University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will propose the Board of Regents eliminate more than 100 positions and raise tuition by 5.4% to cope with budget cuts approved by the legislature.
Bounds says the proposed $30 million in cuts will hurt.
“So, we are absolutely cutting into our ability to meet the needs of faculty, staff, and students,” according to Bounds. “What we haven’t done so far is to cut into academic programs. I think the most important thing that we can do for the future of the state is to make certain that we protect academic quality.”
Bounds says he wanted to stay away from academic cuts, though he says the budget cuts will hurt both retention and recruitment of professors. He says pay, especially on the Lincoln and Omaha campuses, lags behind comparable universities.
State lawmakers originally approved smaller budget cuts to the university system. Gov. Pete Ricketts used his line-item budget veto authority to cut deeper. An effort to override the governor failed.
Ricketts says he doesn’t worry that some might blame him for the cuts to the university budget. He says the University of Nebraska must share in the pain of an economic downturn.
“We’ve all seen budget impacts from the economy and everybody has to be a part of the solution,” Ricketts tells reporters. “So, it really is up to the administration and the Board of Regents to manage how they deal with the current budget situation that we have.”
The proposal from Bounds goes before the Board of Regents during its meeting Thursday.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1 min.]