LAS VEGAS – Following the request of Gov. Sisolak due to the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nevada Board of Regents approved another 5 percent budget reduction proposal on Friday. NSHE’s budget reduction proposal through the fiscal year 2021 totals nearly 20 percent.
The Office of the Governor has asked for budget reduction plans from all state agencies, including NSHE. The budget reduction for NSHE totaled $160 million for the two-year period – $27 million in 2020 and $132 million in 2021.
The extra 5 percent reduction will come from NSHE institution operating reserves.
NSHE and the Regents have emphasized mitigating financial impacts to low income students and avoiding layoffs along with a “shared sacrifice” model when considering budget reductions.
The previous 14 percent proposal, approved by the Regents in April, included a 4.6% reduction in pay or 12 furlough days for NSHE academic and administrative faculty (classified employees fall under the purview of the Nevada Legislature). NSHE also used federal funding as well as savings from not filling vacant positions, enacting a hiring freeze, repurposing capital funds, reducing operating costs and other contracts as part of the reduction proposal.
There will also be a systemwide temporary per credit surcharge to be assigned as follows:
- Universities – (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University of Nevada, Reno)
- Undergraduate – $6 or 2.5%.
- Graduate – $8 or 2.7%.
- Nevada State College
- Undergraduate – $5 or 2.9%.
- Graduate – $5 or 2.1%.
- College of Southern Nevada – $3 or 2.8% lower-division and 1.7% upper division.
- Great Basin College – $3 or 2.8% lower-division and 1.7% upper division.
- Truckee Meadows Comm. College – $3 or 2.8% lower-division and 1.7% upper division.
- Western Nevada College – $3 or 2.8% lower-division and 1.7% upper division.
The surcharge was calculated in proportion to current student fees at NSHE’s institutions (The percentages above are based on NSHE’s Registration Fee rates as published in the Procedures and Guidelines Manual, Chapter 7, Section 1).
Chancellor Thom Reilly emphasized that NSHE’s institutions have been on the front line of helping the state battle the pandemic.
“From the beginning, our students, faculty, and staff have been out in front helping combat the COVID-19 pandemic by helping conduct tests, performing urgent research, collecting data, and sharing valuable personal protective equipment with medical workers and first responders,” Reilly said. “NSHE will now lead the way in training and staffing the emerging field of contact tracing.”
The Chancellor and the Council of Presidents in consultation with faculty and student leadership put together the budget reduction scenarios that aim to protect NSHE’s ability to deliver on its higher education mission. The proposals were presented to the Board of Regents at an emergency teleconference meeting on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Regents Chair Jason Geddes said, “I’m proud of our students, faculty, and staff as they help Nevada in any way that they can. The reductions will be difficult to manage, and I hope all Nevadans recognize NSHE’s contributions to the COVID-19 fight.”
NSHE System Administration and the Board of Regents will continue to work collaboratively with the Office of Gov. Sisolak and all county, state, and federal health officials regarding COVID-19. The health and wellbeing of Nevada’s public higher education community continues to be NSHE’s utmost priority in this developing situation.
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Board of Regents.