Email to All

Phase II Budget Reductions
JULY 17, 2003

Harvey Perlman, Chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dear Colleagues:

Once again it falls to me to describe additional budget reductions for the Lincoln campus. The relief we felt when the Legislature rejected the Governor's proposed 10 percent reduction is tempered now as we put the final details to the 4.6 percent reduction actually adopted. The total reduction for next year is over $9 million; the cuts announced today are approximately $2.7 million. This e-mail is merely to alert you to the major proposals that I am making. On our website you will find four documents: (1) the recommendations of the Academic Planning Committee with respect to those cuts previously proposed; (2) a memorandum from me responding to these recommendations and outlining my additional proposed budget reductions; (3) a spreadsheet which provides the detail for the new proposals; and (4) a memorandum expanding on my thinking about the salary increase.

The APC approved many of my earlier proposals. Their most significant departures were as follows: (1) a proposed surcharge on event tickets such as Lied Center and football; (2) a recommendation to continue some funding for the Bureau of Business Research and the recycling program; (3) disagreement with some of the reductions proposed by the Division of Business and Finance; (4) disagreement with the proposal to eliminate the Research Division of the State Museum; and (5) a recommendation to explore a smaller, more targeted Veterinary Student program and to provide bridge funding for the Statewide Arboretum. I have accepted their recommendation to restore some funding to the Bureau and the recycling program. I have offered alternatives to some of their concerns about the Business and Finance proposals with the suggestion that the APC should advise me on which reductions they prefer. I am not accepting their recommendation for a surcharge on event tickets or most of their recommendations associated with the Museum. I have agreed to examine the potential for continuation of a Museum Studies program and to secure appropriate expert advice in how to address the collections in the Museum. But I am finalizing the elimination of the Research Division. I have accepted their recommendation to explore a more efficient veterinary student program and to provide limited bridge funding to the Statewide Arboretum.

The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources has already announced in excess of its 27 percent share of the 4.6 percent reduction. This has produced funds that are being held as a contingency against the unknown result of discussions this summer over the future of the veterinary student contract. If a more focused program for veterinary students can be constructed, the contingency funds will be used to restore the Statewide Arboretum and any remaining funds will support programs in the Nebraska Forest Services.

All additional reduction proposals are associated with city campus programs. I am proposing the following additional reductions: (1) several reductions in offices reporting to the Chancellor; (2) two administrative positions in the College of Architecture; (3) reduction of the Areas of Strength program in the College of Arts and Sciences; (4) restructuring and downsizing the Russian Language program and eliminating instruction in Portuguese; (5) restructuring of engineering extension and the downsizing of administrative budgets in the Dean's office, College of Engineering; (6) reducing the College of Engineering's undergraduate equipment fund, to be replaced by the proceeds from the new fee attached to engineering courses; (6) eliminating the department of Industrial Systems Technology at the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha; (7) eliminating the Omaha site day-time program delivery in the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences; and (8) eliminating the department of Health and Human Performance in Teachers College.

I know these reductions will be painful but they are necessary to achieve the budget reductions imposed upon us. We have built some contingency reserves, with the residual from these proposals, to permit us to respond to opportunities to place some of the tenured faculty in alternative positions. We will again extend our best efforts to assist all adversely affected employees in relocating to alternative employment.

We have continued to pursue the strategy of vertical reductions, where appropriate, in order to preserve the central strengths of the University and to position us to continue to enhance our programs of teaching, research, and service. We all hope that economic conditions will improve and that this will be the last time we will face such difficult circumstances.

The APC will develop a time table for considering these additional reductions. Because of the summer, it is unlikely that hearings will be held on these proposals until Fall.

You will also find on the web my thinking about the salary increase. At this point, because of the very difficult cash flow problems we face in fully implementing these reductions I am deferring any salary increase for the present time. However, the Board of Regents insists that at some point within this biennium the full 3.5 percent increase available to us be implemented and we will do so as quickly as our circumstances permit.

Again, let me thank all of you for your support and your commitment to this University. While these times have not been pleasant, we share this environment with almost every other institution of higher education in the country. As I have said, while the circumstances are the same for all of public higher education, some institutions will emerge as winners and some as losers. With your continued support and efforts, I believe we are positioned to be one of the winners.

Harvey