University Cuts Listed
Current information
University of Nebraska budget information
'Unfortunately, the cuts we're announcing today are only the tip of the iceberg.
We're barely one-third of the way there.'

– L. Dennis Smith

Intestimony before the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee today, University of Nebraska President L. Dennis Smith will list the first round ofbudget cuts the university plans to implement beginning July 1.

Smith said today’s announcement is intended to help legislators and the people of Nebraska understandthe impact severe budget reductions will have on the university.He said the additional cuts–the remaining 70 percent–needed to reduce the University’s budget to the level allowed for in the committee’sbudget plan will be announced beginning in April.

'The cuts we announce today will have painful effects on our faculty and staff,' Smith said.'A substantial number will lose their jobs. We deeply regret this, and we want to assure all who are affected that we will work with them in every way possible to help them find other employment.'

Smith said that, in deciding where to make cuts, the university has attempted to protect the quality of its undergraduate education, which he called 'the lifeblood of the university.'To do that, he said, extensive reductions have been made in other areas, particularly administrative costs and services.In addition, Smith said 'we will almost certainly have to increase tuition, which is especially difficult when we know our students already have about $20 million in unmet needs for scholarships, grants, and work-study assistance each year.'

In spite of the budget cuts, Smith said, the university will strive to protect the quality of the academic programs it offers. 'It is extremely important that we keep our young people here in Nebraska.Every student, parent, teacher, and counselor can rest assured that the University of Nebraska will continue to provide a high-quality education.'

Smith pointed out that 70 percent of Nebraska students who graduate from the university stay in the state following graduation.In addition, 30 percent of out-of-state students who attend the University of Nebraska remain in the state.'If we want them to go to school here,' Smith added, 'we have to be able to compete with other schools, especially those in surrounding states.'

'The four campuses of the University of Nebraska are home to 31,205 of our state’s young people–our own children and grandchildren– who are counting on us to help them shape their future,' Smith said. 'To the greatest extent possible, we will continue to honor that trust.'

A list of the cuts to be presented at the Appropriations Committee Hearing follows.

2003-2004 University of Nebraska Budget Reductions: Initial Proposals


The cuts noted here represent only the tip of the iceberg – approximately 1/3 of the programs that will have to be eliminated if the university’s budget is cut 10%. Each campus has established its own method and timeline for determining budget reductions for 2003-04 and 2004-05, using the general criteria of preservation of academic priority programs and vertical cuts rather than across-the-board cuts. The review process will not be complete until later in the spring.

Additional cuts are expected to include elimination of entire departments, colleges and majors, including additional tenured faculty, as well as further reductions in services to students and citizens. Cuts can be only partially offset by tuition increases, which are inevitable given the magnitude of reductions.

Overall proposed reductions: $13.7 million, 129.37 FTE
  • Administrative reduction and reorganization
  • Elimination of several senior administrative positions; academic consolidations
  • Reductions in business and finance operations
  • Reduced services on campuses such as janitorial, housekeeping, grounds keeping, mail and other support services
  • Reduced hours for student services
  • Reduced ability to recruit students, faculty and staff
  • Freeze on upper level administrators’ salaries
Specific proposed program reductions

Central Administration: reductions in computing services totaling $.5 million, 6 FTE
  • Elimination of 6 FTE positions
  • Reduction in computing services department (personnel and services)
UNK: Administrative reductions and summer school reductions, $.4 million, 6.4 FTE
  • Vice chancellor position eliminated, duties merged with other offices
  • Significant reduction in undergraduate summer school courses starting in 2004
  • 50 courses eliminated
  • 750 students affected
  • Some students will not be able to complete graduation requirements in the time planned
UNL: Multiple program reductions totaling $7.5 million, 43.47 FTE including 8 tenured faculty
  • Funding for Veterinary Student Contracts with Kansas State University eliminated
  • Nebraska Forest Service eliminated
  • Statewide Arboretum eliminated
  • Bureau of Business Research eliminated
  • Masters in Museum Studies degree program terminated
  • Mueller Planetarium closed
  • Research division of the State Museum eliminated, resulting in the loss of eight tenured faculty positions
  • Reduced hours for Morrill Hall, Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park and Trailside Museum
  • Reduction of support for the marching band
  • Elimination of instructional equipment fund in senior vice chancellor’s office
  • Reduction in funds used to provide book scholarships for honors program students
  • Elimination of state funding for UNL Alumni Association
  • Dual Career Program eliminated
  • Major reduction in student services ($750,000)
  • $1 million reduction in business and finance operations
UNMC: Reductions totaling $2 million, 34 FTE
  • Elimination of 34 FTE positions
  • Critical programs slowed down or stopped
  • Potential loss of faculty to other institutions
UNO: Academic and administrative changes totaling $3.3 million, 39.5 FTE
Administrative changes:
  • Vice chancellor for student affairs and vice chancellor for business and finance positions eliminated; responsibilities merged with remaining two vice chancellors
  • Eliminate administrative positions including director of career services, director of publication services and marketing, assistant vice chancellor and director facilities management and planning
  • Merge University Affairs with Chancellor’s Office support
  • Eliminate 20 faculty positions and 19.5 non-faculty
  • Reduce operating budget for faculty development (4 positions eliminated)
  • Reduce athletic operations budget
  • $500,000 reduction in business and finance operations
Task forces appointed to look at restructuring all areas of the university. Academic reorganizations actively under review include:
  • Merge College of Continuing Studies with College of Public Affairs and Community Services
  • Integrate Department of Communication and University Radio/TV with the College of Fine Arts
  • Merge University Division/Counseling Services and merge advising and counseling services into other units
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