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Reports from Policy Analysts

Budget Shortfall Threatens Public College, Community College and University Budgets

Submitted On: Thursday, March 9, 2017

Analyst: Minter, Deborah

As recently reported in the Washington Times (February 27, 2017) and the Lincoln Journal Star (February 27, 2017), a struggling farm economy has impacted state revenue creating a budget shortfall estimated at $287 million across the next biennium (2017-2019). “Governor Pete Ricketts said the adjusted forecast underscores the need for continued spending restraint from every state-funded entity,” as reported in the Lincoln Journal Star. “And he called for balancing the budget without raising taxes.”

An initial budget proposal from the Governor’s office recommended a $5.4 million cut to the University of Nebraska system across the 2017-19 budget period. The state college system would receive a slight increase and the six community colleges would receive a cut totaling $3 million.

In January, NU system president Hank Bounds announced the creation of a Budget Response Team that will identify strategies for reductions across several areas of university operations (including IT, facilities, human resources, digital education and travel, etc.).

The legislative side of the budget process is now underway with hearings before the Appropriations Committee of the Nebraska Legislature.

Academic Level

Higher Education

State

Nebraska

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