April 1, 2024


NSU student leaders call on Regents to do better

Regents (left to right): Joe Arrascada, Patrick Boylan, Byron Brooks, Stephanie Goodman

In the wake of the controversy triggered by Nevada Regent Patrick Boylan's hostile response to a student leader's public comments at the March 1 meeting of the Board of Regents, the Nevada State Student Alliance issued a powerful statement criticizing multiple regents for inserting ideological, geopolitical, and regional rhetoric into Board deliberations.

"We are learning from our regents that many are controlled by singular issues that do not promote progress within institutions. Some board members, like Regent Brooks, fixate on geopolitical matters, some, like Regent Arrascada, focus on perpetuating regionalist and irrational ideologies between the north and south of our state, and some, like Regents Boylan and Goodman, regurgitate extreme ideologies that manifest in racist and transphobic remarks. These dogmas have no place in the realm of higher education." - NSSA statement

In response to Boylan's actions on March 1, the State Board of the Nevada Faculty Alliance called for his resignation. The NSSA statement, however, takes aim at many of the broader issues that appear to lie at the root of the dysfunction that plagues the Board of Regents and the NFA applauds them.

Read Praise for the Nevada State Student Alliance >>


NFA advocates for mitigation to PEBP rate increases in 2024-25

At its March 28th board meeting, the Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP) approved increases in employee premiums for the plan year starting July 1, 2024.  The increases range from $8 to $53 per month (percentage increases of 8% to 25%) depending on your chosen plan and dependent tier. The increases are steep but half what was originally proposed before PEBP dedicated reserves to mitigate them. NFA advocated for rate mitigation and analyzes the increases and PEBP’s cash reserves on our blog.

NFA Past President Kent Ervin

NFA Past President, Kent Ervin, makes comments at PEBP Board Meeting

The NFA actively engages with PEBP to fight to maintain health care benefits at low cost.  The State has a record of cutting employee benefits whenever there is a budget shortfall, and benefits are hard to claw back. Doug Unger (doug.unger@nevadafacultyalliance.org) and Kent Ervin (kent.ervin@nevadafacultyalliance.org) attend every PEBP Board meeting and regularly meet with PEBP staff along with our public employee advocate partners. We welcome members’ feedback.

Here are some current issues with the PEBP plan that we are following:

  1. The overall health care provider shortage in Nevada is compounded by providers who have not been contracted as in-network by UMR, the third-party administrator for PEBP’s self-funded plans.
  2. Problems with UMR’s billing practices and customer service, although there seems to be some improvement recently.
  3. Difficulties with the appeals process for denied claims. PEBP is addressing some of those. The Quality Control Officer position at PEBP is currently vacant. The QCO handles appeals beyond the UMR level and formerly acted more as an ombudsperson on the side of participants.
  4. REMSA, the sole provider of ambulance services in Washoe County, is out-of-network for UMR. PEBP reimburses only at 140% of Medicare rates and REMSA balance-bills the remainder. Of course, you should use ambulance services in an emergency but be aware of potential high out-of-pocket charges.
  5. Carson-Tahoe Health has sent patients a letter indicating that CTH may terminate their network relationship with UMR.  That may be a contract negotiating tactic, but it would be highly concerning for the dominant hospital in Carson City to be out-of-network for state employees.

Read PEBP Update: Healthcare Premium Increases >>


NFA hosting statewide town hall on shared governance

Dr. Michael DeCesare

Dr. Michael DeCesare

The Nevada Faculty Alliance will host Dr. Michael DeCesare, a nationally recognized expert on academic governance, in a Zoom town hall to present an overview of the American Association of University Professor's established standards of governance in higher education in a virtual town hall on April 17. Open to faculty,  administrators, regents, and legislators, the event is designed to help stakeholders understand how to protect shared governance in a changing environment.

As a senior program officer in the American Association of University Professors' Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance, Dr. DeCesare is an authority on the principles set forth more than five decades ago in the AAUP's Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, which became a foundation of the American higher education system.

The town hall will be held at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, April 27 on Zoom. To register, please visit https://nevadafacultyalliance.org/event-5649337

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.