Impact Nevada: Nevadans Support Cutting Higher Education - 8 News NOW

Impact Nevada: Nevadans Support Cutting Higher Education

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevadans seem to have little sympathy for higher education and colleges. At least, that's the finding of the latest Impact Nevada poll. People polled feel universities should trim budgets.

Colleges have certain stereotypes. There are loud football games, protests about everything and an ivory tower outlook. Dr. Cecilia Maldonado with UNLV's faculty senate says that last part has to change.

"It's troublesome but it's not unusual. But the false opinion is still alive and well," said Dr. Cecilia Maldonado, UNLV.

Read all the poll results

When polled, only a handful of Nevada residents would accept new taxes to help college salaries. More than 40 percent say slash them. Maldonado says the cliche of the rich, aloof professor simply isn't true.

"They think we teach one or two classes a semester and that we've got the easy life. I can tell you I work 50, 60 hours a week," said Dr. Maldonado.

Some staff and faculty have agreed to more furloughs and pay cuts. But entire programs are under scrutiny. Maldonado's workforce training department may be folded into arts and sciences. Nevadans agree that may be the way to go. Smaller enrollment programs get little love. More than half of people would say reduce funding for them and raising tuition on just those programs could make up the difference. Almost a quarter say cut them altogether. Maldonado says UNLV and the city need well-rounded education.

"We do have to diversify. In order to attract new businesses, we have to educate."

Also there is little tolerance in the poll for duplicate programs at ULNV and UNR in Reno. More people say get rid of the redundant programs at one campus. Another 42 percent want students to choose one school or the other. But Maldonado cautions all the belt tightening could come at the worst time. Low skill jobs are disappearing and better access to cheap education may be the way to help.

"We're feeling the brunt of that now, especially in this town, where those that don't have the education are having trouble."

She just wants Nevadans to care as much as she does.

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