28 Apr John Patrick Rice
John Patrick Rice
Board of Regents, District 8
Campaign Contact Phone: 775-934-1570
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
As a professional in higher education for nearly 30 years, I am eager to bring my experience to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. Having worked as a professor, administrator and leader in higher ed, I have unique skills and perspectives that will enhance the education of Nevada’s college students. The future of Nevada’s workforce, professional education and research needs to be stewarded by professionals committed to guiding the Nevada System of Higher Education into the second quarter of the 21st Century.
What do you believe is the number one issue that Nevada’s System of Higher Education is facing?
Professionalizing the Board of Regents is the number one issue facing the Nevada System of Higher Education. Nevada needs professionals in higher education and higher education policy to lead the Board of Regents. The Board has been distracting itself from its purpose for far too long. New Board members like me will help to focus the business of the Nevada System of Higher Education on the right objective: students.
What is your position on removing the Board of Regents from the Nevada Constitution? Do you support or oppose this and please explain why?
I voted in favor of Question #1. However, I am not convinced simply removing the Board of Regents from the Constitution will cure what ails NSHE. The solution lies somewhere between where we are now and the provisions of Question #1. Bringing higher education professionals to the board will help to guide it in a direction that makes NSHE more effective. The Board of Regents needs to focus on broad, enabling policy and remove itself from micromanagement.
Should Nevadans have more power to hold the Board of Regents accountable? Do you support more transparency and accountability for the public to have over the Board of Regents?
Nevadans already have the power to hold the Board of Regents accountable through their vote. The Board operates via government systems which require transparency and accountability. If constituents see their elected officials are not being transparent or accountable, there are many ways to hold elected officials accountable when they are in office. The Board of Regents is a down-ballot race. The more voters know about Regent candidates, the easier it is to hold them accountable.
How will you decrease government waste and public corruption by the Board of Regents?
Once again, having Higher Education Professionals and Policy Makers on the board, who understand the complicated budgeting and funding processes of higher education, will help NSHE to use its precious resources responsibly and effectively. I have worked on the revenue side of higher education as an Advancement Officer and know how to leverage public and private dollars effectively. In regards to corruption on the BOR, I am aware of the recent possible violations of ethical standards by members of the board. A Professional board would know better than to put itself in the position the board now finds itself.
Please describe the role of the Board of Regents.
The Board of Regents is a Policy Making Board with oversight of the Nevada System of Higher Education. A Regent is responsible for enabling the the success of NSHE's eight institutions through policies providing equitable opportunities for students at all NSHE institutions. A Regent has fiduciary responsibility, with stewardship of billions of dollars of public tax dollars. A Regent provides professional oversight of NSHE's executive officers, assuring the advancement of higher education across the state.
NSHE has had 6 chancellors in 6 years. Do you support the current Chancellor’s contract so that there is consistent leadership over Nevada’s higher education system?
I supported the contract of Chancellor Rose. I was saddened when she decided to resign.
How would you continue the Board of Regents’ study of discrimination and implementation of diversity and inclusion trainings to deter sexual harassment and discrimination?
NSHE's Diversity and Inclusion initiatives are good. Former Chancellor Rose was a champion of that initiative. I am familiar with many of the professionals working in that area of NSHE, and am impressed with their work. However, we must continue work in this regard. We do well with policies and training regarding equity and safety in the workplace. However, we are not necessarily transforming our communities. We need to continue with this conversation. It will be a long and difficult one, but I believe we are making progress.
Should separate funding formulas be created for the non-university institutions?
Funding formulas need to be examined. Smaller institutions struggle under the current formula, making it difficult to provide student support in many areas, especially among under-served student populations. Whether or not that means a separate formula for each can be discussed. The current formula is insufficient for meeting NSHE's needs.
Should non-universities have their own governing boards?
No. Nevada does not have the population or the tax base for this.
What are your plans to remedy the regional disparity in lab and research space that hinders UNLV from fulfilling its research mission?
How would you improve workforce development programs at the state and community colleges?
As a rural Nevadan, I have my own view of "regional disparity" in higher ed in the state of Nevada. When we look at expanding lab and research space at UNLV, I want to know how that expansion can benefit CSN and Nevada State in Clark County, and GBC's campus in Pahrump. When we tackle huge regional capital "disparities", we need to think about the entire SYSTEM of Higher Education in Nevada. Lifting UNLV's research mission can also have a positive impact on the other institutions in the community.
Do you think that GBC should be elevated to a full four-year institution (NSHE considers it a two-year institution even though it grants 14 different BA or BS degrees)?
"Right-sizing" is another way of looking at transforming the governing operations of NSHE. The size of the board is just one of the issues needing discussion. It is unwieldy and inefficient. This conversation is one that can be had when the Board of Regents has more higher education professionals on board. Together, we can design a more effective governing structure.
How would you “right-size” system-level administration and ensure greater accountability and responsiveness of system-level personnel?
Our community colleges already provide terrific programs for workforce development. Creating more collaborative efforts with union apprenticeship programs is another pathway. In rural Nevada, where mining is drives the economy, we not only need to be looking at workforce development, we need to be looking at all of ancillary programs like health care, K-12 education and Early Childhood. In rural Nevada, we need to be preparing the workforce that supports the work force and their families in the community.