The national and international recession continues to affect Nevada's state agencies severely. Nevada's state fund revenues likely will not recover strongly for this and the next two biennia (6 years). The challenge within the 2011-13 biennium is to reduce annual, base spending by nearly $59,000,000 (Nevada Executive Budget Proposal, January, 2011). The University of Nevada, Reno will maintain strength in quality teaching, research and outreach capabilities with a two-part approach. First, the University will narrow its scope by closing, reducing in size, and/or reorganizing some programs to protect the current size and quality of remaining programs. This will leave the University in a position to spring forward at the end of the recession with much of its current strength. Second, the University will make further reductions in state fund expenditures in other areas.
The purpose of this document is to initiate the Academic Planning Process (Appendix A) which implements "curricular review" of programs prescribed by Nevada System of Higher Education Code Section 5.4.6. The procedure and timeline for curricular review are shown in Appendix A and the relevant code sections related to curricular review and employee protections are shown in Appendix B. The Institutional Strategic Plan of the University, adopted by the Board of Regents in December, 2009 and summarized in Appendix C, will guide decisions (the entire plan can be found on the website of the Office of the Provost). Once a program goes through the curricular review process, the ultimate result may be program closure, reduction, and/or reorganization, separation of employees related to the program, and reversion of other budgeted funds. Curricular review and the likelihood of losing employment and important programs will be stressful. Resources of the University Counseling Service and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are identified with contact information in Appendix D. Employee notification and reconsideration rights are provided at the websites listed in Appendix D. Students with declared majors in programs subject to curricular review will be contacted for advisement on strategies to finish their desired degrees in the event of program closure. The review process will operate on the following schedule:
The primary criteria for the review of programs include:
The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) is the Land Grant University of Nevada. NSHE is authorized to receive funds from the federal government, through the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to produce cooperatively, with each county of Nevada, an extension program (NRS 396.690). NSHE has assigned this responsibility to the University of Nevada, Reno. The scope of purpose of UNCE is to provide educational, research, outreach and service programs pertaining to agriculture, community development, health and nutrition, horticulture, personal and family development, and natural resources in the rural and urban communities in the State of Nevada (NRS Chap. 549). In order to participate, each county is required to provide at least one cent per $100 of taxable property value in property taxes as the county share of Extension support. The University is authorized to supplement these county funds with State funds. The Federal Government currently invests $1,153,230 annually in UNCE with the requirement that the State must match this amount one for one. Currently, State funds in the amount of $7,678,549 are invested in UNCE, an over-match of $6,525,319. While Cooperative Extension is a historic function of the Land Grant University and a core mission of the public service function of NSHE and the University, Extension is not closely connected to the ability of the University to fulfill its teaching and research missions. This relative isolation from the teaching and research missions allows significant reductions in extension services while protecting the remaining core missions of the University during a time of unprecedented budgetary shortfalls. This proposal would reduce in size the UNCE organization as a result of greatly reducing the over-match in State funding, while preserving the ability to match Federal Government expenditures one-for-one, maintain leadership and management of county resources according to existing cooperative agreements with Nevada's County Commissions for the continuation of county extension programs, maintain the State 4-H Camp (NRS Chapter 550), and retain the core Land Grant University responsibilities for Cooperative Extension.
The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) is part of the public service division of the NSHE. The scope of purpose of the NBMG includes providing information and exchange on Nevada's mineral industries, mineral resources and geology; surveying and studying the mineral resources and geology of the State; collecting library materials and representative mineral samples of Nevada; disseminating information; consulting with state and local agencies; and collaborating with the U. S. Geological Survey (NRS 514.040). The Director of the NBMG and State Geologist is to
lead NBMG. Currently, State fund investment supports NBMG in the amount of $2,108,907. While NBMG is a historic function of the University and an important public service function of NSHE and the University, the NBMG is not closely connected to the ability of the University to fulfill its teaching and research missions. This proposal represents a reduction in size of NBMG as a result of greatly reduced State funding, and remedies the relative isolation from the teaching and research missions by merging NBMG into the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, within the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, in the College of Science.
On March 8, 2011, the University retracted this proposal.
The Energy and Environmental Science Program is a statewide program housed in the Department of Physics at the University of Nevada, Reno. The program was created in 1995 by agreement between the Desert Research Institute and the University of Nevada, Reno. One research professor position was transferred from the Desert Research Institute with the statewide program. The program has had a limited impact on the University's mission of teaching, research and service since its creation.
The program has been productive through contributions to the scientific literature, but the research efforts have had a minimal impact on graduate and undergraduate education, generating very little student full time equivalents since its inception (none in academic year 2009-10), the completion of one Ph.D. and no Masters degrees since its creation, and attracting a very small amount of external funding to support its research enterprise (average annual awards of $35,554 and expenditures of $47,590 over FY'07-'10). This proposal would close the Energy and Environmental Science Program and associated personnel by June 30, 2012.
On March 8, 2011, the University retracted this proposal following consultation with administration officials at UNLV, which had also announced a similar proposal. The University will continue to offer social work degree programs.
The School of Social Work is part of the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. The School produced 57 BSW and 26 MSW degrees in academic year 2009-10. Research and service grant expenditures averaged about $350,000 annually during the last four fiscal years. As a professional school, 87 percent of students in social work classes are from within the majors; therefore, the school is not well connected to, or essential for, other teaching programs on campus. The School of Social Work offers a BSW degree in collaboration with Great Basin College on a 3 + 1 program. Though preparation of the professional workforce in the health sciences is a strategic mission of the University of Nevada, Reno, the severe budget reduction facing the University requires that smaller academic programs which do not affect the progress of students in other degree programs must be closed to sustain the remaining programs. This closure proposal must be developed and monitored with the actions being taken at UNLV regarding their BSW and MSW programs, to assure that Nevada students have an opportunity to obtain a social work degree in Nevada.
The Department of Theater and Dance supports BA and BFA degrees in theater and minors in theater and dance. Six degrees were awarded in theater along with production of 79.1 student full time equivalents during academic year 2009-10. Seven professional positions and several Letter of Appointment faculty are associated with the theater and dance program. The theater program supports the Reno Repertory Theater Company making possible student and community participation in theater productions. The dance unit offers spring and fall dance public performances. Though loss of theater and dance will narrow the University's degree offerings and experiences in the arts, the small number of students attracted to the degree programs suggests the Department of Theater and Dance as a program to close to sustain the remaining programs in the University.
The Department of Foreign Language and Literatures provides instruction in foreign languages for many students on campus, but produces a significant number of graduates in only Spanish. The French program awarded 15 BA degrees and produced 86.6 student full time equivalents in academic year 2009-10. Five full-time faculty positions are involved with this program. Focusing effort to keep bachelor's and master's degrees only in Spanish will allow the University to maintain depth in the language and culture of Nevada's growing Latino and Hispanic population and gain efficiency in providing foreign language instruction relevant to other majors on campus. This proposal entails closing the BA degree in French and the MA degree in Foreign Language and Literatures with a French specialization, while maintaining lower-division French language instruction.
The Special Collections and University Archives Department of the University Libraries houses, preserves, and provides access to historical resources related to the history and cultures of Nevada and the Great Basin. It also includes a program to digitize materials in the collection. The University Archives preserves the history of the university in documents, photographs, books, and memorabilia. This is an historic function of libraries, but its centrality to university recordkeeping has lessened as university records have become digitized and maintained at the department or college level. While still serving an important public service function, the materials contained therein are less directly connected to the University's broader instructional and research emphases than other discrete parts of the University Libraries.