General Budget Framework Document
January 29, 2010
III. Principles for the Budget Reduction Process
The principles governing the development of proposals for budget reductions are set forth in a separate document entitled "Principles Governing Budget Reductions" [hereinafter Principles Document]. It previously has been reviewed by the Academic Planning Committee and the Academic Senate Executive Committee and presented to the Academic Senate for comments.
The Principles Document requires that budget reductions be the product of considered judgments and relate to the priorities of the University and the goal of positioning the University to continue its upward momentum. Such judgments must be informed by relevant data but cannot be exclusively data-driven. Ultimately, these decisions, like those relating to budget enhancements, require judgments formed after broad consultation and discussion with the University community.
The ultimate principle in fashioning budget reduction recommendations is to leave the University in as strong a position as circumstances permit. Decisions should be consistent with the Strategic Framework adopted by the Board of Regents, UNL's Strategic Compass, and the strategic plans of the various units. Across-the-board reductions do not reflect thoughtful application of University priorities and ultimately have the effect of weakening all units of the University. However, the six previous budget reductions in recent years have reduced considerably the opportunity to identify units that are peripheral to the core missions of the University since many of those were eliminated in earlier budget reductions. The intention remains to effectuate targeted reductions in order to preserve the University's core strengths.
In Fall 2009, the UNL Faculty Senate appointed a committee to consider changes to the Procedures Document. Although the Faculty Senate has not yet had the opportunity to approve the committee's proposed revisions, the committee has requested that for this round of budget reductions, the Chancellor honor two of their suggestions. First, the Chancellor has agreed to encourage administrators tasked with proposing budget reductions to their units to interpret their responsibility to consult with affected parties broadly. Thus, they should provide ample opportunity for the potentially affected parties in their units to have discussions and to offer advice, input, and alternatives. Second, the Chancellor recommended that the APC expand its membership to include the Presidents of UNOPA and UAAD who will serve on the APC only during Phases One, Two, and Three of the budget reallocation and reduction process. The committee recommended this so there is staff representation on the APC during hearings and deliberations, particularly since reductions in force typically fall entirely or mostly on staff positions. The APC agreed to include the presidents of UNOPA and UAAD as non-voting members, pending official adoption of a new Procedures Document.