Chairman Stinner and the Appropriations Committee are working hard to balance their priorities for Nebraska and I thank them for their thoughtful approach. We share many goals: A strong economy and skilled workforce, excellent health care and quality of life, and affordable education that meets the needs of students and the state.
The Committee’s preliminary recommendation does not change the prospect of a budget gap north of $50 million for the University of Nebraska over the next two years. I have been candid that a budget challenge of that scale would necessitate significant cuts that will impact real people and services and tuition increases for students and their families. Our unique role in growing Nebraska’s economy and workforce would be put at risk.
We are partnering with the state to manage the current fiscal challenges and we have a proactive plan for making reductions. The University of Nebraska is also the state’s most powerful asset for growing out of this downturn. I will continue to urge state leaders not to make decisions that will harm Nebraska’s long-term momentum and competitiveness. We look forward to working closely with them on solutions that are in the best interest of students and the citizens of Nebraska.