Statement on Anti-Discrimination Policy Revision from the NSHE Board of Regents Chair and Vice Chair


The following is a statement from the NSHE Board of Regents Chair Amy J. Carvalho and Vice Chair Jeffrey S. Downs

The Board of Regents’ dedication to the well-being of the entire Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) community has always been a fundamental part of our mission. However, we recognize the importance of taking additional measures to protect and support our Jewish students, staff, and faculty, who have voiced their need for increased support during this time.

Recently, the Board approved a revision to its policy on discrimination, extending the principles of equality and opportunity for all to explicitly include individuals who experience discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics; or citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity. The specific amendment to Title 4, Chapter 8, Section 1 of the Board of Regents Handbook, permits NSHE institutions to consult the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, and its accompanying examples, as evidence of discriminatory intent, aligning with (White House) Executive Order 13899.  This policy, along with the Anti-Discrimination Resolution passed by the Board in 2022 and subsequent anti-bias and anti-discrimination training requirements, underscore our commitment to creating a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment for everyone.

The amended policy equips NSHE institutions with tools to fight all forms of discrimination, including antisemitism, without taking away from the core values of freedom of speech or academic freedom.

We acknowledge that during the discussion surrounding the policy proposal, comments were made downplaying the concerns of our Jewish community members. We want to make it abundantly clear that the Board of Regents takes the concerns of Jewish students, staff, faculty, and community members very seriously. Discrimination and bias in any form are antithetical to the values of inclusion and respect that we uphold.

We have heard the concerns of NSHE’s Jewish community members and understand their need for additional support during this time of turmoil. The Board of Regents stands firmly against discrimination in all its forms. Our efforts to support a group that has voiced concerns do not detract from our duty to support all students, staff, faculty, and community members. Together, we can foster an NSHE community where every individual feels respected, protected, and empowered to succeed.