University of Nebraska leadership announced today the first phase of recommendations from the Budget Response Teams. The response teams were created to address reductions in state funding for the University of Nebraska school system. The teams, made up of hundreds of employees across the NU system, have been working since January to tackle the issues created by the $49 million budget shortfall.
The announced phase I changes include consolidation of several small teams across the separate universities into one, university-wide team. Separate small cyber-security teams across the NU system will be consolidated into a single university- wide team of 25. Energy and facilities teams across campuses will also be consolidated to one team. A university-wide procurement function will also be created, which NU leadership said “will integrate our procurement resources, talent and practices to provide more effective supplier management and cost savings.” A new university-wide HR team will also be put in place. Many of these consolidations may involve job cuts.
We will be thoughtful with these changes, but some new realities will not be convenient or easy. Job reductions will impact real people, with real livelihoods, though we will capture personnel savings through attrition wherever possible. —NU Leadership
In addition to several university-wide consolidations, the NU system will also reduce mileage reimbursements for employees using personal vehicles for university travel from 53.5 cents per mile to 25 cents per mile. Next week, NU leadership will bring a proposal to the Board of Regents to contract with travel expense reimbursement system Concur.
University-wide policies will be put in place to cut copying and printing costs, by keeping jobs in-house and reducing individual printing by employees.
Future strategies nearing finalization and announcement include printing and copying; financial operations and accounting; public relations, marketing and communications; and travel.
The University of Nebraska is as important to the state’s economy and quality of life as it has ever been. So as we do the difficult work of making cuts during a period of remarkable momentum, we’ll all need to be creative in finding ways to do more with less so that we can continue to serve the state effectively. —NU Leadership
More information can be found on the Budget Response Team website.