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January 18, 2021

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Nevada education official accuses regent of ‘child-speak’

NSHE Board of Regents Approve UNLV Medical Education Building Project

Wade Vandervort

Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Chief of Staff to the Board Dean Gould speaks during a special meeting, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

Updated Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 | 1:07 a.m.

The Nevada System of Higher Education’s chief of staff raised eyebrows today when he accused a regent of “child-speak” and threatened to “man-speak” if she continued.

Dean Gould, who is also the Board of Regents special counsel, made the comment to Regent Lisa Levine during a discussion about sexual harassment policy.

“I don’t want to man-speak but I will have to if you continue to child-speak, so please stop,” Gould said.

A brief video clip of the exchange quickly found its way onto Twitter.

“Wow @NevadaRegents, way to shut down the dissenting woman’s voice. Nevada women stand united with @Lisa_C_ Levine. P.S. Women are not children. #NSHE #MaleWhitePriviledge,” a Twitter user posted, along with the clip.

Another Twitter user commented: “That guy needs to see some consequences for this. What kind of "child-like" behaviors did Lisa exhibit? Was her voice not low enough for them?”

Levine, reached this afternoon, said she was too upset to discuss the incident. But she commented on the Twitter thread, saying, “Thank you for your support. That means the world to me.”

Gould issued a statement saying Levine was “disrupting the defined procedural process” during an attempt to take a roll call vote and he became frustrated at “her lack of decorum.”

“In retrospect, I should not have stooped to her level of acrimony,” he said.

Gould said his reaction was in response to a clash he had with Levine at a July 23 meeting, where he admonished Levine for discussing in some detail an item not on the agenda. He said he was trying to protect the board from a possible open meetings law violation.

Levine shot back, “I’m not finished, but I will try not to lecture or be mansplained again.”

In his statement today, Gould said he found the "mansplaining" comment "unprofessional and embarrassing" and "not an appropriate way for an employer to speak to an employee."

Today's exchange came as regents were discussing changes to bring board policy into compliance with new U.S. Department of Education regulations governing sexual harassment under federal law.

The department is requiring certain rules be implemented by Aug. 14 regarding university grievance procedures when a person reports an incident of sexual harassment or assault.

Regents, facing the loss of millions of dollars in federal funding, passed the required changes.