NU facing proposed budget cuts

Posted By: Pierce Georlett

pgeorlett@klkntv.com

In Gov. Pete Rickett’s State of the State address this week he said we will still have budget problems, and more cuts are needed, "I’m proposing across the board reduction at 2 percent this fiscal year and 4 percent the next" 

That proposal has Nebraska university officials very concerned. For them, a 2% cut is about 11 million dollars, and a 4% cut could result into another $23 million 

The chairmen of the board of regents Bob Whitehouse thinks that footing this bill could be major, "You’re looking at another 23 million dollars that coupled with nearly 50 million that we cut in the last 12 to 18 months is a pretty huge number."

In a statement today NU president Hank Bounds says these proposed cuts could be very rough on the future of Nebraska universities with this statement, "A cut of this magnitude would make it difficult for us to remain affordable for our 53,000 students and meet the workforce and economic needs of the state. I will be meeting with the University’s leadership team soon to discuss our options."

But fellow board member Hal Daub says he doesn’t think the damage is going to be that great, "The cuts might not be as drastic as some are making them out to be at this point, I think they will be less than what we are seeing now buy I do think it’s sobering realistic to understand that there will be additional cuts."

But this is not the first time that Gov. Ricketts has called on Nebraska universities to make major cuts. Last year, NU had a total of $30 million in non-academic budget cuts and raised tuition prices to combat the losses. 

But the chairmen of the Board of Regents knows that this is not the final answer to a bigger problem, "There is no way we are going to get around not raising tuition to offset a little bit of this. You can’t tuition you’re way out of this."