The economic outlook is improving at UNLV, according to President Neal Smatresk.
Smatresk delivered his State of the University address Thursday and pointed toward building UNLV back up.
For the first time in four years, Smatresk said he didn't have to begin by talking about budget cuts.
Instead, there's a positive outlook that the funding problem has bottomed out and the vision is to build long-term success.
"I'm very optimistic this year that we're going to have at least a flat budget, if not an incrementally improved budget," Smatresk said. "I know that we need to be thinking right now about how to use those dollars to advance the education and research of this institution."
With the legislature meeting and setting funding in early 2013, Smatresk is optimistic that the higher education system has backing in Carson City.
"In our discussions with the governor and the Governor's Office of Economic Development, it's pretty clear that all eyes are turned towards UNLV and UNR to help lead the economic renaissance of our state," Smatresk said.
He added that new figures back the argument that higher education should not be viewed as a cost, but an investment.
"We generate $1.46 billion in economic impact, $913 million direct dollars spent as a result of UNLV being in this community," Smatresk said. "That, my friend, is an $8 return for every dollar the state invests in us. We're looking forward to a brighter future."
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