UNL finalizes $2.9 million in budget cuts that include 18 positions, 2 programs

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has agreed on $2.9 million in budget cuts that will chop at least 18 positions and drop two programs.

UNL announced that Chancellor Ronnie Green accepted the recommendations of a university committee and solidified the cuts in response to a 1 percent trim in state support.

The university said the cuts were designed to cause as little harm as possible but would hurt just the same.

The budgets of UNL and the University of Nebraska system have been hit this year and last.

UNL endured a $7.5 million midyear cut in 2016-17 and a midyear cut of $5.7 million in 2017-18. Weak state revenues have been a key element in the need to trim university budgets.

Although Gov. Pete Ricketts wanted to make a 4 percent cut to the NU system and the state colleges, the Nebraska Legislature trimmed that back to 1 percent for 2018-19. Community colleges also took a 1 percent hit.

The Center for Instructional Innovation and the electronics engineering bachelor’s degree will be eliminated. Also cut is a pool of salary money that Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman’s office used.

Among other programs that suffered reductions are the Rural Futures Institute and the Survey Research and Methodology Program.

The cuts are the same as those announced in April by UNL’s Academic Planning Committee. Green said at that time that the cuts would have an impact on students, professors and staffers.

The cuts “represent lost opportunities for the state’s premier land-grant institution,” Green said.