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EDITORIAL: For Board of Regents

The Review-Journal editorial board offers the following endorsements in this fall’s elections for the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

Regents set policies for the state’s public colleges and universities, appoint the system’s chancellor and appoint campus presidents.

In District 2, incumbent Robert Blakely is seeking re-election against Trevor Hayes. Mr. Blakely, a former mining industry and Nevada Test Site employee who has worked as an insurance salesman and cabdriver in recent years, hasn’t done much to distinguish himself on the 13-member board during his nearly six years in office. Mr. Hayes, a former Review-Journal reporter turned attorney who has worked as a legislative lobbyist, is passionate about higher education. He wants to lift the academics and profiles of all Nevada institutions, he supports the creation of a medical school at UNLV, and Mr. Hayes will give the board badly needed leadership on First Amendment issues. “Campuses are supposed to be marketplaces of ideas. The First Amendment does not provide you with a right to not be offended,” he said. The Review-Journal endorses Trevor Hayes for Board of Regents District 2.

In District 3, incumbent Kevin Page is seeking re-election against Tom Hurst. Mr. Page, who works in the financial sector, has pushed hard for reforms to the system’s funding formula, which has long forced Southern Nevada institutions to subsidize the rest of the state at the region’s expense. He’s committed to finding a dynamic innovator to become UNLV’s next permanent president. We appreciate Mr. Hurst’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and legitimate concerns about administrative bloat within the system. But it’s vitally important that Southern Nevadans elect leaders to the board, not bomb throwers, so regional inequities can be eliminated once and for all. The Review-Journal endorses Kevin Page for Board of Regents District 3.

In District 5, Sam Lieberman faces Nick Spirtos in the race to replace Jack Schofield, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits. Mr. Lieberman, former chairman of the Nevada State Democratic Party, has been active in higher education and the nonprofit sector for years and works for a printing business. He wants system resources to support more and better student services, as well as teaching and research faculty. Dr. Spirtos, a gynecologic oncologist, supports the creation of a medical school at UNLV. We like Mr. Lieberman’s experience with the UNLV Foundation and Alumni Association, his service on system professional search committees and his commitment to accessibility to students and constituents. The Review-Journal endorses Sam Lieberman for Board of Regents District 5.

▶ ON THE WEB: For an up-to-date list of the Review-Journal editorial board’s 2014 election endorsements, go to www.reviewjournal.com/endorsements. A complete list of candidate endorsements will be published Oct. 17 and Nov. 2.

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