Announcing the first phase of Budget Response Team recommendation
August 2, 2017
Over the past seven months we’ve been engaged in a university-wide effort to change the way we do business as we face a $49 million budget shortfall created by state funding cuts and our rising costs.
Hundreds of you have participated in this process. Your efforts put us in a better position to navigate this challenge.
We are beginning to implement recommendations of the subject-matter experts who made up the Budget Response Teams, responsible for identifying cuts, policy and process changes, and new structures in university operations. While some implementation specifics continue to be determined, we do want to share changes that are being finalized now.
“As we do the difficult work of making cuts during a period of momentum, we will need to be creative in finding ways to do more with less, so we can continue to serve the state.”
We will be thoughtful with these changes, but some new realities will not be convenient or easy. Job reductions will impact real people, with real livelihoods, though we will capture personnel savings through attrition wherever possible. Each of us will need to do things differently. And even though the Budget Response Teams focused on non-academic areas, we’ll need to consider further cuts across our campuses to address the financial challenges we face. That’s the reality given the scale of the recurring budget gap before us.
The most sobering news we can deliver is that our toughest work is still ahead. The Budget Response Team members have done remarkable work in re-thinking our operations in order to help protect our highest priorities of affordability and academic excellence. But there is no question that our state’s ongoing fiscal uncertainties will impact both tuition and academic programs.
We have a choice. We can choose to hunker down and let change happen to us. Or we can choose to see opportunity in this challenge – to be more collaborative, to deploy resources and talent across our campuses as effectively as possible, and to maximize the technology available to us. The University of Nebraska is as important to the state’s economy and quality of life as it has ever been. So as we do the difficult work of making cuts during a period of remarkable momentum, we’ll all need to be creative in finding ways to do more with less so that we can continue to serve the state effectively.
The changes ahead include the following. We hope you will visit www.nebraska.edu/BRT for more detail.
Strategies in other operational areas are nearing finalization, under the leadership of experts across the university, and we’ll share those with you soon:
We’re also convening university-wide teams in campus safety and parking to explore opportunities to integrate and save dollars. Teams in research services and institutional research are examining best practices for ways to conduct research more easily across the campuses.
Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.
Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.
Ronnie Green, Ph.D.
Doug Kristensen, J.D.