- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The University of Nebraska-Lincoln may drain off a third of its pool of money for raises in the next budget year to help cover a projected shortfall of $4.65 million.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman on Monday released a list of proposed cuts that total about 1 percent of the university budget, the Lincoln Journal Star said (https://bit.ly/1dkAeuK ). Included was $3.2 million from the salary pool, a cut of about 1 percentage point of what was expected to be a 3 percent increase.

The level of cuts would still protect the university’s “academic enterprise,” Perlman said, but also would strain the university’s salary structure. He said UNL pays its faculty members an average of 6 percent less what peer institutions pay their teachers.

“We tried to do things that don’t create serious implications for us long term,” Perlman said in an interview with the Journal Star. “Certainly, we’re not competitive on faculty or staff salaries, so that’s not a reduction that we take lightly.”

The raise pool could be restored to 3 percent if enrollment goals - and accompanying revenue - were reached next fiscal year.

Other proposed cuts and budget changes announced Monday would shift costs from tax dollars to budgets based on student fees while still avoiding an increase in student fees, Perlman said.

Also, four graduate assistant positions in the Student Affairs office would be cut along with two sales clerk positions in campus unions and custodial, student and graduate assistant positions within Campus Recreation.

The proposed cuts will go before the Academic Planning Committee for review by faculty members, staff, students and other campus groups.

University officials have said factors contributing to the deficit include a $2.2 million shortfall carried over from the previous fiscal year and $570,000 in new building maintenance and operation costs. Perlman told university staff in an email that UNL’s enrollment figures, which were flat this spring, did not alleviate the budget shortfall as planned.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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