of the state’s economy. 

 

Ms. Rinaldi stated that the first priority of Nevada State College was the preparation of quality teachers and continuing professional development for all K-12 personnel.  The second priority was to develop a special partnership with the community colleges to ensure a successful transition of community college students in pursuit of further degrees. 

 

Ms. Rinaldi went on to state that the mission statement of the Nevada State College at Henderson sets forth that the central tenets proposed for the college are 1) Excellence; 2) Equity; and  3) Time-certain degrees.   She stated that during the public forums it was noted that many students were frustrated that it often took longer than four years to complete a 4-year degree because the classes were not always offered at the times students need in order to graduate within four years. 

 

The physical environment of the state college was considered an important aspect of the new state college.  Quoting from the mission statement, Ms. Rinaldi stated:  “The state college does not underestimate the power of the physical campus on the life of the learner, the faculty, or the community.”

 

Ms. Rinaldi stated that the contract with the City of Henderson also provided for identifying degree programs. 

 

College One will be a distinguished liberal arts college with a community service component and education and public affairs.  The college will be organized to prepare students for leadership positions in education, business and government, with an emphasis on inquiry-based field experiences and full-time attendance.

 

College Two will be a community-based professional service college with a curricular emphasis on education, health services and technical degree areas.  The college will be organized to assist part-time students, or those who began their academic work at a community college. 

 

College Three will be a graduate college offering select master’s degrees in education, health and business fields with an emphasis in assisting baccalaureate recipients in gaining entry to appropriate professions.

 

Ms. Rinaldi stated the City of Henderson was charged with identifying the services that the college would offer.  The initial services of the college will include admissions, student aid, a registrar, housing program and academic and personal counseling. 

 

The contract also called for the City of Henderson to identify potential public partnerships.  Ms. Rinaldi stated approximately 30 of those partnerships were listed in the report (Exhibit C) and were categorized around educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and public sector and private sector organizations.

 

Ms. Rinaldi stated that the contract with the City of Henderson also included the development of a campus plan.  In that task, the consultants evaluated possible sites for the college and developing a campus master plan, estimating site development costs as well as the costs of first buildings and identifying which buildings would be implemented in the future.  The City of Henderson spent quite a bit of time in the evaluation of sites and approximately eight sites met the basic criteria (300-500 acres) and easy access to the campus was a must.  Several factors were used with the eight sites identified:

 

·        Local and regional accessibility

·        Land acquisition costs

·        Community linkages

·        Ease of development of the property

·        Partnership potential

·        Compatibility with existing neighborhoods

·        Socioeconomic factors

·        Availability of municipal services

·        Visual appeal

·        Environmental concerns

·        Redevelopment benefits

·        Flood control needs

 

Through the review and analysis of the above criteria, the proposed site located along Boulder Highway and Lake Mead Highway was selected as the site of the new state college.  The consultants felt that this site provided good access for the entire community and it would be included in the proposed master plan for Provenance.  That provided the opportunity for not only a college but to build an entire college community that included the necessary housing and commercial development and that provided a unique opportunity.  The development was designed with a strong environmental orientation.  There will be a number of golf courses, walking paths and trails, lots of parks and open space. 

 

Ms. Rinaldi described the Provenance master planned community by showing a map of the proposed areas and explaining that a town center was planned and would be integrated with the college as to access and architecture.  She stated that the Advisory Committee accepted the recommended site in March 2000 and the proposal has been presented to the Board of Regents as well.

 

Ms. Rinaldi said the campus master plan includes a collection of colleges oriented around a central park area with common facilities such as libraries, science buildings and other facilities to be shared by each of the colleges.  The plan also shows the concept for all future development of the college (Exhibit C).  Ms. Rinaldi explained that Phase I would be located at the intersection of Water Street and Boulder Highway and would include classroom buildings, student services and administration building, and hopefully a library.  She provided a drawing representing the proposed architectural style for the college showing a lot of open space and formal promenades.  She reiterated that the Advisory Committee accepted the campus master plan in March 2000.

 

Continuing, Ms. Rinaldi summarized the costs for Phase I.  She stated that the academic and classroom building included the site development costs.  She pointed out that the plan had relatively few site development costs because the water and sewer lines were close and that was yet another factor which led to choosing this site for the new state college.  Ms. Rinaldi stated that the budget for the academic classroom building was over $19 million.  The student services administration building had a total cost of over $16 million, and the library building would have a total project budget of over $27 million.  She informed the Advisory Committee that she was looking at a number of private donations to help defer the cost to the state for each of the buildings.  The Advisory Committee accepted these capital projections in March 2000.

 

Ms. Rinaldi advised the Committee that most of the contract provisions were fulfilled in March 2000, but there were revisions to the mission statement.  She thanked the Advisory Committee for the opportunity to be involved in the state college project.  She indicated that it has been a pleasure for the staff of the City of Henderson to work with Dr. Nichols and Dr. Moore on the project, especially on a project that was so meaningful for the people of the State of Nevada and the future of the Las Vegas valley, particularly the City of Henderson.

 

Regent Alden said the campus would likely attract not only Clark County residents but also students from elsewhere in the state or out-of-state students.  He asked whether the master plan included affordable housing for students.  Ms. Rinaldi replied that several methods of financing the construction of student housing have been considered.  In addition, the campus master plan includes a private commercial area that could be integrated with the college campus and could be designed for student housing.

 

Mayor Gibson thanked Ms. Rinaldi and all of the staff at the City of Henderson for the work product and effort given to the college project. 

 

Chairman Perkins asked for a motion to accept the final report of the City of Henderson.

 

            REGENT ALDEN MOVED TO APPROVE THE FINAL REPORT OF

            THE CITY OF HENDERSON.

 

            REGENT ROSENBERG SECONDED THE MOTION.

 

            THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY BY THOSE PRESENT.

 

6.            Review of the Mission Statement Approved by the Board of Regents

 

Dr. Jane Nichols, Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, UCCSN, stated that the mission statement has been adequately presented to the Advisory Committee and approved by the Committee in March 2000.  However, when the mission statement was presented to the Board of Regents, a few key issues were identified in consideration of the other institutions in the state.   It was important to discuss the master degree programs that would be offered at Nevada State College so changes were made within the mission statement reflecting that Nevada State College would be primarily a baccalaureate degree granting institution with select masters degrees. 

 

Dr. Nichols said the Regents also expressed concern that the mission statement for Nevada State College clearly set forth that the institution is placed between the community college and the university.  The Regents want Nevada State College to particularly develop programs for community college transfer students.  Those are the areas that have been strengthened from the March 2000 mission statement that was approved earlier.  Dr. Nichols said there was no change in the substance or intent of the mission statement, simply clarification of the above points.

 

7.            Review of the Updated Enrollment Plan

 

Dr. Richard Moore, Founding President, Nevada State College, stated as the implementation plan for Nevada State College becomes finalized, the issue of quality assurance becomes more evident.  Therefore, initial planning has been adjusted and he believes it would be most prudent in the first year of the new biennium to hire a core faculty and ask that faculty to be involved in the primary academic planning of the college, including these tasks:

 

·        Design degree programs and requirements.

·        Design of the general education requirements and how those requirements will be met.

·        Determine articulation agreements that are necessary with other institutions, and particularly secure transfer agreements from the community colleges and the universities—faculty member to faculty member.

·        Develop accreditation plan.

 

Dr. Moore said that during the second year of the biennium (Fall 2002) the Nevada State College would open for the first year of students.  For the first year, enrollment was estimated at 1,000 FTE.  Of those 1,000 FTE, he estimates that approximately 400 will be full-time, freshmen students and 600 will be part-time students.  He added that he would like to offer some of the classes directly on the campus of the community colleges, therein permitting students who are full-time workers and part-time students to attend a community college where plans and programs had already been established.

 

Regent Alden asked whether Nevada State College would be offering any classes in September 2001 or January 2002.  Dr. Moore answered that it was possible to open for classes for those two semesters but he did not believe that would be wise.  Rather, he would like to be certain that the classes offered were within a degree requirement that the faculty have thought through.    Dr. Moore said it was prudent not to have classes in the first year of the biennium year to allow faculty to make decisions and coordinate plans with the other institutions in the state for appropriate transfer of credits.

 

In response to Regent Alden, Dr. Moore stated that he anticipated that during the first year of classes in the Fall 2002, there would be 400 full-time freshmen students and 600 part-time junior students or freshmen transferring in from the community college.  Regent Rosenberg asked whether there would be sophomore students registering for the first year of classes at Nevada State College.  Dr. Moore replied that he would have to discuss that with the faculty; however, the initial academic planning group surmised that the college would open with freshmen and then each year add another class of freshmen so it would take four years to build the residential full-time student body.

 

Regent Rosenberg confirmed that during the first year of classes at Nevada State College, the college would only be accepting first-time freshmen and juniors with an AA from a community college and other students would be told that they could not attend at that time.  Dr. Moore concurred that was his plan; however, he acknowledged that his plan could be over-ruled by the faculty. 

 

Chairman Perkins said it was his understanding of the enrollment plan was that it was possible to have students prior to the Fall 2001 semester, but the more careful approach was to open for classes in the Fall 2002.  Dr. Moore stated that was correct.  In addition, he believed that having the academic plan in place for one year before classes begin was a stronger model and a more acceptable approach.  Further, Dr. Moore stressed that such a plan would also provide more resonance with sister institutions so it was not administrators negotiating with the other institutions but faculty-to-faculty dialogue.

 

Chairman Perkins thanked Dr. Moore for his enrollment update.

 

8.            Review of Available Funding

 

Chairman Perkins stated that this agenda item would not be heard since there were no significant changes to the budget from the last meeting of the Advisory Committee.

 

 

 

9.            Additional Tasks to be Completed for the Implementation Plan

 

Chairman Perkins stated that the Advisory Committee needed input from Dr. Nichols and Dr. Moore as to what the Advisory Committee should work towards in order to accomplish the remaining tasks of the implementation plan.

 

Dr. Nichols suggested that the Advisory Committee determine the contents of the final report and recommendations that is due to the Legislature on September 1, 2000.  She stated that today’s meeting was to summarize the work and activities of the Advisory Committee and the consultants and that information should be made part of the report.  However, if there was other information that needed to be supplied to the Legislature to assist the Legislature in making a decision about the implementation of Nevada State College, then the Advisory Committee should be determining what those other factors were and direct someone to supply the requested information.  In addition, the Advisory Committee may wish to review the report before it was submitted to the Legislature.

 

Dr. Nichols said as she understood the legislation (Assembly Bill 220 – 1999) the primary responsibility has been handed to the Board of Regents and she did not see anything missing in the process at this point.

 

Regent Alden said the Advisory Committee, in its report to the Legislature September 1, 2000, should highlight the following factors in support of implementing Nevada State College:

 

·        Need

·        Economic Diversification in southern Nevada

·        Cost Effective

 

He stated the above three factors needed to be abundantly clear to the Legislature, along with sufficient and easy-to- understand backup data.

 

Chairman Perkins asked Dr. Moore to comment on any items the Advisory Committee should be made aware of or needed to accomplish before the report to the Legislature was submitted.

 

Dr. Moore responded that Dr. Nichols has accurately described what will occur next—that the Board of Regents make decisions from this point.  Also, Dr. Nichols has worked very carefully to ensure that the state college was included in discussions relating to the UCCSN funding formulas and budget process so if Nevada State College was approved by the Legislature, the funding for that institution will be in place.  He informed the Advisory Committee that the Committee to Study the Funding of Higher Education would finalize recommendations for the funding of higher education at the final committee meeting on June 21, 2000.  Then the Board of Regents can look at all the operating budgets and the capital improvement requests. 

 

Dr. Moore opined that it would be to the Advisory Committee’s advantage to meet one more time after the Board of Regents’ meeting to find community and panel support for the components of the actions taken by the Board of Regents. 

 

Dr. Nichols explained that the Board of Regents’ meeting on June 22-23, 2000 will finalize the capital requests and she anticipated that the facilities for the new state college would be on that request.  The operating budget will be officially finalized during the August meeting of the Board of Regents although the priorities approved at the June board meeting will be conveyed to the Governor for the next biennium.  She stated it would be unusual for the Board of Regents to change the budget at the August meeting.  Rather, the August meeting is designed to develop the details of the budget and the June meeting identifies the priorities and approves the budget.  The Board of Regents will set the level of priority for Nevada State College.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that the Advisory Committee has been turning over much of the work from this point to the Board of Regents.  He asked whether the Advisory Committee needed to accomplish any other tasks for the Board of Regents to continue deliberations of the budget process.

 

Dr. Nichols related that many pieces were still necessary in terms of the formation of Nevada State College.  For instance, confirmation of the environmental issues was still needed and the Board of Regents has asked the UCCSN to perform an independent audit of the environmental study related to the proposed site of the new state college so the Board can show due diligence in that matter.  Dr. Nichols stated that independent audit was being conducted at this time but in light of the information presented by Doug Zimmerman at this meeting, most of the answers regarding the environmental issue have been answered.   Dr. Nichols advised the Committee that Dr. Moore was working hard to bring in private support for the new state college as this was a key ingredient to the creation of Nevada State College and tracking such private support was important to the Board of Regents.

 

As to the duties of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Nichols opined that the Committee’s continued support of the new state college was appreciated and making sure that the recommendation and report to the Legislature was on track would conclude the work of the Advisory Committee.

 

Mayor Gibson said there has been some discussion that the scope of the work of the Advisory Committee went beyond the charge of the legislation.  He clarified that the Advisory Committee has determined whether or not there was a need for a new state college and that task was completed and it was determined there is a need.  Thereafter, the Advisory Committee spent time on the implementation plan for a new state college.  He does not believe the Advisory Committee exceeded the scope assigned by the legislation.  Mayor Gibson said it would be nice to receive a report on how the implementation process was completed as the matter goes through the budget process.  He acknowledged that there has been a growing support for Nevada State College as people become aware of the college prospect.   In terms of the activities of the Board of Regents, he felt it would be a good idea to have one more presentation that formalizes the results of the efforts of the Advisory Committee.

 

Chairman Perkins said he also heard concerns that the Advisory Committee went beyond the scope of the legislation.  He asked whether the Committee or actions taken by the Board of Regents could be “undone” should the Legislature choose not to endorse the plan to implement Nevada State College.

 

Dr. Nichols stated actions taken could be concluded by June 30, 2001 because all employment contracts have been written to terminate by that date.  All commitments from presidents and vice-presidents, staff members and faculty working as consultants on the project, have a clear understanding that activities relating to Nevada State College were planning in nature and if it did not result in a new college, there was no financial or program commitment that was in place beyond June 30, 2001.

 

Dr. Moore thanked Dr. Nichols for her assistance to the Advisory Committee and to him.  He stated that Dr. Nichols served as the academic Vice President to UCCSN and provided extremely valuable information that was helpful to him in answering questions of the Advisory Committee and others.  Secondly, in her role as Interim Chancellor, Dr. Nichols has made certain that as the project leaves the hands of the Advisory Committee, Nevada State College was included in each instance during the budget process and that has been a critical step.

 

Chairman Perkins thanked Dr. Nichols and her staff, Dr. Moore and his staff, the City of Henderson and staff, the Board of Regents, and the legislative staff, who together have made the prospect of Nevada State College a successful endeavor that hopefully will bear out in the next few years.

 

10.       Set Next Meeting Date

 

Chairman Perkins said that setting the next meeting was inappropriate at this time until it was determined what actions are necessary for the Advisory Committee.

 

11.       Public Testimony

 

Lisa Mayo De Riso, private citizen, stated that she supported the concept of a new state college in Henderson.  She testified that she has four children and one on the way and all her children will be entering the college system in the State of Nevada, eventually.  She informed the Committee that she was from the State of Colorado and as a resident of that state she had many choices in terms of education.  She would like to be involved in the Nevada State College project from the citizen’s perspective.  She stated she was a business owner and in speaking with colleagues and parents, she received favorable support for the idea of providing a choice in education to the students in the state.

 

From a parents’ standpoint, Mrs. Mayo De Riso said it was important to provide children with a choice in where to go to college.  From a business owner’s perspective, Mrs. Mayo De Riso stated she supported Nevada State College because she is a strong proponent of diversification in the economy.  While she would like her children to attend college and thereafter work where she is close, she does not necessarily want them to have to work in the service industry.  If the state had an educated workforce, more diversification of businesses would be attracted to locate in our state.  Mrs. Mayo De Riso reiterated that she would be like to be involved in the process of supporting the college even if that meant going to the Legislature and speaking in support of the concept.   She concluded that there could never be enough education within a community because more education results in a better and stronger community.  She thanked the Committee for their hard work.

 

Chairman Perkins thanked Mrs. Mayo De Riso for her testimony and said when the legislative process began, she could contact him or her legislative representative so she was noticed of all the meetings pertinent to Nevada State College.

 

Melody Wilcox, private citizen, said she was a parent of four children with her oldest child just graduating from high school in June 2000.  In addition, she is a member of a statewide citizens committee organized to support quality higher education.  Mrs. Wilcox concurred with Regent Alden’s earlier comments regarding diversification in the economy.  She stated that she read in the newspaper that Microsoft was considering locating in southern Nevada but declined because the company did not believe that Nevada had an educated workforce to meet the job requirements.  That was a missed opportunity for the state. 

 

Mrs. Wilcox said she supported a new state college and she supported diversification of the economy.  She stated she was from Utah originally, but has been in southern Nevada for 16 years and she loves living in Nevada.  Mrs. Wilcox said she has a daughter who will graduate in 2003 and she hopes she can attend Nevada State College at Henderson.  She thanked the Advisory Committee for their time and action on the new state college and offered her assistance during the legislative process.

 

Regent Alden said he was well aware of the work Mrs. Wilcox has done in the area of education over the years in the community and thanked Mrs. Wilcox for that work.  He indicated that the Committee appreciated her support before them now and any support she can provide during the 2001 Legislative Session.


 

12.            Adjournment

 

There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

 

 

                                                            _____________________________________

                                                            Joi Davis, Committee Secretary

 

 

 

 

______________________________________

Assemblyman Richard D. Perkins, Chairman

 

Date:  __________________________, 2000.