Communications

  • CARES Act Funding Approach - August 10, 2020

    Recently we received information from the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), but the details are still few and far between. OPE confirmed the CARES Act could cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the Coronavirus. However, OPE stated that reporting requirements are still being developed and will announce once completed. In my conversation with Research Compliance, due to limited information on reporting and audit requirements, we are going to treat it like any other federal grants. The University approach for using Cares Act is as follows:

    Reporting requirements

    • All Expenditures must post into Workday by December 31st, 2020
    • For Salary & fringe expenditures, the posted date in Workday is November 30th, 2020
    • Effort Reporting will have to be verified
    • Expenses must be recorded on your Cares Act worktag
    • Submit department/unit plans to PBA by September 1st, 2020 to ensure that the costs are allowable.

    Institutional permissible uses

    • Flexibility to spend funds as long as it is related to disruption
    • Pay faculty who are teaching online (or hybrid)
    • Training/PPE/equipment/technology necessary for online instruction
    • PPE for in-person classes and all academic and administrative offices
    • Litmus test - Was the funds spent on something related to the distribution of campus activities
    • If the funding for faculty is coming out of the institutional share, comfortable making expenditures for those purposes
    • One of the objectives was to provide sufficient financial support to retain faculty (admin and staff)

    Examples of CARES Act plans

    • One month salary for Dean, Associate Deans and Fiscal Officer for planning how to manage the scheduling of online and hybrid classes and how to manage budget cuts related to COVID
    • Two months salary for Personnel Analyst who is assisting and advising faculty and staff of the Families
    • First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA) requirements and submitting the request to the absence management team
    • Salaries for academic faculty who have transitioned from in-person teaching to online and/or hybrid teaching

    For any concerns or questions that may arise, please reach your Budget Liaison. Thank you for your attention to this critical timeline and the details.

  • FY21 Budget Reduction – July 20, 2020

    With the conclusion of the Legislature's special session yesterday, the President has completed his allocation of budget cut targets this morning. For the University's State appropriated budgets, VP units will be asked for an 11% cut and academic units an 8% cut for FY 21. For all non‐formula State appropriated budgets, there will be a 13.8% cut. You will likely read in the paper that the University was cut 17.5% (or 23%, depending on how it's calculated); however, several sources, including Federal CARES funds, a student surcharge, and excess investment income, mitigated the net impacts.

    Furloughs were imposed by the Legislature and are six days in the last six months of the fiscal year. However, furloughs nor the one‐month PEBP employers premium holiday will count towards the percent savings above. The Regents will be acting in the next several weeks to define the parameters of the furlough program and will pass on more information as soon as it's known. The Legislature was fairly restrictive in its furlough language, and I expect exemptions to be few. As of this writing, it appears that classified merit steps continue in FY 21.

    Anaplan

    To input your revised budgets, Anaplan will be available from July 21 through July 28. All your data from your UNR Budget Model will be carried over to the Revised UNR Budget Model. To obtain your new budget target, please reference target dashboards. If you don't have a target appropriation dashboard, then a supplemental spreadsheet will be provided. 

    This Saturday, July 25, Anaplan will be unavailable from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. due to system maintenance.

    Items of note: Balancing your FY21 state budget

    • We added two columns to the Target Appropriation dashboards, which are Budget Reductions and CARES Act Funding. The CARES Act funding column is the amount of funding that you need to move off of state funds on to self‐supporting funds. Additionally, since a worktag doesn't exist in Workday for the CARES Act funding, a temporary worktag will be assigned in Anaplan.
    • If you need to delete a transfer‐in, transfer‐out, or funding distribution approval, please contact your budget liaison to initiate the process.
    • For any vacant position considered part of the budget cut, then the base pay should be entered as zero. In the notes column, please use the description: "FY21 Budget cuts."
    • If you are delaying a hiring position, then you need to calculate the base pay based on the date of hire.
    • You will not have the option to exclude a position from the budget or change the FTE. If you need to make a change, contact your budget liaison to initiate the process.

    Microsoft Team meetings

    We will be holding 30‐minute informational meetings starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. via Microsoft Teams, which you will be receiving an invitation based on your appropriation.

    Finally, with a dose of pessimism, there are two remaining unknowns this fiscal year. First, we are anticipating enrollments are down slightly this fall. Should they fall dramatically, we may have to pull back further. Second, the State's budget is very fragile right now. Should another lockdown occur (similar to what we see in California and other border states), we'll be doing this again. The hiring freeze will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and I continue to request that all non‐essential purchases be held at least until fall enrollments are final.

  • COVID-19 budget challenges

    The Governor's Finance Office announced that it has sent a memo to executive branch directors and agency heads directing all state agencies to prepare proposed budget reserves of 12 percent for each year of the upcoming 2021-23 biennium.

    Our reality given this request is that we must proactively plan for any possible type of future budget reduction scenarios, particularly given the persistence of COVID-19 throughout Nevada. As you are well aware, this impacts both our general fund appropriations from the State of Nevada and our self-supporting activities, including residence life, parking, and continuing education.

    We understand the sacrifices you have made since the pandemic first hit. Whether it was shifting to remote delivery for University operations in the early days of the pandemic, implementing budget reductions that were requested by a special session of the Nevada State Legislature this summer, or safely and thoughtfully re-opening our campus for the fall semester, the students, faculty, and staff of our institution have shown remarkable patience, understanding, and resilience.

    In the University's decision-making process, we will work collaboratively, sharing ideas, transparency, and open communication lines to protect our University's mission. Our efforts are ongoing to save every dollar and avoid non-urgent expenses for the foreseeable future.

    This includes:

    • Engaging our Deans, Directors, and student leadership to determine the best ways to minimize budget reduction impacts on our core missions;
    • A hiring freeze, implemented during the spring 2020 semester, will remain in effect for the remaining of the fiscal year;
    • The Board of Regents will be meeting on Nov. 13 to discuss the plan to implement a series of furlough days for the remainder of the fiscal year; and
    • We are studying the feasibility of closing selected buildings on campus and limiting on-campus activity between Nov. 30 and Jan. 25 to save utility costs.