NOTE: I’m not part of CABNR, but that one caught me totally off-guard! We are a Land Grant University for God’s sake! And the higher-ups are dismantling the College of Agriculture???!!! I bitched and moaned when they got rid of the Mackay School of Mines and put it under the College of Science, but AG?!
Today the University of Nevada, Reno is announcing that in the wake of a state-mandated 6.9 percent budget reduction, several colleges and departments have been notified that they will be considered for possible closure, reorganization or reduction. An Academic Planning Process, which was shared with Faculty Senate in January and announced at a University town hall meeting on Feb. 9, will be initiated immediately and will provide for a period of further review and input.
We have been asked to sustain an $11 million budget cut in order to meet the 6.9 percent reduction that was arrived at over the weekend during the special session of the Nevada State Legislature. We have already taken a 15.5 percent, or $33 million, budget cut. The new cut brings the total annual reduction to our campus to $44 million.
The notifications that have been made today set into action a very specific timeline for the coming days and weeks. I encourage all of you to go to the links below to find out how this process will proceed. The timeline calls for decisions, which are subject to approval by the Nevada Board of Regents, to be made by June 30, 2010. Changes would go into effect on June 30, 2011. After careful consideration, the Provost’s Office has made its proposals for review. Provost Marc Johnson has spent today notifying the colleges and departments, and providing an explanation and justification for the proposed changes, which is known as “Academic Planning Process/Curricular Review” and is prescribed in the Nevada System of Higher Education code. Curricular review includes the number of degrees granted, enrollment in the major, student full-time-equivalent production, scholarship productivity, external scholarship grant award and expenditure performance, relation to fulfillment of other programs, centrality to mission and national and international uniqueness. Reductions to areas not subject to the Academic Planning Process will also be necessary to meet our required budget cuts.
A University news release details the specific notifications that were made today. Notable among the notifications is the proposed closure of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources and a proposed restructuring of the College of Education into a single unit without department boundaries. A link to the news release is provided below.
For our students, it is important to note that even if a degree program is proposed to be discontinued, the timeline will allow them to complete the program , or a different, appropriately related degree. Out of an abundance of caution, we will provide those students that might be impacted with academic advising to complete their program. We continue to stand by the commitment that acceptance to our University means that we will do everything in our power to ensure student retention and success.
I should also mention that although I am disappointed to drastically cut our budget yet again, our legislative leaders, given the complexity and severity of a more than $800 million shortfall, did their best to minimize the damage to K-12 and higher education. We look forward to working with the state’s leaders to build a stronger, brighter future for our state – a future predicated on a strong system of higher education that no longer languishes at or near the bottom nationwide of the number of 19-year-olds who are enrolled in college.
Throughout the past two years of budget reductions, virtually every aspect of our campus has felt the state’s fiscal crisis. During this time of extreme challenge, all of you have served our institution and our students exceptionally well. I am so grateful for all of your efforts. Our bottom line remains clear: We must continue to ensure student success and protect the core of our University.
Copy of the News Release.