Monday’s announcement follows the university’s announcement in March of $26 million in proposed budget reductions. When combined, the proposals represent a reduction of $39.8 million and the elimination of 318 positions. A total of 1,600 students would be directly affected by the proposed academic program reductions.
The budget reduction proposals announced Monday include:
• Consolidation of four colleges into two: The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources is proposed to consolidate into the College of Science; and the College of Education is proposed to consolidate into the College of Liberal Arts.
• Elimination of majors and/or minors in educational leadership; educational psychology, counseling and human development; educational specialties; nutrition and philosophy.
• Elimination of state funding for Basque Studies, International Students and Scholars, Center for Justice Studies, Child and Family Research Center, Center for Substance Abuse Technology, Latino Research Center and Black Rock Press. These programs would face closure unless other funding is found.
• Reduction in funding to Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Nevada System of Higher Education has been asked to reduce its budget by $162 million under Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed budget. Of that, UNR’s total share is $58.8 million plus a potential increase in tuition and fees.
An across-the-board 5 percent salary reduction would save $6 million annually, and would be subject to approval by the Nevada Board of Regents. Tuition and fees are also set by the Nevada Board of Regents, and the university’s proposed plan anticipates $14 million in new revenue through potential future increases.
The two rounds of proposed reductions announced this year are in addition to substantial reductions already made by the university. Since 2009, the university’s annual general fund appropriation was cut $44 million. If the proposed budget reductions are fully implemented, the university’s budget will have been reduced by more than $100 million over four years. More than 700 budgeted positions and more than 30 degree programs will have been eliminated, and more than 50 services and programs will have been eliminated or sharply reduced.
“It has taken more than a century to build the University of Nevada, Reno into an institution of service to the state, with a strong national reputation,” UNR President Milton Glick said. “We have made significant strides in providing the citizens of our state with meaningful results, particularly recently as we have reached key historic institutional milestones. Unfortunately, should the current level of proposed budget reductions stand, it will take years, if not decades, to recapture the university’s quality and momentum during a time of increased economic and intellectual competition within the country and the world. Nevada’s future economy and prosperity depend upon a strong education system and strong research universities.”
A full list of the budget reduction proposals and additional information is available at http://www.unr.edu/budget2011.
Budget matters will be discussed at Friday’s meeting of the Nevada Board of Regents at Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas.