Conclusion of Legislative Session email - FY 2003-04 & 2004-05 Budget Reduction Process

Email to All
Conclusion of Legislative Session
JUNE 4, 2003

Harvey Perlman, Chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dear Colleagues:

With the overrides of the governor's vetoes, we now have a better understanding of the reduction in state support for the university. The 4.6 percent reduction adopted by the Legislature, while still painful, is certainly a better situation than the 10 percent originally proposed. There were 37 state senators who had the courage to make the hard decision to increase taxes rather than make further reductions to education. They recognized the important and good work that you do for the future of this state and its young people. You should also be pleased with the strong public support from alumni and friends who were active in pressing our case. I know it sometimes feels like we are swimming alone, but there were a lot of individuals who care deeply about what you are doing and turned that care into action.

It remains, however, too early to know with certainty the actual budget for the university. The remaining two pieces, the size of any tuition increase, and the establishment of spending priorities, will be decided on June 7 by the Board of Regents. My best guess at this point is that the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources has announced sufficient reductions to meet its obligation while I will need to reduce the city campus budget by another $2.5 million. These final cuts will not be easy but we have no choice in the matter.

I have received, and I am carefully considering, the recommendations of the Academic Planning Committee with respect to the reductions already announced. To put all of the remaining budget pieces together, I intend to make an announcement on June 17. First, I plan to provide you with the Academic Planning Committee's response to the reduction proposals announced on March 10, along with my final decisions on those reductions. Second, I will also announce on June 17 any further reductions that will be needed in order to bring the UNL budget in line with its reduced state allocation.

I know both the fact of the reductions and the uncertainty associated with them have been very hard on many people. This has been a difficult year for all of us. Nonetheless the university on so many fronts has enjoyed success and I think we are positioned to continue to do so. It is at least of some comfort to know that so many people across the state of Nebraska, and in the Legislature, care about what you are doing and wish you well.