Western Nevada College president steps down

Western Nevada College President Carol Lucey on Wednesday announced she is stepping down from her post immediately, according to a message she sent to the college community.

Lucey in July said she would step down from her position at the Carson City campus once a national search had been conducted and a replacement had been named. In her Wednesday message, she says she had hoped to depart from the school between January 2014 and the end of the spring semester.

However, the presidential search has not yet begun.

“For many reasons, I have decided to step down immediately,” she said in her message.

Lucey’s initial decision to resign was spurred by budget woes.

The college has been hit hard by budget cuts in recent years, including the loss of resources under the new higher education funding formula approved by the 2013 Legislature that shifted more money to Southern Nevada campuses.

In September, Lucey’s budget proposal was criticized by members of the state’s Board of Regents and was asked to bring back a different proposal during a special meeting this month.

Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich said he’s developing a real appreciation for how difficult the jobs of people like Lucey are on a day-by-day basis.

“For a president to govern at the high level of performance for as long as she has, is extremely difficult,” Klaich said. “I think that the last five years have been extremely difficult on everyone in the state of Nevada and higher education, and extremely more difficult at our small colleges because they have faced very challenging cuts.”

Chet Burton, vice president for finance and administrative services at WNC, will become the executive officer in charge until an acting president is named.

Klaich said on Nov. 1, he will be at WNC, hearing from the community on what they want to see in the next leader and what they want to see at the college as well.

“After that, we’ll be able to then make recommendations to the board on things like an acting president,” he said.

Lucey had been president of the college for 14 years.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (702) 383-0440, or yamaro@reviewjournal.com.

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