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Nevada Higher Ed Leadership Questioned

AP/Cathleen Allison

Dan Klaich Chancellor of Nevada System of Higher Education Nevada's University Chancellor testifies before a joint education committee on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. 


The 2015 legislative session was a big one for education with some $1.2 billion earmarked for public schools.

And in June, the governor also signed a bill securing $27 million for the UNLV Medical School.

But as the state looks to diversify and create new industry through education, questions have arisen about the leadership of higher education in Nevada.

Bethany Barnes is a writer with the Las Vegas Review-Journal who has covered education and the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Barnes' latest story covers the leadership style of NSHE's chancellor Dan Klaich.

The questions really started when Klaich was accused of plagiarism, Barnes said. 

Last year, Klaich was accused of taking large parts of a report he presented to the Legislature from a Brookings Institute West draft report. 

However, questions became louder after a report from an outside consultant criticized how the system was being run and Klaich's leadership.

The report was commissioned by NSHE but the department did not like the report. Emails obtained by Barnes showed concern that the report would be used against the leadership. 

The emails show Klaich demanded a rewrite of the report, and it ultimately wasn't even presented to lawmakers. 

Now, the chairman of the Nevada Board of Regents has hired a consultant to look into Klaich's handling for the consultant report, according to Barnes.

She said the whole episode has people asking, "what is his character?" while others are repeating that "the chancellor's integrity is beyond reproach."

"He's a leader and leaders of all types are going to make unpopular decisions." Barnes said. "They wouldn't be good leaders if they didn't do that."

She said it is not just about decision making but about whether Klaich is squelching differing opinions and ideas. And whether his leadership style is too out of the norm. 

Bethany Barnes, writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.