University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken today announced details of the university’s proposed 2011-12 operating budget, which the Board of Regents will consider on June 17. Milliken said the budget represents a strategic investment in talent and a commitment to affordable access at a time when higher education is increasingly recognized as a key ingredient in economic competitiveness.
“The operating budget I am proposing for the university will advance the Board of Regents’ priorities and position the university to continue to serve the people of Nebraska well,” Milliken said. He credited the Governor and Legislature for making higher education a priority in this legislative session, thus avoiding severe budget cuts that had been projected. “This budget reflects our commitment to playing a key role in growing Nebraska’s knowledge-based innovation economy. Although it still requires some difficult reallocations, it puts the university in a much stronger position than many of our peers across the country.”
Summary of Highlights of the University's Proposed BudgetThe university faces a shortfall of about $6 million for 2011-12, which comes on top of approximately $70 million in reallocations implemented since 2000. Despite the budgetary challenges, Milliken said, the university has been able to continue its momentum and invest in its priorities.
NU peer tuition increases
Affordable Access at the University
Board of Regents Budget Agenda Item
“We have promised Nebraska families that we will keep higher education affordable and accessible through moderate and predictable tuition increases and a strong commitment to student financial aid,” he said. “This budget continues that strategy, with a 5 percent tuition increase – keeping us well below similar universities – and an additional investment in need-based financial aid. Affordable access is key to our goal of building a higher level of educational attainment in Nebraska.”
Key elements of the proposed budget include:
“But budgeting for routine maintenance and upgrades is essential,” Milliken said. “The fact is that the campuses routinely invest far more than 1 percent in this activity, as would any prudent organization. To demonstrate this, beginning with the coming fiscal year, the campuses will present to the Board of Regents their plans for investing in maintenance, upgrades and sustainability over the year and will provide a year-end report on actual expenditures. We believe we can satisfy both the Board and the Legislature that we are taking seriously the obligation to maintain state assets.”