Postponement of Phase II Reductions - FY 2003-04 & 2004-05 Budget Reduction Process

Email to All
Announcing Postponement of Phase Two Budget Reduction Proposals
APRIL 14, 2003

Harvey Perlman, Chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dear Colleagues:

I apologize for not writing sooner to keep you informed of where we are on the budget reduction process. There has certainly been a lot of news on the subject in the media. The Academic Planning Committee has been holding hearings on my earlier announcements and the Legislature's Appropriations Committee has made tentative plans to place additional funds in our budget. Some of these additional funds are earmarked for specific purposes and do not necessarily apply toward the base budget reduction. I postponed making any further announcement of reductions until we have a better understanding of what the Appropriations Committee and the full Legislature are likely to recommend. I do not want to announce cuts that ultimately might not have to be made. However, you should understand that even with the tentative 3 percent reduction announced by the Appropriations Committee, we would still have to make some additional reductions.

We will have some difficult timing issues that I want to prepare you for now so that you can plan accordingly. The Appropriations Committee will report out its final recommendations on April 25. After that, the Legislature will work on the budget and adopt a final bill to be submitted to the Governor. The Governor may or may not exercise his veto power and if he does, the Legislature has an opportunity to vote to override. June 2 is the scheduled last day of the legislative session, meaning that we may not have any idea what our budget actually is until that date. The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet on June 7 and will not approve a budget for the University until then.

This means that we will have no certainty on our budget, on salary increases, if any, and on additional reductions, if any, until we are well into our summer recess. It also means that some of our normal processes associated with salary increases and notifications are delayed. I may also be forced to make decisions about reductions after many faculty and others have gone about their summer plans. This is very unfortunate and creates a challenge for getting campus input as well as notifying affected individuals. At the same time, these may be decisions that I cannot delay until we reconvene in August. We will try to use e-mail and our Web site as the primary means of communicating with you on these matters.

One of the significant "perks" of my job is to attend a cross section of events in April recognizing the considerable success that we have achieved during the past year. One can only be optimistic about our future after recognizing the accomplishments of our new Cather-Bessey Professors and new inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, considering the promotion and tenure files of our younger faculty who illustrate our extraordinary success in recruiting over the last few years, shaking the hands of our Chancellors Scholars and other students of academic distinction at our Honors Convocations, and acknowledging staff who are recognized for outstanding contributions to the University. These events remind me of how important it is to find a way to weather these economic times while preserving a strong, vibrant University. I continue to seek your counsel and support in doing so.