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Assistant dean named for WNCC

by Joyce Hollister

Mike Hardie, department chair for math for Western Nevada Community College, is expected to take on the duties of the assistant dean for the WNCC Douglas County campus in October.

Hardie would work under the direction of Bus Scharmann, dean of the WNCC Fallon campus and extended programs. Scharmann has been dean of WNCC Douglas since it opened in 1997 and before that was involved in the development of the campus.

Scharmann said the position of assistant dean is the first and only one for the college.

“It will be good for the Douglas campus to have a manager here,” he said.

Hardie, a math instructor at WNCC Douglas, is expected to teach his full load of 14 credits and take care of administrative responsibilities until the spring semester, when his teaching load would drop to nine credits.

His duties would include handling day-to-day management and scheduling, according to Scharmann.

Various other administrative changes are taking place at the college under the direction of the new president, Dr. Carol Lucey.

In addition, Scharmann said, the college administration is exploring the possibility of offering several bachelor’s degree programs in Douglas, geared toward industry in the area.

The dean spoke to members of the Douglas County Academic Advisory Committee on Wednesday. The group meets quarterly to advise the college administration on the educational needs of the community.

In the next month, Scharmann said, college administrators will begin the development of a 10-year master plan for college-wide facilities and programs. He asked for input from the group.

Penny Nicely, a Bently employee and part-time college instructor, said that though the Douglas campus has nice lab facilities, it already needs more regular classroom space.

Teaching a lecture class in a lab is difficult, she explained.

Potential programs to be instituted at WNCC Douglas are pre-engineering technology, allied health programs and hospitality management/culinary arts.

These subjects would serve the employer needs of three area industries, high technology, such as Bently Nevada Corp.; health care at the two major medical facilities in the Valley; and hospitality management-culinary arts skills needed by employees at casinos in the Valley and at the Lake.

The need for continuing education credits for professionals such as teachers and nurses has been voiced in the community, according to several members of the committee.

The proposed 30,000-square-foot high technology center, similar to that which opened in Carson City this year, is being studied, thanks to a $75,000 grant from the Nevada Legislature. The state Public Works Board will follow up with recommendations for high-tech centers in Douglas and Lyon counties.

Depending on what the study finds, a high-tech center in Douglas could be approved by the Legislature either in 2001 or 2003, Scharmann said.

The center would serve high school students in the areas of computers, high level math and science – making it a “magnet” school, said Pendery Clark, Douglas County superintendent of schools.

In the late afternoon and evening, college students would use the facility. In both cases, the high-tech center would relieve crowding in the existing high school and college buildings.

Though enrollment has seemed to level off at the Douglas County campus, most classes are filled.

Administrative aide Gail Deck said that in the evenings, the parking lot is so crowded that people have to park a long way away from the building and walk some distance to class.