Staff, faculty invited to open forum on budget

Staff, faculty invited to open forum on budget
Bounds to host two sessions Jan. 31

University of Nebraska system President Hank Bounds

Hank Bounds will host a Jan. 31 open forum for University of Nebraska-Lincoln staff and faculty regarding the current budget picture.

The hour-long forums with the president of the four-institution university system will take place in the Nebraska Union auditorium. Staff are invited to speak with Bounds at 8 a.m., while faculty will follow at 9:15 a.m. The sessions will be live-streamed here.

In a Jan. 12 systemwide email, Bounds said central administration has already begun working with leadership at Nebraska and the other three system institutions about budget reductions.

“Those conversations will continue and we will involve faculty, staff and students every step of the way,” he wrote.

Chancellor Ronnie Green will join Bounds at the forum.

Gov. Pete Ricketts has proposed a 2017-19 budget package that includes reductions for a number of state agencies, including the university system. Under the proposal, the system’s state funding would be reduced by $12 million next year, with half of that amount restored in the second year.

Bounds wrote that the proposed cuts must be viewed alongside expected cost increases in the next two years. Systemwide, salary and health insurance increases alone will increase costs by more than $40 million, he said.

Tuition, jobs and services will be affected, Bounds wrote in the note.

“We will emerge from this downturn a strong institution. Getting there will not be easy,” Bounds wrote. “I am hopeful that together with all of you, our partners at the Capitol and the many university friends and alumni across this state, we will identify responsible solutions that are in the best interests of our university and the people of Nebraska.”

For more information on the budget from the university system, click here.