The Vegas chamber on Tuesday embarked on a battle between the elected and appointed leaders of the Nevada System of Higher Education, calling on the leaders of the Board of Regents to step down until an investigation into the Chancellor’s complaint about the hostile work environment is over.
A statement from the organization, which promotes and defends local businesses and has more than 3,500 members, also said board leaders should “resign immediately” if Chancellor Melody Rose’s accusations are upheld.
Rose, who began work in September 2020, submitted a 21-page memorandum on Oct. 4 to NSHE Chief Advocate General Joe Reynolds, claiming she had suffered “abuse” from Chairman of the Board Cathy McAdoo and Vice Chairman Patrick Carter.
Rose said the abuse dates back to late June, shortly before McAdoo and Carter took up their leadership roles on the board on July 1.
In its statement, the chamber said it believed it would be prudent for McAdoo and Carter – identified by title, not name – to step down while an independent third-party investigation they announced on the 15th. October is underway.
“If the allegations prove to be true, these regents should be held accountable and resign immediately,” the trade organization wrote. “It is time for a real reform of the governance and culture of the NSHE and the Board of Regents for the good of all Nevadans and the future of our state.”
An NSHE spokesperson referred a Review-Journal inquiry into the investigation to attorney Scott Abbott of law firm Kamer Zucker Abbott, who did not respond to a request for comment.
McAdoo was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday afternoon and Carter declined to comment.
The chamber’s position is similar to the position taken by Regent John Moran, who issued a statement after word of the Chancellor’s complaint became public earlier this month, calling for a special board session to consider whether to remove McAdoo and Carter from their posts.
Two other regents, Amy Carvalho and Patrick Boylan, called for a special council session to “discuss options for conducting council business during the inquiry,” in Carvallo’s words, but said they didn’t were not in favor of a vote on removing McAdoo and Carter. .
Other regents declined to discuss the matter, saying in some cases they had been ordered not to comment.
In addition to urging key regents to step down, the chamber statement noted that Rose’s complaint and recent allegations “highlight long-standing governance and conduct challenges with the board of regents.” .
“Sadly, the Nevada higher education system, under the leadership of the Board of Regents, has been plagued by a myriad of questionable actions and behaviors for many years, undermining our state’s public institutions of higher learning.” said the chamber.
Earlier this month, Kris Engelstad McGarry – a trustee of the Engelstad Foundation, which supports higher education projects in the state – released a statement saying Rose had her full support.