A message from Chancellor Gold on the budget

June 29, 2020

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

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

On June 29, UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., sent this message to UNMC faculty, staff and students:

This past Friday, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the University of Nebraska's budget for the next fiscal year, while charting a multi-year course that will beget long-term growth and success.

As I shared in earlier communication, the University of Nebraska System faces a budget shortfall of $43 million, which we will cut over the next three years. At UNMC, this amounts to a little over $6.5 million, or about 2.9 percent of our total budget. An additional impact of $1.0 million will be seen on our auxiliary functions, such as parking.

This 2.9 percent figure is a net reduction of our budget. It is based on several assumptions, including a 2.75 tuition increase for 20-21 and differential tuition increases for some programs over the next three years. (Without the tuition increase, differential tuition and other smaller factors that increased revenue, UNMC's budget reduction totaled 4.6 percent.)

Although the budget provides no increase for UNMC faculty and staff salaries in 2020-21, it does propose 1.5% and 3% increases, respectively, in the salary pool over the next two years.

Importantly, I've asked campus leaders to explore efficiencies in our support services that could be effected within each unit, shared between UNMC and UNO, or between units on each campus. I do believe that this is an important ongoing analysis, and we will hopefully identify operational efficiencies.

Concurrently with this analysis, UNMC vice chancellors, deans and directors will use appropriate budget templates and will meet with faculty, staff, and students to finalize their budgets for the next three years.

Again, we will have a bias toward front-loading our budget reductions as much as possible, knowing that a dollar saved today relieves the pressure on dollars that must be saved tomorrow. Certainly, some of the budget-reducing programs that the University has introduced -- including a voluntary FTE-reduction program and a new furlough policy -- will provide some assistance in reaching our budgetary goals.

That said, we must look at this work with a "growth mindset." Already, we've seen tremendous growth in student applications from Nebraska Promise and other enrollment incentive programs; our research enterprise is on pace for another record-setting year of extramural support; and the teamwork between campuses and units continues to be inspiring.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will make decisions that are in the collective best interests of our students and their academic experience. We will make cuts to academic programs and to staff only after we thoroughly analyze other options. And, we will routinely provide more detailed information on this budgetary process, as available, over the next several months.

While this work is difficult, I am also optimistic about our financial situation. Certainly, some of the more extreme projections that we had modeled as recently as a few weeks ago did not become our reality. In Nebraska, and at UNMC, we are in a better position than many other parts of the country, which have taken massive cuts to their economies because of the pandemic and the associated economic downturn. I also strongly believe that our growth strategy is highly viable.

As I've indicated, we will continue to provide a top-tier educational experience for our students as we pursue our research, clinical and community engagement mission. We will focus on growth, which will allow us to flourish for our students, faculty, staff and patients.

Your feedback and input are essential to helping us understand the needs of our campus community. Please send any questions or input that you have to unmcpr@unmc.edu.

The work you are doing continues to inspire me. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to UNMC, to each other and to the community that we serve.

Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.


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UNMC Today Editor
July 09, 2020 at 9:35 AM

The furlough policy can be found at: https://nebraska.edu/-/media/unca/docs/offices-and-policies/policies/policies/hr-02-furlough-program.pdf

Travis A Weyant
July 08, 2020 at 7:02 PM

Thank you for the updates and transparency. Is there a place where employee can read the new furlough policy?