Of course this local columnist is right that the state of Nevada has a jaw-droppingly bad ed rep; but she errs in assuming even a non-desperate effort to change this.
UD has for years followed the states of New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada (UD‘s Big Four) as they run their primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools into the ground.
Not one of these states seems to know how to run schools, much less care about running them.
Nevada in particular – entertainment capital of the world – is all about building The World’s Largest 800 Million Dollar University Football Stadium and stuff like that. It’s clear the state doesn’t even know what universities are. Or – again – care. The center of its world is Las Vegas.
Las Vegas. Nevada’s tax base relies on drawing stupid people to the state, and it’s done a bang-up job. State leaders understand there’s, uh, negative utility in drawing smart people.
So who can be surprised that no one there knows what plagiarism is, much less knows that you shouldn’t do it? The same local columnist expresses amazement that the University of Nevada Las Vegas for years housed a high-profile professor who has been loudly called out as a plagiarist since “his 1990 doctoral dissertation at [the] University of Toronto.” She seems surprised that UNLV seemed disinclined to do anything about this guy until the Chronicle of Higher Ed did a big story about him. A commenter at Retraction Watch notes:
UNLV management were probably too busy hushing up scandals with the basketball team to worry about something as trivial as plagiarism on a massive scale…
The columnist seems just as surprised that the Nevada System of Higher Education “copied large sections of [a Brookings Institution] draft report and submitted it to legislators as NSHE’s own proposal.” Why not?