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Board of Regents Chairman, Rick Trachok
Board of Regents Chairman, Rick Trachok

Board of Regents Chair not convinced by $1.2 billion UNLV football stadium plans

By Bruce Gil
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A top official of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents is against current UNLV football stadium plans, instead he is focused on improving academics in Nevada.  

Board of Regents Chairman Rick Trachok answered questions about the proposed UNLV football stadium in a press conference Thursday at UNLV. Trachok also made his case for a statewide registration system and why he is against breaking up the NSHE.  

“I don’t think the university is in the position nor is the Board of Regents to fund any stadium project,” said Trachok.

A joint UNLV and Las Vegas Sands project aims to build a $1.2 billion dollar stadium on land bought by the university last year. Project developers are asking for a 65 percent subsidy from the state. The subsidy would consist of $780 million dollars in tourism based taxes.

“Everybody knows my position on athletics,” said Trachok. “I think it’s a great opportunity, but it’s secondary to academics.”

The Board of Regents approved the purchase of 42 acres of land near the UNLV campus at Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane. Trachok agreed to the purchase with the understanding the land would be used for campus expansion including new academic buildings and dormitories.

“Any development on that property has to come back to the Board of Regents,” said Trachok. “They can’t do anything without the Regents’ approval.”

Trachok insisted that final approval is in the hands of the board.  No official stadium proposal has been made to the Board of Regents at this time.

Board of Regents Chairman, Rick Trachok, smiles after accepting questions on the proposed UNLV football stadium on Thursday, February 4, 2016 (Photo: Bruce Gil)

Board of Regents Chairman, Rick Trachok, smiles after accepting questions on the proposed UNLV football stadium on Thursday, February 4, 2016 (Photo: Bruce Gil)

 

“This is an attempt to make sure you guys get the classes you need when you need them,” said Trachok about a statewide registration system.

This new system would allow Nevada students to enroll in courses at any school within the system and have them count towards a degree at their home institution. A formal proposal with more info on the costs developing and implementing this system will be made to the board this March.

“We have limited resources in this state. And with the limited resources that we have, we don’t want to create another level of administration and bureaucracy,” said Tarchok in regards to a proposal that would split up the NSHE and create a new system for community colleges.

The Board created a permanent community college committee along with a new vice chancellor for community colleges position to address concerns that the colleges are being neglected.

“It’s a heavy lift,” said Tarchok about funding for the medical school. “First the state needed to make the investment to show that we were serious. And the state made that investment, and then it follows that state asks private donors to fund the facilities.”

Chairman Tarchok also spent time to answer questions about the new UNLV medical school and how it will affect current students. He said that the new school will not affect tuition or parking permit costs. He expects private donors will help finish funding the new school.  

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