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UNLV President Lays Out Plans for the Future | Education & Schools

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UNLV President Lays Out Plans for the Future

UNLV President Neal Smatresk laid out his vision for the future of the school during his annual state of the university speech Thursday morning.

With deep cuts to higher education, students, faculty and staff have all learned some tough lessons. Thursday morning, Dr. Smatresk talked about where the campus has been, and where he envisions it going. UNLV had to slash $73 million from its budget over the past four years. Six programs were on the chopping block, and UNLV has lost 700 positions over the last four years.

Smatresk acknowledges the school had to make tough choices but he says the core academic programs remain the same. Not only did faculty pay close attention, but students worried about their academic future.

"I think he is trying to encourage students, because budget cuts are getting worse and worse every year and it's getting tough for students to come back every year and it was tough for me to come back too," said UNLV student Omar Quassani.

Students are now paying 13 percent more in tuition, but Smatresk says the university is on solid financial ground and has a sustainable budget. However, a second tuition increase, if approved by the Board of Regents, could be around the corner, generating another $8.5 million.

In the future, Smatresk says UNLV will be more selective with an emphasis on student success and freshman enrollment.