Gov. Pete Ricketts on Thursday released a proposed two-year state budget package that fully funds the University of Nebraska system's appropriations request for 2021-22 and 2022-23, including key investments in student access that support the university's highest priority of affordable excellence.
Under Ricketts' budget proposal, issued following his annual State of the State address, NU would receive 2 percent increases in state funds each of the next two years. The modest increases reflect the university's commitment to being a good partner to the state during a challenging fiscal period.
The additional funds would help cover the university's compensation expenses in the upcoming biennium; all other increased expenses, including utilities, inflation and strategic investments, would be covered through internal reallocations, as outlined in a multi-year NU budget plan built and announced last year by the president and chancellors.
Ricketts also proposed a continued investment in the Nebraska Career Scholarships, a new statewide program providing scholarships to college students in high-need areas like engineering, healthcare, IT and math. NU campuses have begun awarding Nebraska Career Scholarships for the spring 2021 semester.
NU System President Ted Carter thanked the governor for his support of the university's request.
"The budget package proposed today by Governor Ricketts provides for affordable, outstanding education at the University of Nebraska," Carter said. "This budget clears the way for our two-year tuition freeze, which will make a university education more accessible for thousands of students and families. And the Governor's commitment to the Nebraska Career Scholarships is a forward-thinking investment in access and workforce development.
"I am grateful that our elected leaders recognize the importance of a strong public university, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Governor and members of the Legislature to grow our state for the future."
"From its economic impact to the improvement in the quality of life across Nebraska, the University of Nebraska provides many benefits for the citizens of our state," said Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor of UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. "Gov. Ricketts' budget is an investment in our university. That investment will provide dividends across Nebraska in terms of a growing economy, increased earning power for our citizens, an ever-growing national stature in research and innovation, and improvements in health and health care among our population at this critical time."
The budget package now moves to the legislature for deliberation.
The University of Nebraska currently receives about $613 million in state appropriations. The state funds close to two-thirds of the university's general operations, with most of the rest funded by tuition revenue.