Despite challenges, Dr. Gold enthusiastic for new year

by Elizabeth Kumru, UNMC public relations | January 16, 2018

Image with caption: Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

This is a time for reflection, UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., said Friday at the first all-campus forum of 2018.

"And, it's also time to look to the future," he said.

With the legislature convening, the governor last week proposed new budget cuts that would impact the university system, including a 2 percent mid-year cut and another 4 percent reduction in 2018-19, which would total an additional $34 million cut over the biennium.

To address earlier cuts, the university identified nearly $30 million through its Budget Response Team process, which identified areas of reduction and consolidation. Discussions will continue as to how to best meet any future cuts, he said, noting the process would be open and transparent.

It's also as important as ever for the university community to highlight its broad impact across the state, he said. "We need to convince the governor and legislature that an investment in education is an investment in the quality of life and health care in the state," he said. "If we can't do that, then we'll have to make additional cuts."

Still, Dr. Gold remains optimistic.

"At the end of the day, we must grow through this . . . The future prosperity of Nebraska is dependent on the success of this great university," he said. "The quality, excellence and value-added we provide is critically important at this time and is limitless."

The biggest risk of the budget challenge, he said, is the demoralization of the university family. "We will get through this, together. We need our entire UNMC family to redouble our efforts, to work together toward our mission-driven goals."

So, with potential additional budget cuts looming, what keeps Dr. Gold up at night? "It's concern, not worry," he said. "A concerned person understands the challenges, can solve problems and turn the challenges into opportunities."

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