A former regent, a 20-year employee of the state higher education system and a high school teacher will face the incumbent in the race for the Board of Regents in District 12.
Andrea Anderson was appointed to the seat in 2009, then won election to the seat in 2010. She will face Lonnie Hammargren, who served a term as a regent and a term as lieutenant governor in the 1990s; Susan Bunyan, who will retire from the Nevada System of Higher Education next month; and Laura Denue, who teaches media studies at Desert Pines High School.
Anderson is a former member of the City Council in Boulder City and is a retired administrator at the College of Southern Nevada. She has a doctorate in education from UNLV.
Anderson said she wants to remain a regent because she believes the bad times for higher education in Nevada are over. Her entire time on the board has been during the recession.
"All we've done is cut, cut, cut," she said. "We've finally gotten to a place where we don't have to look at cuts."
She said the board's highest priority should be restoring and boosting student services, such as adding counselors, financial aid and more classes.
A close second should be restoring pay and health benefits that faculty lost to state budget cuts.
Hammargren is a retired neurosurgeon known for his eccentric house as well as his political career.
He was a regent from 1988 to 1994, then followed that with four years as the lieutenant governor. He said he is running to join the Board of Regents again because the system isn't working.
He said the system's institutions should be funded based in part on graduation rates and that they should be allowed to keep the tuition and fees collected on campus.
The system's chancellor has backed such a proposal.
Hammargren also said the system should seek more private investment in education.
"There is just not going to be any more state money for higher education," he said.
He said local government should help support the state's community colleges.
Bunyan will retire from the Nevada System for Higher Education on June 30. She has been an employee for 20 years, most recently in customer service within the computing department.
Bunyan said she has been to many Board of Regents meetings and she understands how the system works.
She is running because she has a passion for education.
"I know the system and I'm a real advocate for education," said Bunyan, who has a master's degree in liberal studies from UNLV.
She said a top priority will be marketing the state's higher education choices more effectively. She said she also thinks the system should work more closely with local school districts so that "students coming out of high school are ready."
She favors local funding of community colleges and wants to work closely with legislators to make access to college easier.
Laura Denue said she became interested in education as her five children grew. Two years ago, she became a teacher at Desert Pines High School's magnet program, after going back to college and getting a master's degree from Sierra Nevada College.
"There are a lot of things in higher education that need a fresh person to look at them," she said.
She said she believes college curriculum should be looked at and perhaps updated to reflect the job market.
She said a top priority would be making college more affordable, noting the budget cuts and frequent tuition increases that have happened in recent years.
"Our state has a lot of ways of funding education that haven't been looked at," she said.
Particularly, she said she favors a lottery to benefit education and tax increases on the mining and gaming industries.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0307.