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Regents’ budget finally reflects reality

To the editor:

I read with interest your editorial blasting the Board of Regents for what you claim is its unrealistic position regarding the state budget (“Regents in fantasyland,” Aug. 12). Let me say that for the first time in the nearly 30 years I have been observing the regents’ actions, they are finally being realistic about the budget.

For years the regents have bought Dorothy Gallagher’s point of view that they shouldn’t ask for money they don’t expect to get. That perspective has trickled down to the institutional level, so that university/college administrations tried to shape their budgets in terms of what they thought they might get from the state. As a result, the institutions have rarely been realistically funded in terms of what it takes to build the kinds of universities and colleges that can truly benefit their constituencies while also establishing first-rate reputations for the state.

A case in point: the famous “funding formula” that some administrators expected to put financial problems behind them. This formula, apparently based on some kind of average expenditure by comparable institutions, was supposed to reflect real need — but then they all agreed to fund only 85 percent of it! So much for realism. Along comes a revenue shortage, and even the 85 percent takes a hit.

To be sure, times are tight and demand for the declining state income is not limited to higher education, but I give Chancellor Jim Rogers and the regents credit for finally telling it like it is and pointing out what it will take to build and maintain quality institutions, even knowing the likelihood that cuts will be required. That’s what I call being realistic.

Barbara Cloud

LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER IS A JOURNALISM PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT UNLV.

Time to negotiate

To the editor:

In response to coverage of the state’s budget problems: Maybe our time would be better spent getting financial aid for our education system from the federal government in exchange for accepting the Yucca Mountain Project. We already transport hazardous waste on our streets.

How many people know we have had hazardous waste disposal for 30-plus years in Beatty?

Jimmy Green

LAS VEGAS

Bring image back

To the editor:

I am very disappointed in the cancellation of the image fashion section on Fridays. The style pages in the back of the Neon Thursday section for the past three weeks have been unfulfilling, to say the least.

Being part of a retail organization and family, I felt the image section was a support system and shot in the arm to our community of retail establishments. According to the latest polls from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, shopping and dining now surpass gaming as the top draws to Las Vegas.

With our increasing population, in addition to our new urban thrust, this major city needs and can truly support a fashion section. All major cities delight in this chic and entertaining read. We can get hard news on any number of TV stations sooner than the newspaper can report. Increasing readership doesn’t mean getting rid of your community news, such as the Living section and image. Poll your readers who have supported the Review-Journal for years. That is what we were reading.

For years, retail ads have funded the hard news. It was wonderful to finally get some editorial mention, or a fashion feature about the latest crazy trend hitting the retail world. What’s in this year and what’s out is very important!

As a reader and subscriber for more than 20 years, I thought it was a cultural milestone that the image section was born. Please give us our image back.

Craig Dickson

LAS VEGAS

President Biden?

To the editor:

Sen. Barack Obama, the man of change who is going to break the hold of lobbyists in Washington, who is going to do business differently, who is going to reach across the aisle, has selected Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate.

Sen. Biden, a 30-year politician, is one of the most in-your-face, outspoken, confrontational, opinionated people in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Obama said he wanted someone who was not a “yes man.” He wanted to be told if he was making a mistake in his decision making. Folks, he has found that person. Not only will Sen. Biden tell Sen. Obama when he is wrong, unless it is his idea, Sen. Biden will never agree with anything Sen. Obama puts forth. Why? Sen. Biden made it perfectly clear during the nomination cycle that Sen. Obama is not qualified to be president, but he is.

Cocktails, anyone?

Louis Frederick

NORTH LAS VEGAS

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