On Dec. 7, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green sent an email stating that the university will be moving forward with the second and final phase of budget reductions to meet the $38.2 million budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second phase of this budget reduction was proposed in September and is following much of the plan, except for the removal of the Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design department and other programs, including the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts’ Dance program.
The two major cuts that will be made in this phase are the removal of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources-based hospitality, restaurant and tourism management undergraduate program and the temporary discontinuation of the intercollegiate athletics administration specialization in the College of Business’ Master of Arts program.
The university will also enact multiple financial eliminations in order to meet the shortfall. These losses include cutting $8,176,079 in vacant faculty, staff and administrative positions, $6,755,952 in additional vacant faculty positions as a result of the 2019-2020 university Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP), $2,630,681 in filled faculty and staff positions and $1,508,832 in budgets that support student worker and graduate assistants.
According to the email, the school will reduce and/or find alternative funding for $1,123,324 in content and collections for the University Libraries and College of Law, reducing remissions of $179,190 by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and reducing Nebraska Extension operating budget by $162,384.
The school will also shift $453,152 for staff and faculty positions to alternative funding sources.
“In so many ways, this has been and continues to be a challenging time at our university, in Nebraska, across the nation and around the world,” Green said in the email. “We never want to be in the position of taking difficult actions that impact our people, however, in the current fiscal environment, it was unavoidable.”
More information about phase two can be found on the UNL website.