Message from President Smatresk Regarding the Budget
Sent via UNLV Official on Jan. 08, 2010
By now you have all heard of the budget cuts proposed by the Governor. While we do not know what plans the Legislature may support, the State continues to fall short of its budgeted revenue goal. In anticipation that the State may require additional cuts from NSHE, Chancellor Klaich has asked us to assess the impacts of a potential 8% cut for remainder of this fiscal year (FY10) and for next year (FY11). The Chancellor and the System Presidents are meeting regularly to develop a strategy for dealing with this possibility that includes anticipated contributions from the state, NSHE, and each NSHE institution, that will be discussed at a special Board of Regents meeting on February 2nd. Our conversations have been productive and we are considering all viable options to address this situation.
To date, we have cut our budget 15.4%, and managed to continue serving more students. You have all made this possible, despite furloughs and reduced staffing levels, through the sacrifices you have made and through your unswerving support of our core mission. For this you have my heartfelt thanks. We all know we have been cut to the bone, and that it has had significant negative impacts to our campus and students. While our current plans would allow us to cover the FY10 proposed budget reductions without severe impacts to our spring semester plans, I am convinced that we do not have enough financial flexibility left in our budget for next year to implement such significant cuts without seriously reducing enrollment and curtailing essential non-instructional functions.
I am asking that all levels of government join us in addressing this problem, including our Governor, our Legislators, our Board of Regents, and NSHE System Administration. All must contribute to ameliorate these catastrophic cuts. If we are faced with additional cuts, we will be forced to cap or reduce enrollment, eliminate educational programs and raise student fees. These actions will deny educational opportunities to thousands of students.
In conjunction with the Faculty Senate, we will continue our internal program review process to prioritize support for our best programs of instruction, research and service, and provide continuity of support for other critical functions at UNLV. I will hold a Town Hall meeting to discuss these fiscal plans on January 14th at 3:30 p.m., in the Student Union, and we hope that if you have questions or concerns that you will be able to attend.
Finally, I encourage you all to have faith in our institution and our dynamic vision. We have made too much progress to abandon our dreams. We will post periodic updates on our budget website, and I thank you all again for your commitment to see UNLV and our community through this challenge. We cannot back away from our teaching and research mission, which provides an educated workforce and an increasingly diversified economy to our state. We can only realize a prosperous and sustainable future with a healthy system of higher education in Nevada.