University Chancellor Dan Klaich has been whining about budget cuts incessantly throughout this entire legislative session. If you listen to him – but why would you? – there just isn’t a dime to spare in the university budget. Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is bare. You can’t get blood from a stone.
But a funny thing happened last week on the way to the poor house.
According to Las Vegas Sun reporter David Schwartz, during a committee hearing on the budget last Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D-Bad Teachers) announced that the university system would have to “raise fees 13 percent in the first year (of the biennium), but not in the second, as the system had planned.”
Why? Because – get this – Dan Klaich told Horsford at the hearing that he somehow found – viola! – an additional $22 million in cost savings and cuts in the university system so that campus fees wouldn’t have to be raised in the second year.
“You just found $22 million in one minute?” an astonished Sen. Ben Kieckhefer (R-Reno) asked.
That’s right. Despite hyper-hyperbole to the contrary, Dan Klaich just pulled $22 million out of his wazoo the way Harry Houdini pulled rabbits out of his hat. The notion that there’s nothing left to cut and that Gov. Sandoval’s proposed budget would be “devastating” and destroy higher education as we know it in Nevada is just a flat-out lie.