Chancellor proposes $2.9 million in cuts from UNL’s budget

Chancellor proposes $2.9 million in cuts from UNL’s budget
Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s chancellor on Thursday proposed $2.9 million in cuts from UNL’s budget in 2018-19.

Ronnie Green’s plan includes eliminating the electronics engineering bachelor’s degree and the Center for Instructional Innovation.

At least 18 faculty and staff positions would be eliminated under Green’s plan, UNL says.

A university group called the Academic Planning Committee will hold public hearings on Green’s proposals and has scheduled a hearing for May 2. The panel will make recommendations to Green, who is expected to announce his final decision by June 1.

The budgets of UNL and the University of Nebraska system have been hit this year and last. For 2018-19, the NU system, including UNL, will get a 1 percent cut that will total $2.9 million at UNL. It is that cut that Green and the committee are dealing with now.

UNL endured a $7.5 million midyear cut in 2016-17 and a midyear cut of $5.7 million in 2017-18. Weak state revenues have been a key element in the need to trim university budgets.

Although Gov. Pete Ricketts wanted to make a 4 percent cut to the NU system and the state colleges, the Legislature cut that back to 1 percent for 2018-19. The community colleges also took a 1 percent hit.

Among the proposed cuts at UNL:

» Reduce the Rural Futures Institute’s budget by $771,400. Five faculty positions would be eliminated.

» Eliminate the electronics engineering bachelor’s program, saving $350,000. Three faculty positions would be eliminated.

» Eliminate the Center for Instructional Innovation, saving $169,230. The center has one faculty position.

» Shift the salary for the director of the Buros Center for Testing from state money to revolving money.

» Eliminate pooled salary money held by the Executive Vice Chancellor’s Office, saving $309,751.

» Move state money for the department of statistics from the College of Arts and Sciences to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. IANR then would have to cut the equivalent of four faculty positions to support statistics, saving $556,813 in the process.

» Cut $577,013 from the Survey Research and Methodology Program. Two faculty salary positions and two staff positions would be cut.