Academic Planning Committee chair promises campus input on budget cuts

· 3 min read

Academic Planning Committee chair promises campus input on budget cuts

This fall, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's student veteran population will have a home base to support them with all aspects of university life.

In a Feb. 19 message to campus, Academic Planning Committee Chair Ken Bloom said the campus academic community will be consulted before final decisions are made about proposed University of Nebraska-Lincoln budget cuts.

Bloom and other APC members will attend the March 6 Faculty Senate meeting to answer questions and concerns about the budget reduction process. The APC is comprised of representatives of faculty, students, deans and vice chancellors. It is charged with seeking and reviewing information relating to cut proposals and making recommendations to Chancellor Ronnie Green on how to meet the requirements of the budget reduction framework.

"While this process will be stressful, APC members want to emphasize that it will be carried out by our campus academic community," Bloom said.

Full text of Bloom's message:

Dear colleagues,

On Feb. 12, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced several academic programs that might be eliminated due to budget reductions. This was done to impress upon the Legislature the specific harms that might come to our university should the proposed state budget be enacted into law. As Chancellor Green made clear, however, this announcement should not be seen as a deviation from our long-established practice of determining budget reductions through shared governance, as implemented through a process that is managed by the university Academic Planning Committee (APC), documented here. Because this document is quite long, and because there has been much concern on campus about the status of the programs that were named, the APC members wanted to reach out to you to reiterate for the university community the main elements of the budget reduction process.

Until the Unicameral and the governor have finalized the appropriation for the University of Nebraska system, the size of the reduction to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln budget is unknown, and it is too early for the budget reduction process to be invoked. If and when Chancellor Green invokes the process, the APC will first agree to a budget framework, which will describe the total budget savings that must be realized, and general guidelines for how they will be achieved. Only then will our administration bring forward proposals for reductions. Thus, no final decision has been made on any program identified last week by university administrators.

Before a final decision is made about those or any other proposals, the APC will consider the rationale for the proposals and study data that place the proposals in the broader context of the university's mission and operations. During this period, the APC will solicit written responses from units and people affected by the proposals, and hold public hearings that will allow people employed in the affected units and other affected parties to provide further input. The APC will consider all of this information before making recommendations to Chancellor Green on how to meet the requirements of the budget reduction framework.

While this process will be stressful, APC members want to emphasize that it will be carried out by our campus academic community, with your input. Your engagement in the process is critically important so that the APC can gather as much feedback as possible on the impact of the budget reduction proposals. To this end, I and other APC members will be present at the March 6 Faculty Senate meeting to answer your questions and address any concerns that you may have about the budget reduction process. The APC is committed to working with you to provide the best possible outcomes for the university during this difficult time.

Ken Bloom

Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Chair, Academic Planning Committee