University of Nebraska System Announces $25M in Cuts

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska system president has announced new structures and processes aimed at saving the system $30 million in coming years.

President Hank Bounds announced plans Wednesday to achieve nearly $25 million, or about 80 percent, of the targeted cuts by sharing more services across campuses as well as by trimming operational costs and positions of employment, in some cases.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus expects to cut at least 100 jobs, mostly through attrition and partly through layoffs.

"Virtually every employee will be impacted in some way by the changes that we will make," Bounds said.

He said the changes are necessary to help manage a $49 million budget gap created by a combination of state funding cuts and rising costs.

"We are looking for every penny that we can find so that we don't impact the momentum around research growth, around student growth, around attracting and maintaining faculty talent, around being able to provide service to Nebraskans," Bounds said.

He said the Lincoln campus will also raise tuition and increase enrollment to address the remaining $19 million. The Board of Regents approved tuition hikes of 5.4 percent in the upcoming school year and 3.2 percent the following year for resident undergraduates. The university aims to increase enrollment by at least 1 percent.

Marjorie Kostelnik, former dean of the Lincoln campus' College of Education and Human Services, which is in charge of implementing the recommended budget cuts, said the budget response teams' work will be ongoing.

The teams will review the recommended cuts before September for duplication and ways to leverage certain services. They'll also explore whether certain cuts should be implemented in a particular sequences.

"We really have to think through how we're going to implement the various proposal that come forward," Kostelnik said. "A lot of this involves people having to figure out very intentionally how to do some work very differently."

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This story has been corrected to show Hank Bounds is president of the University of Nebraska system, not the president of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

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