Procedures To Be Invoked For Significant Budget Reallocations And Reductions

Revised and Approved by the Academic Planning Committee February 9, 2011; the Faculty Senate March 1, 2011; and the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska March 9, 2011


This document1 establishes budget reallocation and reduction procedures at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln for academic and support and service programs in circumstances where significant budget reallocations or reductions are required. While regular biennial budget planning may draw upon some aspects of the procedures included in this document, it is anticipated that the procedures herein will be used principally in budget cycles where there are significant internally or externally driven budget shortfalls. It supersedes all other campus level documents that address budget reallocation or reduction procedures, except the Bylaws of the Board of Regents and the UNL Bylaws.

In accordance with the UNL Bylaws, the Academic Planning Committee adopted this document on November 11, 1992. It was approved by the Academic Senate on December 8, 1992 and approved by the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska on February 3, 1993. The Academic Planning Committee promulgated this document on February 10, 1993.

The premise of these procedures asserts that budget reallocations and reductions are most rationally, efficiently, and equitably accomplished as aspects of a dynamic and ongoing strategic and budgetary planning process. Therefore, the process detailed in this document should be built on a UNL strategic plan that includes institutional goals and a vision for the future. It is also assumed that the biennial budget-making process relates the needs and priorities of the university to its resources.

These procedures provide opportunities for discussion, consultation and negotiation among participants. The participants include students, staff, faculty, department chairs and heads, unit directors, college deans, vice chancellors and the chancellor.

This document reaffirms the role of the Academic Planning Committee (APC) in reviewing and proposing the change or elimination of programs, as outlined in University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bylaws, Sections 1.10.1. and A. through G. This role of the APC can best be achieved by regular and open communication and interaction with the chancellor on the full range of academic matters before the university, irrespective of any specific budget reallocation/reduction episode.

The process and procedures set forth draw upon the wisdom gained from a review of relevant budget reallocation and reduction documents and the lessons learned from previous budget reallocation / reduction episodes. Therefore, the process that follows was developed to maximize the likelihood of achieving an appropriate result by emphasizing the following: the need for open communication; the need for ongoing consultation among unit administrators, faculty, students and staff; the desirability for confidentiality during exploratory considerations; the need for common understandable data and information about programs; the need for time for discussion and negotiation among the various participants in the process; and the need to protect the safeguards contained in the Bylaws and Policies of the Board of Regents and the Bylaws of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with respect to faculty tenure and due process considerations.


    Essential to a quality university is recognition of the importance of the faculty voice in matters of academic decision making and long-range planning. These procedures are designed to reflect that recognition; they represent sound academic practice consistent with standards set by the AAUP and other professional organizations. Rumors and misinformation can be a deterrent to productivity. A well-conceived and generally accepted budget planning procedure involves faculty, staff and student consultation and keeps rumors and misinformation to a minimum.

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's budget planning process involves judgments about the quality of programs. Both administrators and faculty must weigh subjective as well as objective factors in setting priorities and selecting programs that will be affected. Resulting decisions must be made within the budget reallocation and reduction process described herein.


    These procedures shall be invoked by the chancellor when the chancellor, in consultation with the Senior Administrative Team2 (SAT) and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee has determined that a) significant internally or externally driven budget shortfalls have occurred or are imminent, or b) significant budget reallocations are contemplated. Reallocation severe enough to eliminate a program (as defined in this document) triggers these procedures.

    A three-phase budget reallocation and reduction process is outlined in segments B, C, and D. Principles to be followed during the process are listed in segment A.

    Nothing in this document is intended to supersede policies and by-laws approved by the Board of Regents relating to the declaration of financial exigency.