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Letter from Chancellor Perlman - Final Spring Budget Reductions

April 21, 2010

Dear Colleagues:

Today I am announcing the second and final round of budget reductions for this spring. In March, I proposed reductions totaling $3.5 million that affected IANR's Communications and Information Technology unit, the Lentz Center for Asian Culture, the Office of Research, and one position in the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor. These reductions were approved by the Academic Planning Committee last week and have been finalized. Today's round of $1.5 million in budget reductions affects more units and includes some structural changes that should bring budget savings in the future. Regrettably, the budget reductions will mean the elimination of some positions at the university, and I realize that we are negatively impacting lives and careers. Please do all that you can to support the individuals affected, and know that there are support services in place for them through Human Resources. It was not necessary to eliminate any filled tenure-line faculty positions in any of this year's reductions.

Documentation of the reductions from March as well as those being proposed today are posted on my website.

There is one major structural change included in today's announcement, in the offices of International Affairs and Extended Education and Outreach. It is proposed that these units, along with Undergraduate Admissions, be combined under an existing vacant position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, with the current Director of Admissions, Alan Cerveny, taking that position. The current Director of International Affairs, Harriet Turner, has decided to step down and return to the faculty. I thank her for her years of dedicated service. No staff positions or programs in EEO or International Affairs are eliminated in this reorganization. Coordination of these offices has the potential for greater efficiencies and for future budget savings.

The remaining budget reduction proposals that I am announcing today involve a variety of units and departments on campus, including reductions and reorganization in Information Services, the transformation of the Scarlet weekly newspaper and E-News to an electronic newsletter, with printed versions of the Scarlet now only once per month, administrative reductions in the offices of Student Affairs and Business and Finance, and reductions in the Colleges of Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Human Sciences, Fine and Performing Arts, the Libraries, and General Studies. There is a $200,000 reduction assigned to the College of Engineering, the specifics of which have not yet been identified. This reduction may be addressed by a combination of budget cuts and revenue enhancements. I am requesting that Interim Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Weissinger and the Dean of Engineering commence a study focused first on possible elimination of the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering academic programs, and if that is deemed inappropriate, other options that are available.

As always, this has been a difficult process with no good choices. This is the seventh budget reduction that UNL has been required to undertake in the last 10 years. Unfortunately, it is fairly clear from recent news reports that we are not finished and that next year may be even more difficult. Nevertheless, and to the credit of the faculty and staff of this great university, we continue to make progress, and I applaud all of you for this. I ask that you keep up your spirits, and your hard work. My best wishes for a smooth end to the semester and good summer.

Harvey