Budget reduction recommendations made in September have resulted in $6.6 million in savings for the University of Nebraska.
The recommendations were made by Nebraska’s Budget Response Teams, university-wide groups charged with identifying $30 million in cost savings to help address a budget shortfall resulting from cuts in state funding and increasing costs.
The teams represented facilities, human resources, information technology, purchasing and other operational areas within the university system. The university reported the budget savings in a Nov. 20 update to employees.
The bulk of the savings resulted from position eliminations, largely through attrition and eliminating vacant positions.
“These are real dollars — equivalent to a 2 percent tuition increase — a credit to (Budget Response Team) members and other campus personnel who are working hard to implement cost-reduction plans with the simultaneous goal of moving the university forward in these challenging times,” said Marjorie Kostelnik, senior associate to the president of the University of Nebraska system and past dean of the University of Nebraska’s College of Education and Human Sciences.
Kostelnik was appointed earlier this year to lead implementation of the Budget Response Teams’ plans.
Kostelnik also acknowledged the challenges still ahead, particularly in view of the seriousness of the state’s fiscal situation. She noted that successfully navigating the challenges will require “sacrifice and a real commitment to change” by all employees.
The Budget Response Teams, comprising almost 100 subject-matter experts from across and outside the university, were appointed in January by President Hank Bounds and the NU chancellors to re-think operating expenses. Strategies identified by the teams include consolidation of NU’s facilities, energy, procurement and human resources functions into more streamlined university-wide teams, as well as continued integration of the system’s information technology services.
In all, more than 70 cost-reduction strategies were recommended, then approved by a university-wide steering committee, the chancellors and the president. Learn more about the cost-reduction strategies.
Kostelnik will continue to issue regular communications to employees about work done by the Budget Response Teams. The updates will include fiscal progress, details from individual teams and common questions and answers.