Statement by President L. Dennis Smith
I have been asked this week why I have not made a statement about the current budget situation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, specifically the vote by the faculty assembly. It is because Chancellor Perlman asked the Board of Regents and me not to state our views during the process in order to avoid influencing the outcome of the vote. Now that the voting process is concluding, I want to state my total and unequivocal support for the decisions made by Chancellor Perlman. I believe that he has worked through this difficult budget process in a manner that will ensure the future viability of the UNL. I have recently contacted members of the Board of Regents, and they have reaffirmed their unanimous support as well.
As I said in my memorandum to the faculty, dated April 7, 2003 (see below), the Board of Regents and I have asked each Chancellor to make vertical cuts that affect a few programs, instead of across-the-board cuts that weaken the institution as a whole. Vertical cuts are essential in order to continue to build and maintain the quality that we are dedicated to in our teaching, research and service missions. Chancellor Perlman has recognized this fact and has pursued this process in a thoughtful and considerate –but forceful– manner.
While lively debate is the hallmark of university faculty deliberations, it is important, no matter what the outcome of this vote, that we all come together to support the University of Nebraska.. These budget cuts are difficult even in the most collegial atmosphere. A climate of divisiveness makes the process significantly more difficult and is in no one\'s best interest. We all have a common goal –to sustain and enhance the quality of this university. The Board of Regents and I are committed to providing strong support to the Chancellors in their pursuit of this goal.
L. Dennis Smith
University of Nebraska