Saturday, May 7, 2011

Regents support Chancellor's "4-point plan"

Friday the Board of Regents supported the Chancellor's "4-point plan" to fill the nearly $150 million hole in the state's Higher Education budget as proposed by Governor Sandoval Tuesday.

The plan calls for NSHE to implement across-the-board salary cuts for all faculty and staff at the same rate as other state workers (expected to be 5%) plus an additional reduction of operating expenses by 10% (which would involve program reductions and layoffs based on the detailed plans presented by the System last month.) These measures would achieve approximately $45 in savings over the coming biennium (the $40 m in spending cuts, for future biennia as well) through the sacrifice of faculty and staff and their families.

It would also include 13% student fee hikes for each of the coming fiscal years, which would generate an anticipated $45m in revenue through the sacrifice of students and their families.

This plan would save approximately 12,000 of roughly 19,000 student seats that would be cut statewide under the full cut plan -- and would reduce by about 2/3 the number of degree programs that would have to be cut. It would also preserve an estimated 1500 faculty and staff positions across the state, from which Nevadans would have to be laid off.

But this plan requires the state legislature and Governor Sandoval to match the sacrifice of students, faculty and staff with additional $60 million appropriation above the Governor's parsimonious recommendation.

Starting tomorrow, the legislature can work together to find a common-sense, compromise solution to the state's budget.

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