On Monday, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green informed a number of personnel that their programs could be cut.
The announcement preceded a hearing in the Nebraska Legislature after Governor Ricketts slashed the state University budget by approximately $11 million for the current budget year and $23 million for the next budget year.
“They aren’t being eliminated at this point — they are just proposals,” Green said. “But there’s no way to dice it. This is serious business.”
Among the proposed cuts, UNL would close Haskell Agriculture Laboratory, a research center near Concord. The laboratory serves 28 counties in northeast Nebraska.
The proposal also calls for a deep cut to the Rural Futures Initiative (RFI). RFI was founded in 2012 with a mission to harness the intellectual energy of the University of Nebraska and its partners to positively impact the future of humankind.
Other proposed cuts include:
- Eliminating bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in geography.
- Eliminating the electronics engineering bachelor’s degree.
- Eliminating bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in art history.
- Eliminating two teacher’s certification programs, one in business, marketing and information technology and the other in French, Latin and Russian language education.
It could be late March before a final budget decision comes from the State Capitol. Even if the proposed cuts must move forward at that time, Green stressed that they still would be subject to full review by the Academic Planning Committee, including a public hearing and recommended modifications, as described by the process set out here .
“This is not the first time we have had to make these tough decisions — this is the third cut to the university budget in less than a year,” Green said “And, as sad as it is to say, unless something changes dramatically, it is not going to be the last cut either.”