October 16, 2023


NFA calls on NSHE to correct serious deficiencies in handling discrimination complaints

Title IX graphic

Recent headlines have called attention to multiple lawsuits pending or heading to appeal against UNR for their handling of discrimination complaints. Following up on a letter that was sent to Regents in December 2022, the NFA State Board sent a second letter this week citing what appears to be escalating numbers of complaints for infractions ranging from gender discrimination to sexual harassment, abuse and retaliation.  

These lawsuits describe institutions with broken systems which allow interference that influences an outcome to the detriment of the complainant. Such actions not only enable prohibited behavior, they also dissuade victims from seeking lawful protections. NFA urges anyone who has experienced or witnessed discrimination or abuse to seek immediate guidance through your campus NFA chapter. Until these deficiencies are adequately addressed, we feel obligated to advise our colleagues to bypass the Title IX process at their institutions, and report misconduct directly to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

To learn more about the recent lawsuits and NFA's message to the Regents and Chancellor, read NSHE inequities and misplaced protection >>


FY25 COLA remains NFA's top priority

Members of NSHE's recently formed Committee to Recommend Board Action on FY 2025 Salary Increases will provide a status update on their work at the October 20 special meeting of the Board of Regents. As members of this committee deliberate options for the funding and size of a cost of living adjustment for academic and administrative faculty, NFA continues to advocate for the full 11% adjustment that our classified colleagues and all other state employees will receive on July 1, 2024. We anticipate the committee will submit their final recommendation to the Board by early November in order for it to be considered for approval at the quarterly Board meeting in Las Vegas on November 30 and December 1. The NFA State Board is reaching out to the committee to share ideas of how the full COLA can be funded. 

Although presidents at some campuses have publicly voiced support for an 11% adjustment, others continue to resist that option. Messaging by administrators on those campuses claim the full adjustment will require budget cuts, hiring freezes, and possibly, layoffs. Ironically, some of the most strenuous resistance is coming from campuses who received the largest increases in state allocated budget funding from the 2023 Nevada Legislature.

It is precisely for these reasons that all of us must stand ready to show up in volume and voice our opinions in public comment when the Regents take up the issue for a vote. 

When hundreds of faculty sent emails and over 60 spoke out during the Public Comment portion of the June 30 special Board meeting, Regents acknowledged our concerns and approved 12% COLA for FY24. It will take a similar effort on our part to secure the full 11% for FY25. Watch for updates from NFA and please join us when the time comes to speak out.

Learn more about the NFA's analysis that justifies the full COLA and how you can help our efforts in The Compensation Gap part 2 >>

Board of Regents set to revise policies for salary schedules

NFA President Jim New speaking at September 28 Board of Regents meeting

NFA President Jim New speaking at the September 28 Board of Regents meeting

At the September 28 special meeting of the Nevada Board of Regents, a majority of Regents voiced their support for a policy change that would require the full Board to vote on all future changes of NSHE salary schedules. The discussion occurred as Regents were reviewing proposed revisions to Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 5.5 of the Handbook which governs the salary schedules and describes the process for adjusting them. The proposal asks the Regents to decide if future changes will require a vote by the Board, or if they will be presented as an information item and enacted by the Chancellor.

During the public comment period, NFA President Jim New spoke in support of the proposal’s Option A which requires the vote. In reality either option is an improvement over the current practice that allows the Chancellor to make the final decision and inform the Board by memo. Currently, no public disclosure is required.

That’s what happened in July 2022, when NSHE informed the Board by memo that they were enacting recommendations from a consultant who had just concluded a study of our salary schedules as compared to other institutions and systems across the country. The memo did not include the consultant’s report, nor did it disclose the study’s methodology.

Community college faculty schedules omitted 

In his comments, New pointed out that because the recommendations in the memo were not discussed in a public forum, no one seemed to notice that the salary schedule for community college faculty had been omitted from any adjustments; a situation that he called surprising since those schedules had not been changed since they were adopted in 2013. He called on the Board to commission a new study to correct this oversight. Several Regents acknowledged the omission and voiced support for correcting it.

Recently, the Board of Regents added a special meeting to their schedule for November 1. Although the agenda won't be posted for several days, it is likely the meeting's purpose will be for the Board to vote on the Title 2 proposal before taking up the stickier issue of COLA for FY25.

Besides the provisions requiring changes to be presented during a public Board of Regent's meeting,

the proposal includes other, sorely needed modifications. The most critical is the recognition of state-approved COLA as a factor to be considered in schedule updates. For the past several years, schedules have not been adjusted to reflect state-approved COLA, leaving starting salaries increasingly noncompetitive. Until the agenda for the meeting is released, we will not know if the Regents will take action to rectify the community college faculty schedule oversight.

The Nevada Faculty Alliance believes it is the responsibility of the Board of Regents to debate and vote on modifications to salary schedules in their meetings. We also urge them to review and adjust community college schedules. We encourage you to add your voice by contacting your Regent or making a public comment at the upcoming special meeting. 


NFA urges Regents to strengthen concurrent enrollment policies

In an October 4 letter to the Board of Regents, the Interim Chancellor, campus presidents and provosts, the State Board of the Nevada Faculty Alliance urged NSHE to adopt new policies and procedures governing concurrent enrollment programs throughout the state. Its recommendations include adoption of standards by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, strict enforcement of teacher qualifications, and standardized compensation.

Previously considered the domain of the community colleges who expanded their mission-specific responsibilities in remedial education into college preparation for high school students, Concurrent Enrollment has recently drawn the attention of Nevada’s universities. With more than 15,000 potential CE students in Nevada, it’s not surprising the universities see CE as a means to mitigate the impacts of enrollment that's leveling off among their traditional students. But, as is so often the case, quality and rigor are often trampled upon in the race to more FTE.

READ Is Concurrent Enrollment a race to the bottom? >>


State Board finalizing bylaws revisions for membership vote

The NFA State Board will meet on October 21 to finalize revisions to the NFA Bylaws before sending it to members for a ratification vote by mid-November. Besides some technical corrections, most of the modifications are related to our new affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers through AAUP. Other changes address the nominating process for state officers, appointing acting officers for inactive chapters, and clarifies procedures for collective bargaining chapters to approve a contract extension through a memorandum of understanding.

Members will receive their ratification ballot electronically as an email from ElectionBuddy. You will be able to review and vote on each revision individually. At least two-thirds of the votes cast must be in favor for a revision to pass.

NFA seeks to revise NSHE Collective Bargaining policies

Although AB224, the Collective Bargaining for NSHE Professionals bill, was vetoed by Governor Lombardo, NFA continues working to improve NSHE bargaining policies for the benefit of all academic and administrative faculty. An NFA subcommittee is drafting revisions to Title 4, Chapter 4, of the Board of Regents Handbook. Entitled Professional Staff Collective Bargaining Regulations, the chapter has not been updated since 2018.  Among the many changes, NFA's proposal will expand language written for community colleges to cover all institutions and the rights of their faculty to organize. It also streamlines and clarifies the voting process for chapters seeking to establish a bargaining unit.

NFA officers have begun meeting with individual Regents, hoping to enlist three or more to formally submit the proposal to the Board.

2023-25 NFA State Officers

Jim New - President

Shantal Marshall - Vice President

Joey Ray - Secretary

Cheryl Cardoza - Treasurer

Kent Ervin - Past President

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The Nevada Faculty Alliance is the statewide independent association of professional employees of the colleges and universities of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The NFA is affiliated with the American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of Teachers/AFL-CIO.  The NFA advocates for higher education as a common good, academic freedom, and empowering our faculty members to be fully engaged in our mission to help students succeed.