Friday, March 10, 2023 | 4:49 p.m.
Nevada State College will soon be Nevada State University.
The Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents on Friday approved a request from the Henderson institution for the change in a 9-4 vote. The school’s new name will become official July 1.
“We believe that it is important to have a name now that reflects who we are and what we do, but also carries the value propositions necessary for our students and our community,” said DeRionne Pollard, president of Nevada State College, in a presentation to the board.
Board of Regents Chair Byron Brooks, Vice President Joseph Arrascada, and Regents Susan Brager and Stephanie Goodman voted against the change.
Nevada State officials will spend the next few months beginning the renaming process, including pushing for the change to be codified with the Nevada Legislature, officials said. Pollard indicated the costs affiliated with the name change — for things such as changing signs at the college — will be covered through donations.
The fight to become Nevada State University began long before Pollard took over in 2021. Her predecessor, Bart Patterson, put the plan in motion after collecting student, faculty and staff input.
Pollard built on Patterson’s work from 2019, then brought it in front of the Board of Regents last fall. A final decision was pushed back in September and again in December over concerns that the renamed school would have to adjust their admission, tuition and faculty salary standards to those of UNLV and UNR — the state’s top-tier universities.
With the name change, the board also approved the stratification of Nevada’s three-tier university system, which officially separates the state schools into three tiers. But admission standards and faculty salary ranges will remain the same.
“Based on comparable national data, Nevada State is already doing the work of a university and should be named as such,” said Regent Amy Carvalho, who voted in favor of the name change. “Nevada is growing, (and) our higher education system must meet the needs of this growth.”
UNLV and UNR make up the first tier of the state’s higher education as research institutions, while Nevada State College now sits in the second tier and community colleges in the third. Pollard argued that this official recognition of the three-tier system would help differentiate Nevada State College from College of Southern Nevada, a two-year institution in the third tier.
The institutions in each tier are categorized based on certain criteria, like admission standards, funding and qualifications for promotion or tenure of professors. Admission standards and faculty salary ranges will remain the same at Nevada State.