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University announces $26 million in proposed budget cuts to campus today


block_n-2742021-7594259UNR NEWS RELEASE

150 faculty and staff projected to lose jobs through initial round of cuts

University of Nevada, Reno faculty and staff in programs and departments being proposed for closure, reorganization or reduction were notified today. The plans announced represent an annual budget reduction of $26 million and the proposed elimination of 225 positions. Of those positions, 150 are currently filled and the remaining were held open in anticipation of possible budget cuts.

The proposed reductions announced today fall short of the potential total University budget reduction which is projected to be as high as $59 million by July 2012. The final budget reduction will be determined through the budget process now under way within the Nevada State Legislature. Other factors that will determine the final budget reduction total include across-the-board salary reductions proposed by the state executive budget and possible further increases in tuition and fees as determined by the Board of Regents.

The round of proposed reductionsannounced today is in addition to significant reductions already made by the University. Since 2009 the University’s annual general fund appropriation was cut $44 million or 20 percent. More than 400 budgeted positions have already been eliminated and more than 100 faculty and staff have lost jobs. Combined, the budget cuts made to date and the proposed budget cuts announced today would total $103 million and involve the elimination of 625 positions. Twenty-three degree programs have already been closed and 29 services and programs sharply reduced. Coinciding with these cuts, undergraduate tuition and fees have increased 28 percent over the past two years.

“This is a very painful time for the campus community,” said Marc Johnson, University provost. “As with previous budget cuts, to the extent possible it is our intent to maintain a quality University with a strong research program and quality degree programs. We also remain committed to preserving access for students prepared to earn their college degree. However, much as we are striving to maintain quality and access, these cuts and potential future cuts will change the very nature of the University.”

Proposals announced include reductions in administrative, support and academic areas. Reductions will be made within the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President Research, Student Services Division, Finance and Administration Division, Development and Alumni Relations, Information Technologies, Libraries and Athletics.

Some of the University services and programs proposed for reduction or closure are:

  • Significant reduction in University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: Following a projected $5.5 million cut, some presence along with educational services would continue in all Nevada counties through federal, county and limited state funding. The statewide 4-H program would continue.
  • Significant reduction in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology: Following a projected $1.1 million cut, the role of the Nevada State Geologist and related services, which are defined by Nevada Revised Statutes, would continue.
  • Additional and significant reduction in student services including reductions in Disability Resource Center, Center for Cultural Diversity, Student Success Services, Student Conduct, Recruitment, and Admissions and Records. Also, additional student services will move to fee-based support.
  • Additional and significant reduction in University-wide information technology services and the libraries’ materials budget.
  • Closure of the Special Collections Department within the University Libraries; current collections would remain archived.
  • Closure of the School of Social Work and related degrees.
  • Closure of academic programs and degrees in theater and dance.
  • Closure of the degree major in French.
  • Reductions to the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
  • Additional and significant reduction in the Facilities Department which will further impact custodial and maintenance services at all University campuses and facilities.

In addition to announcing these proposed reductions, it was also announced that an assessment of college mergers will be initiated. Specific proposals have not yet been determined.

Proposals for closing or reducing academic programs and eliminating faculty positions will be reviewed through a formal Academic Planning Process, which will be initiated March 7 and will provide for a period of further review and input. Academic program closures will be effective June 30, 2012. Closures and reductions in administration and support services will be effective sooner.

“Although the budget picture is not yet clear, the tight budget timeline, the magnitude of the projected reductions and our desire to provide faculty and staff directly impacted with adequate notice all make it imperative that we look ahead and begin this process now,” said University President Milt Glick.

The budget reduction proposals announced today will be discussed at the March 10-11 meeting of the Nevada Board of Regents at Western Nevada College in Carson City.

“A strong higher education system is a cornerstone by which Nevada can diversify and improve its economy,” said Glick. “The University will continue to make its case to the Governor and the Legislature about the vital importance of our service to the citizens and economy of Nevada, and to encourage their effort to alleviate this damage.”

Additional information is available at www.unr.edu/budget2011.

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