As a regent, I've led the successful fights to save all our community college campuses and Cooperative Extension. These battles will continue as legislators adopt a new higher education funding formula next year, so my expertise gained as twice Regents' budget chairman is needed more than ever.
I opposed the recent 8 percent fee (tuition) hikes and will oppose future increases. As a legislator in 2003, I helped stop the infamous proposed Gross Receipts Tax. We don't need tuition/fee hikes or tax increases; we need fairer allocation in the state budget and better cost management in all public spending.
I'll continue to lead in another area essential to saving small-town and rural higher education and realizing cost savings throughout higher education. That is the new instruction and delivery modes and business models, including distance education; open-source on-line learning platforms; massive on-line open courses; sharing courses, content and instruction with other colleges; student-paced learning; etc.
We need to aggressively embrace these ideas, because our public, private, for-profit and non-profit competitors already are doing so. If we don't embrace them, competitors will steal our student bodies and thereby drain our revenue streams and institutional futures.
In seven elections, I have never "gone negative" by attacking any of my opponents. However, my current opponent has launched a vicious TV and newspaper "hit piece" against me. Although space limits preclude a full rebuttal, the charges she raises are false in their essence.
According to the Secretary of State, 68 percent of her campaign has been funded by Jim Rogers, the Las Vegas super-wealthy left-wing TV station owner whose incompetence and disingenuousness I criticized when he did an awful job as then-chancellor for higher education.
It should not be surprising that she would carry water for such a predatory special interest, given her record in a previous appointed state position. She brags about being vice-chair of a state board for a number of years.
However, she neglects to tell you that on her watch that body's staff members paid themselves hugely in excess of allowed state pay limits, leading to a major scandal. That's the kind of "leadership" she wants to bring to higher education?
I seek your vote to continue my good stewardship.