- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada higher education Chancellor Dan Klaich will face a make-or-break moment this week when state education leaders discuss allegations he misled lawmakers trying to restructure how schools are funded.

The University of Nevada Board of Regents is holding a special meeting Thursday where they could decide to immediately terminate Klaich.

Klaich is under fire after emails from 2011 and 2012 showed the Nevada System of Higher Education allegedly fabricated a memo from a paid consultant to submit to a legislative interim committee.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained the emails through a public records request.

Tension was developing at the time between the higher education agency and legislators trying to revamp the education funding formula. Despite a legislative interim committee having already hired a consultant, Klaich still brought in Colorado-based National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. In the emails, Klaich referred to the group as his “special consultant.”

In August 2012, Klaich’s staff made up a memo addressing the committee’s concerns on letterhead belonging to National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The memo was made to look like communication from the group’s then-President Dennis Jones and Klaich.

Jones told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (https://bit.ly/1TxgqIS ) that he read and approved the memo; he simply didn’t have time to write it himself.

Klaich has argued the emails were taken out of context. But for some, the damage has been done. Klaich will likely face a hostile crowd when the Legislature meets in February.

Former Assembly majority leader William Horne is among those calling for Klaich to step down, arguing he has lost all credibility.

“Even a brand-new chancellor that comes in is going to have to overcome the suspicions that have been raised from this last chancellor, Dan Klaich,” Horne said. “I think that’s the level of damage that’s been done.”

This meeting comes on the heels of regents clearing Klaich of another controversy. Last September, Klaich faced allegations that he inappropriately whitewashed a consultant’s draft report that was critical of Nevada’s community college system. A hired investigator found Klaich did not violate any ethical standards.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, https://www.lvrj.com

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