Budget-reduction proposals announced

Budget-reduction proposals announced

Chancellor Harvey Perlman has announced proposals for reductions to UNL's Fiscal Year 2014-15 university budget to address a projected $4.65 million deficit.

The proposals, which were made public March 17, are outlined within the Budget Reduction Items, Budget Reduction Process Allocations and Descriptions, and Budget Reduction Spreadsheet.

They include:

  • Withholding 1 percent of the anticipated 3 percent salary increase pool. Amounting to $3.2 million, this would cover the majority of the budget shortfall.

  • Reducing $318,226 of discretionary resources for strategic initiatives from the Chancellor’s Office’s budget.

  • Eliminating $200,000 from the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs’ support for summer session programs.

  • Reducing support of IANR’s Educational Media by $406,000.

  • Reducing state funding in the Office of Student Affairs by $425,774. Reductions in state-funded activities include four graduate assistant positions and shifting other expenses from state funds to student fees. Fee-supported units would be required to reduce their operational costs to assure there is no increase in student fees.

  • Reducing once-a-week campus floor burnishing to once a month, saving $100,000.

If enrollment increases result in revenues that exceed expectations, a full or partial reinstatement of the salary pool will be explored for January 2015, according to the chancellor’s proposal.

The proposals now go to the Academic Planning Committee, or APC, for review. The APC will then hold hearings on the proposals and make recommendations to the chancellor.

This is the 11th time since 2001 that the university has worked through a combination of budget reductions and required reallocations. The current deficit is the result of four factors: a $2.2 million budget deficit in the last fiscal year that was carried forward; a scheduled reallocation of $800,000 within the Board of Regents-approved budget for Fiscal Year 2014; maintenance and operating costs associated with opening new buildings; and a bigger-than-expected proportional growth in online student credit hours taken by resident students.

Campus administrators and deans are working to restructure distance education funding to continue to grow online instruction but to allocate a larger portion to support the base budget.

Documents related to the budget reduction proposal are posted at the Chancellor’s website.