Update on state budget reductions

July 24, 2020

This message was sent to employees and students at the University of Nevada, Reno.

To our University Community:

On Thursday, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents finalized proposed budget reductions implemented by the 31st Special Session of the Nevada State Legislature. The University’s reduction of its state General Fund is $34.8 million, which represents a 17.5 percent reduction of our FY 2021 appropriation. Working directly with our deans and administrative vice presidents, the University has been strategic in planning cuts that maintain our core missions while also being mindful that we must provide a high-quality and safe on-campus experience for the coming academic year.

Of note, a one year student surcharge of $6 per undergraduate credit and $8 per graduate credit, plus Federal CARES Act funds, as well as measures such as the freezing open positions, reduced travel, delaying deferred maintenance and reductions in operating expenditures, have and will offset some of the impacts on our students and employees. Even with these budgetary measures in place, our institution faces a period of unprecedented volatility and challenge. We will be asked to do more, with less, as we navigate the academic year. Curtailing instructional activities and implementing layoffs are and always will be last resorts as we protect our core strengths.

A few more important points:

For our students, the temporary surcharge for graduate and undergraduate credits for the academic year 2020-2021 will help our University mitigate the budget reduction. I wish to thank our student leaders for their input and insight as the discussion of the surcharge has evolved since April.

Students also should be aware of Senate Bill 2. With passage of the bill, the Regents have the ability to temporarily waive some eligibility requirements for the Millennium Scholarship. This has become an important issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Bill 2 gives the Regents the authority to approve waivers for Millennium Scholarship GPA and number of credit requirements and any others deemed appropriate. The Regents are expected to address this policy implementation at a special meeting in early August after which we expect to have more details.

The Legislature directed the use of six (6) furlough days for all employees as part of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s emergency budget response to COVID-19. The furloughs will become effective during the second half of FY ‘21. The Regents are expected to approve the specific furlough plans at a meeting this fall. More information will be provided by Human Resources as it becomes available.

Given the context of the times in which we are living, the efforts that you continue to make in advancing our mission, are remarkable. Please continue to look out for one another. We are facing a challenging moment. There will no doubt be challenging moments ahead. But we will get through it together.


Marc A. Johnson