To the Editor,

I would like to preface this letter by stating that the views expressed are that of my standing as a UNLV undergraduate student and not as my position as Undergraduate Student Body President or as a representative of UNLV’s undergraduate student government.

As the hot days of July unfold and the summer months continue to roll forward, it is easy to forget the very contentious and difficult budget discussions that gripped the UNLV campus and all of Nevada’s higher education institutions for the better part of the last 16 months. As this past winter transpired, UNLV was facing a budgetary crisis which would have dealt it a cut of $11 million dollars more than our counterparts at UNR. That $11 million dollar figure translates into critical academic programs, faculty and staff positions that would have most certainly faced the chopping block had one individual not felt compelled to stand up and advocate for fairness. That individual was former UNLV President David Ashley.

Dr. Ashley should hold his head high in knowing he had the conviction to advocate for fairness as it related to UNLV’s portion of the states’ budget cuts. Through careful, deliberate and measured leadership, President Ashley was successful in lobbying Nevada’s lawmakers to include millions of dollars in “Stop Loss” funding for UNLV so that the students, faculty and staff of this great institution were not subjected to a level of sacrifice and loss disproportionately greater than their colleagues at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Dr. Ashley’s lobbying efforts as it related to UNLV’s share of funding has without question saved the careers, economic security and educational prospects of countless individuals, individuals who are part of the UNLV family. It was argued during Fridays’ Board of Regents Meeting that Dr. Ashley splintered NSHE’s unified front when he lobbied for UNLV to receive “Stop Loss” funding, yet was unity the proper goal to maintain if this university was to be hit with a clearly disproportionate and inequitable budget cut?

Whatever your thoughts and feelings are regarding Dr. Ashley’s removal from his position as President, please take time to reflect upon how much worse the budgetary devastation would have been to UNLV had he not felt the strength to challenge what was most assuredly a raw deal for UNLV’s constituents. In this particular instance, one can view Dr. Ashley’s actions as that of insubordination or that of doing what he felt was right for his university, if you view it in the latter; thank Dr. Ashley for his dedicated efforts in this area and pray that the next UNLV President will have that same strength of spirit when a future budget crisis occurs.


NOTE: Letters to the editor run unedited.

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