Regents Approve Two Year Budget Request, Receive New Strategic Plan
Lincoln, NE (August 14, 2020) University of Nebraska President Ted Carter delivered his five year strategic plan today. Carter took over as head of the N-U system at the first of the year, and says he’s been forming goals in every area.
“Student success, empowering the leadership on our campuses to be able to do their job with the right resources, to take care of our faculty and staff, how to be more efficient in how we run the University, and how we become an economic engine for the State.”
Regents approved a budget request to the Legislature for $628 Million dollars in state funding next year and $642 million for the following year. Those requests represent increases of 2 percent for each of the next two years.
“As we approached that we said we have to look at how we’re going to do things smarter” said Carter. “It’s a forcing function. We look at everything from Administration to Programs to people.”
Carter said the University will cut $43 Million dollars a year to balance the budget. To do that, he said, everything is being looked at carefully.
“Typically, just the rate of inflation, we would be looking for 3 to 3 1/2% growth, just to cover Faculty, Staff, and growth of inflation” Carter said. “We’re going to me more efficient. We’ve only asked for a modest 2% increase over this last year’s budget going into the next biennium.”
Added attention will be given to the growing backlog of deferred maintenance.
“We’re looking at our Capital Assets, we’re looking at our infrastructure, and we have way too many buildings that are well past their 50 year intended service life, and if we’re going to get them to 70 or 80 years we’re going to have to re-invest in those buildings.”
Carter says the five billion dollars worth of buildings owned by the University need a lot of deferred maintenance, and a better way to pay for upkeep on an ongoing basis.
“If we do put up new structures, and there are some planned, we’re going to make sure they come with the maintenance plan that comes with them, so we don’t get caught behind.”
The Regents also approved changes to their policies on the handling of rape and sexual assault complaints on campus. The Group “Dear UNL” has complained bitterly in the past year, and a lawsuit was filed recently, over the handling of their complaints.
Asked whether he believes the new policy will put the complaints to rest, Carter said “No. We have more work to be done there.” Carter, who comes from a military background, said the problem exists across the U.S. “Any set of policies and procedures are only the beginning. It really takes hard work from everybody. I’d really like to be much more focused on the prevention of these issues as opposed to policies and procedures as to what happens after these events. We have some training to do with our Faculty, our Staff, and particularly our Students.”