Budget Response Team Update

October 11, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, the University of Nebraska is facing a 49 million dollar budget shortfall. To address this challenge, 72 cost-reduction strategies were identified by NU Budget Response Teams (BRT) and approved by the Chancellors and the President. Now we are beginning to put those proposals into practice. Here is a brief overview of where we are in the process.

Currently, we are in the installation phase of addressing the BRT recommendations. This phase has a two-fold purpose: 1) to examine how well the plans behind each strategy work when operationalized, and 2) to determine how plans may need to be adjusted to achieve our intended outcomes. As part of this effort, we are eliciting your feedback. BRT leaders/members and I have been visiting all four campuses and interacting with various campus groups directly. Many of you have provided additional input via e-mail or letters. Through these activities, we have received thoughtful questions, candid critiques and useful suggestions, many of which have enhanced installation plans and actions.

Two proposals in particular have attracted significant comment about timing, participants, and approach. These are the proposal to reduce our maximum vacation balance and the one to eliminate the ¼ sick-leave payout for office and service employees. The feedback we have received revealed some additional implications we need to address. Consequently, we will wait to implement any leave-related changes until after we have conducted a more comprehensive review of our benefits plan as recommended by the Human Resources BRT. This means that no leave-related changes for current employees will be enacted before 2019.

The 70 other BRT proposals are in various stages of enactment. Starting next month, we will provide regular BRT updates about timing, implementation procedures, fiscal progress, and other details. These reports will come to you via email, online and through your campus newsletters. We will also keep the BRT website active with periodic updates.

Please feel free to submit your ideas and suggestions through the BRT website. You may also contact me directly at (402) 472-2111 or mkostelnik@nebraska.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Marjorie Kostelnik
Senior Associate to the President

Media Contact
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications University of Nebraska