May 21, 2015

Approved state budget includes important NU investments

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Character Council is asking UNL students, faculty, staff and alumni to consider what it means to be a "true Husker" – and sign an online pledge to reflect those values of respect, engagement and service.

The Nebraska state budget for 2015-2017, which includes important support for the University of Nebraska, was signed by Governor Pete Ricketts on May 20. The approved budget allows the university to continue to meet goals for affordability and quality.

The budget package increases state funding to the university by 3.9 percent in 2015-2016 and 3.4 percent in 2016-2017. It provides support for core operations and several multi-campus initiatives that will advance Nebraska’s economic competitiveness.

“The budget package signed by Governor Ricketts represents an important investment in affordable, high-quality education at the University of Nebraska,” said Hank Bounds, NU president. “I am grateful to the governor for his support and look forward to many more years of working together to achieve our shared goals for education and economic development. I also want to thank Chairman (Heath) Mello, his colleagues on the appropriations committee, and members of the legislature for their hard work and recognition of the important role the university plays in the state’s success.

“The support the legislature and governor have provided to the university will allow us to meet some of our most important objectives.”

The budget includes $2.5 million for UNL’s proposed international trade and finance institute. The institute is to be named in honor of Clayton Yeutter, an NU alumnus and trade expert.

Other university investments in the budget package include:

  • A 3 percent increase for core operations.

  • $2 million for academic programs at the Health Sciences Education Complex on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus, which will house expanded nursing and allied health programs, plus $424,000 for building operations and maintenance.

  • $1 million for a new biomedical technology institute led by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha.

  • $100,000 to expand the activities of the UNO-based Nebraska Business Development Center.

  • $2 million for operations and maintenance for a new UNMC simulated education center.

  • $320,000 for talent enhancement and $100,000 to hire a veterinarian at NCTA.

In addition, the budget package includes $25 million for construction and $2 million for operations and maintenance of the UNMC simulated education center. The state’s investment is expected to be leveraged several times over with private and other funds.

The NU Board of Regents will consider the university’s operating budget for 2015-16, including determinations on tuition rates and salaries, at its June 12 meeting.