University Of Nebraska Announces $5M In Cuts

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is proposing $5 million in cuts to deal with an increase in expenses, including utilities, insurance and operating costs, Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced Thursday.

The proposed cuts include elimination of several programs, including a master's degree in classics in the College of Arts and Sciences and a K-12 art education program in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The university would also eliminate an undergraduate Industrial and Management Systems Engineering program, but retain the master's program.

The one graduate student currently enrolled in the classics program will be allowed to finish within a reasonable amount of time, and the sole organ study student will graduate next month, the university said.

There are 67 undergraduate students in the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering program, but important elements of that program will be incorporated into other colleges and departments, university spokeswoman Meg Lauerman said.

There are 57 students in the art education program; 17 are graduate students who will be allowed to finish the endorsement, Lauerman said. Thirty-five are undergraduate students in the art education program who will be asked to select a different endorsement. Another five are post-doctoral students who may or may not be able to complete the endorsement depending on their schedule.

The cuts would eliminate 22 faculty positions -- including two pre-tenured faculty members and 15 tenure-track positions that are currently unfilled. It would also eliminate nearly 36 staff positions, most of which are vacant.

Other cost-cutting proposals Perlman announced include restructuring the Office of Academic Affairs to incorporate the functions now carried out by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, closing and razing the aging University Terrace which houses international studies and other programs, and reducing on-campus mail delivery from five days a week to every other day.

UNL may be facing a possible reduction of $10 million to $15 million over the next two years, Perlman said, and by taking a $5 million reduction now, the university should realize immediate savings in some recurring costs.

"While the Legislature's budget proposal calls for no reductions in our state funding over the course of the next two years -- and we are encouraged by that proposal -- we still need to address increasing expenses," Perlman said.