The state’s higher education board on Friday approved a pair of contentious proposals that affect the way employees at Nevada’s colleges are fired and transferred between schools.
One proposal gives the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education the authority to transfer administrators between NSHE colleges without their consent. The chancellor must first explain why he or she is making the transfer to the affected employee and the presidents of the colleges affected — one of several conditions added to the initial policy after faculty and staff decried the proposal during the board’s most recent regular meeting in December.
“I worry about leaving it out there as a blanket statement that it’s OK for the chancellor to be involved in this way all the time,” said Regent Sam Lieberman, one of two board members who rejected the proposal. Regent Mark Doubrava cast the second dissenting vote.
Regent Trevor Hayes said he was puzzled by criticism against the policy, which he said goes “above and beyond” to ensure employees don’t lose their jobs in the event of position transfers.
“The alternative to this is we just tell someone that a position is eliminated and there will be a new position posted at the other campus,” Hayes said. “This seems like the fairest, best way for us to go out of our way to be loyal to our current employees.”
The second proposal, passed unanimously by the board, shortens the notification time given to administrative employees facing termination. Under the state’s existing policy, administrative professionals who are fired must be given up to one year’s notice. The new rule allows officials to fire those employees with a notice of two to six months.
The policy passed Friday was a revised version that resulted from a flurry of criticism against NSHE’s initial proposal: to shorten the termination period to as little as one month for first-year employees.
“To build cohesiveness and to have people want to come to the university, there obviously has to be some stability,” Kathy Lauckner, a program coordinator at UNLV’s School of Environmental and Public Affairs. “I wish that you would oppose this rule because it does nothing to build the cohesiveness of our university.”
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