- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The University of Nebraska Board of Regents are set to consider a 3.5 percent increase to the university’s operating budget for the upcoming academic year, as well as a tuition freeze for state residents.

The increase will bring NU’s total operating budget to $2.4 billion, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1mj0tIy ). Regents will consider the budget during the regular meeting Friday morning on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus.

Interim NU President James Linder said freezing tuition reflects the university’s highest priority of keeping college affordable. Nonresidents will see a small increase in tuition costs.

The budget includes several strategic investments, including $2.5 million for NU’s Programs of Excellence awarded on a competitive basis to enhance certain high-priority academic areas.

It would give $1.3 million to the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, aimed at creating a more level playing field for at-risk children, and as much as $800,000 to hire additional faculty at the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha, which houses UNL’s College of Engineering.

Other investments include $500,000 to expand nursing and health programs on the Kearney campus, and $500,000 to support personnel and programming at the Rural Futures Institute for research into enhancing rural areas of Nebraska.

The budget is also expected to include a 3 percent salary increase for faculty and staff outside of collective bargaining units at the Omaha and Kearney campuses.

The university froze tuition for the second year in a row as part of an “affordability compact” with the Nebraska Legislature. The agreement brought a 4 percent increase in state appropriations approved by the Legislature and the governor in 2012.

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


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