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Proposal to rename CSN campuses clears another hurdle

A proposal to rename the three campuses of the College of Southern Nevada was approved Tuesday by an advisory panel of local community leaders, clearing its last hurdle before heading to state education officials for their consideration.

Tuesday’s 15-1 decision by CSN’s Institutional Advisory Council advances a plan to allot as much as $119,000 from CSN’s maintenance and operations budget to modify seven signs at each of the school’s three campuses to include location information, such as city and street. The proposal was first approved by a subcommittee of the advisory board on July 21.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us to be proud of where we’re located,” said panel member Jose Solorio, who also heads a political advocacy group dubbed the Political Advancement of Latinos Organization.

The vote is a victory for North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, who launched an aggressive campaign two years ago to bolster his city’s influence over the school. Attaching North Las Vegas’ name to CSN has been key in his plans.

“The community college is a great asset to the city of North Las Vegas,” Lee said after last month’s meeting. “We’re proud of it.”

The panel’s lone dissenter was Las Vegas-based publicist Shari Wong, who raised concerns about the way the cost of the project was presented in the group’s written proposal, which only listed costs for changing individual signs that ranged between $13,000 and $17,000.

The board’s recommendations will now be considered by a six-member committee of Nevada’s Board of Regents. The plan could raise policy questions about the influence that municipalities have over higher education institutions, said advisory council Chairwoman Nancy Brune, who also serves as executive director for the Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities, a Las Vegas-based think tank. Brune said state officials will likely discuss whether local boards should govern community colleges in Nevada.

The Board of Regents’ community college committee will discuss the plan on Wednesday.

“Let’s look at this issue, but let’s also think about higher (education) policy,” Brune said. “At the end of the day, we’re focused solely on this specific task, but some unanswered questions remain.”

Contact Ana Ley at aley@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5512. Find her on Twitter @la__ley

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