Vegas News

Regents name temporary chair, vice chair amid investigation

Wade Vandervort

Regent Carol Del Carlo, shown at a Nevada System for Higher Education Board of Regents special meeting Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, was named the chairwoman of the board through June 30.

Updated 15 minutes ago

The Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents named Regents Carol Del Carlo and Amy Carvalho as the temporary chair and vice chair until either June 30 or the end of an internal investigation into accusations of a hostile work environment against the former chairwoman and vice chairman by the top administrator of the state’s higher-education system.

“We’re in uncharted territories,” Del Carlo said at a meeting Friday morning. “I will do my best to be very open and transparent in moving us forward. … I take this opportunity as a way to move forward and get the people’s business done and students’ business done.”

Former Chair Cathy McAdoo and Vice Chair Patrick Carter were named in a complaint filed by Chancellor Melody Rose in early October alleging the two regents discriminated against her based on gender, undermined her authority, committed ethical and code-of-conduct violations and engaged in other inappropriate behavior in an orchestrated attempt to oust her.

The change passed on a 7-4 voted and is effective today. McAdoo was advised Thursday to abstain from voting on the leadership change. Carter missed the meeting. They will remain on the 13-member board.

“I have an obligation as a public officer and representative of the board to avoid conflicts of interest and protect the public’s trust in government under the Nevada Ethics Law,” McAdoo said.

Regent John T. Moran called for McAdoo and Carter to relinquish their officer positions pending the investigation, but the two initially stayed put until stepping down last week. It is unclear why McAdoo and Carter chose to delay stepping down, but sources close to the situation said oversight of the higher-education system had been paralyzed during the weeks when they remained in place.

Under the structure of the system, the regents and the chancellor serve in roles similar to those of a school board and superintendent of a public school district. In the case of the regents, the chancellor and the top two board officers normally work together to set the regents’ agenda and prioritize their business.

In the weeks since Rose lodged her complaint, all three meetings that were on the regents’ calendar were canceled or postponed.

“I know that we can go the right direction,” Regent Joseph Arrascada said. “There’s a lot going on. As a strong body of 13, we will find a way, and I know we can work together as one.”

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