The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents met on Thursday, Dec. 5, and Friday, Dec. 6, to discuss several issues concerning the university such as the search for a new University of Nevada, Reno president and plans for new buildings in the Gateway District.
The Board reviewed a proposal for a more substantial business building. The proposal was not passed.
The College of Business’ Business Student Council created the proposal for a larger building after some dissatisfaction with the original plans. The proposal included more provisional resources for business students such as a business library, study rooms and a café. In order to fund the construction of the building, as well as hiring more faculty, a differential fee of $30 credit hour was written into the proposal.
“This is really huge,” Business Student Council President Gabrielle ‘Gabi’ Lew said. “… because we just have, for a lot of majors, a severe lack of professors that we need. So, a lot of times there’s only one professor that teaches one section of one class and that’s your only option. Very few times business majors will get the classes that they want.”
The differential fee would increase tuition for business majors, but would go towards expanding the program and hire more instructors. The Board of Regents rejected the proposal for a larger building due to the tuition increase.
“The biggest reason that the Board of Regents rejected it was because they believe that tuition is already getting so high for students,” Lew said. “… They set goals in the past that they didn’t want to let tuition get to exceed a certain amount… So, that was their basic concern was that it was going to make tuition too expensive and then it was going to be less accessible to be a business major to people who are low-income or maybe first generation.”
The Nevada Sagebrush reported that the fee increase proposal was reviewed by business students and approved by the department. The fee is also reported to be similar to the amount that the university’s engineering students pay their tuition.
The expected cost of the building is currently $99.7 million with a square footage of 94,200 ft. The project would take an estimated two years from summer 2021 to summer 2023.
Also planned for the Gateway District project are a life sciences building, a parking garage and two additional buildings. The plans for these buildings are still under review as well as the funding for them.
“I definitely think that the Gateway District is going to happen no matter what,” Lew said. “I think that the biggest questions that I don’t have the answer to is how the buildings are going to get funded because right now we’re—at least for the College of Business building—we were having difficulties with getting funding. That’s why the differential fee came about in he first place.”
Currently, homes and buildings in the Gateway District are being closed and destroyed or moved. This includes Bibo’s, The U as well as several homes and motels. The university plans to start construction in spring 2020.
Sarah Strang can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sarahstrang100.