University of Nebraska officials will propose the Board of Regents approve $22 million in cuts to the $960 million operation budget for 2018-19.
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will present the budget to the board next week.
Chief Financial Officer Chris Kabourek briefed reporters on the proposal during a news conference this morning.
Kabourek said the four-campus system will feel the effects of the proposal.
“This budget is about managing our fiscal challenges. It’s not the kind of budget we’re excited about. It’s not the kind of budget we can have year after year and still be a great university,” Kabourek stated.
University officials propose cutting administrative cuts, delaying hiring, and holding up on purchases.
“I would never say we’ve found every efficiency, because in an organization as large as ours there’s always opportunity for efficiencies,” Kabourek said. “But compared to lots of other institutions across the country, we’re pretty lean and we’re pretty close to squeezing out all of the fat that we can.”
No tuition increase is proposed in the budget.
But, officials say they will ask the board to give authorization for a mid-year tuition increase if the state legislature withholds some of its funding next year.
“The tuition increase is contingent on any potential hold back of state appropriations during the year,” according to Kabourek.
The Unicameral appropriated approximately $570 million to the university system in the biennium budget. Kabourek says the governor’s office will have a general idea of any budget changes that might be needed in October. State revenue has lagged behind projections, forcing the governor’s office and the legislature in the past to cut the state budget.
Kabourek said the proposal would keep the university system budget essentially flat. He said even as the university holds the line on spending, some costs rise nearly automatically, such as salaries through collective bargaining, health insurance, and utilities.
The budget cuts were suggested by the Budget Response Team formulated by University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds. The various campuses have proposed more than $6 million in additional cuts.
The Board of Regents will also consider the proposed 2018-19 operating budget for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis at its June meeting.