A University of Nebraska official worries about the future of the four-campus system should deeper budget cuts be needed.
Nebraska University Chief Financial Officer Chris Kabourek admits he worries about the university’s traditional partnership with the state.
“I think if you looked at the past 14 months, any Nebraskan should be worried about that partnership,” Kabourek says
State tax revenue has fallen off the past few years. The legislature, in response, has approved three separate spending measures, making three rounds of state budget cuts to the university and other state entities; three cuts in the past 14 months.
The current biennium budget cut the four-campus university budget 2% for the current fiscal year and 1% for the next fiscal year.
The total budget for the four campuses of the University of Nebraska is $2.6 billion, but that includes federal money and other monies which officials cannot adjust. The operating budget is approximately $960 million. State appropriations total nearly $570 million.
University of Nebraska officials will propose the Board of Regents approve $22 million in cuts to that $960 million operating budget for 2018-19. The four campuses also have proposed an additional $6 million in cuts to various programs.
Kabourek says that partnership with the state is vital.
“At some point, predictable, moderate tuition increases are really contingent on that stable base of state support,” according to Kabourek.
University officials have recommended no increase in tuition. They will request the board with President Hank Bounds authorities to make a mid-year tuition hike if the legislature withholds any of its appropriations.
Kabourek says Nebraskans need to know going deeper than the $22 million in budget cuts cannot be done without real costs.
“The notion that the university can keep absorbing these one and two percent cuts and continue the momentum and the trajectory that we have.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]