Nevada Faculty Alliance
 

Chancellor's Summary of Cuts Already Made to NSHE

12 Apr 2011 2:13 PM | Anonymous
In his report to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents last Friday, April 8, Chancellor Dan Klaich summarized cuts made to the System so far as follows:

The System is preparing to enter its fifth consecutive year of budget cuts. 
  • We began cutting budgets in the fall of 2007, six months after the 2007 Legislature adjourned (Fiscal Year '08).
    • We started with a 4.5-percent budget cut in FY 2008 and FY 2009 - $57.6 million dollars.
    • As part of this reduction, NSHE returned its $10 million state investment in iNtegrate.
  • The 24th special session further reduced NSHE by 3.42 percent in FY '09 - another $22.2 million.
  • The 2009 Legislative Session was a difficult one for the System. In closing NSHE’s budget, the Legislature reduced support by 13.1 percent from the FY '09 budgeted amounts. That was an $89 million per year reduction from the budget level our enrollments would otherwise generate.
    • The FY '09 budgeted amount ($681 million) is an important benchmark, because it was the last budget that was created by the legislature that funded NSHE based on enrollments.
    • It's important to note that in reality the state support of higher education actually dropped $184.8 million more than indicated above – and was supplanted by ARRA. More than 22 percent of our budget last fiscal year (FY '10) was supported by Federal Stimulus Funds – funds that were intended to be a bridge for states experiencing hard times – not one-time funds as some have claimed.
  • And then, last winter, the 26th special session convened with another 2.3-percent reduction in FY '10 and a 6.9-percent reduction in FY '11 – a total loss of an additional $46 million. As we stand today, the State support of Higher Ed is $558 million – 18 percent below the $681 million level indicated by our budgeted enrollments.
  • Speaking of budgeted enrollments, it's interesting to note that Higher Ed is often compared to the private sector and told to "tighten its belt" when times are tough. And I understand that – when times are tough at the restaurant down the street or the hardware store on the corner, business falls off and belt-tightening occurs.  But our business hasn’t fallen off. In fact, since the year that budget cuts began, the Fall of 2007, through last fall, we have increased our headcount by 6,700 students; that's a 6-percent increase during an 18-percent cut in state support.
  • And we are doing it with a lot fewer people. A good measure of the robustness of the System is how many people it can employ to carry out its mission. NSHE simply cannot afford the number of positions today that it had in FY '08. In fact, almost 9 percent of our state-funded positions have been eliminated – again, at a time when we are serving more students.
  • Another measure of the System's health is our research activity. In FY '08, the first year of cuts, NSHE had $133.2 million in federal research and development. These projects are the heart and soul of our research mission – the projects that generate new knowledge and attract the best and brightest faculty and students.  FY '10 – just two years later – was down to $118,317 – an 11-percent drop. FY '11 looks like it will be even worse. The contributing causes are easy to identify: disincentives for bright faculty to stay, lack of available funds for grant match and lack of investment in facilities.
  • And student fees have gone up as well, from FY '07 to this year:
    • Colleges – 32 percent
    • Univ UG – 49 percent
    • Univ Grad – 60 percent
    • State College – 43 percent

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