IN HIS NAME
On the occasion of a special honor from the campus he led for more than a decade, pioneering educator Dr. Paul E. Meacham reflects on his legacy.
BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD
Dr. Paul E. Meacham, President Emeritus of the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), is a towering figure in the history of the state.
The first African-American president of an institution of higher education in Nevada (1983-1994), Meacham recently received a special honor on the campus he led for more than a decade: Last December, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents agreed to name the CSN Student Service Building, a cornerstone of the Charleston Campus, in his honor.
“President Meacham changed the lives of thousands of students and his legacy should be promoted in perpetuity,” said CSN President Michael D. Richards. “He’s the reason we have the CSN Charleston campus today. There is no better time to honor Dr. Meacham, his service to CSN, its students and Nevada.”
Unsurprisingly, Meacham’s advocacy continues. In an interview, he shared his view on President Obama’s call to provide all American students with two years of free community college. “I think that is a great idea, which has existed in some states over the years — including California. It was free to go to a community college in California up until Prop. 13 was passed,” he said. “It was almost free in Texas once upon a time; the credit hour was only $6. Going to community college for free would give people more of a leg up—because over the years, community college enrollment for black students has gone up. One of the things I have labored hard to do was resist to tuition increases. I voted against it every time it came up in my 11 years at CSN.”