Budget Updates

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Message from President Smatresk Regarding the Budget

Sent via UNLV Official on Feb. 16, 2010

Dear members of the campus community,

We are facing unprecedented budget cuts to higher education within the State of Nevada. Our Governor has recommended an additional 10% in operating cuts (at least $13 million to the main campus at UNLV, in addition to the $42M we have already lost). The Governor has also proposed an additional 1.75% salary reduction to NSHE for “equity” purposes, but it is difficult to interpret the impact of this cut to our current furlough system. We will probably not have a clear idea of the exact budget reductions this biennium until after the Special Legislative Session next week.

Unless there is an unforeseen windfall of revenue, we anticipate that we will have to cut at least $10M to $13M in academic and academic support areas to prevent further erosion of our core strengths and mission. These cuts will be made based on the recommendation of the program evaluation exercise that we recently completed, and additional recommendations brought forward through a “code” driven process from a joint faculty senate/administrative team that will consider proposals for program elimination.

Operating cuts of this magnitude require us to rethink our current hiring plans, which were authorized in September, thus effective immediately I am suspending all hiring decisions until we better understand the magnitude of the cuts, and know what programs we will have to eliminate. It is my sincere hope that we will be able to reengage strategic hires to support our strengths and mission, guided by this process, and that we can emerge a stronger, more focused institution.

Thank you for your forbearance as we prepare to make the difficult decisions we hope will lead us through this current fiscal crisis. Your support and commitment to UNLV in these difficult times is a critical factor in our future success, and you have my commitment to work with you to see us through in the most open process possible.


Neal Smatresk