Issue Paper: edmonII-5. 1-07.
NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER:
SYSTEM BUDGET INCREASE BIGGER THAN ACKNOWLEDGED
SLICE OF THE PIE. Governor
Heineman proposes a 1.1% increase in the budget for the University of Nebraska
system in FY 2007-2008, smaller than recent average budget additions. The university administration complains about
the meagerness of this increase.
However, a close examination of their statistics demonstrates their
mathematical subterfuge. They state that
in 1989, NU received 21.9% of total state spending, whereas, under the Heineman
proposal, it would receive only 13.8% of the state budget in 2009. This comparison makes it appear that the
University system is receiving a cut in allocations. Actually, in 1989, the U. received $214
million. In the current fiscal year, it
absorbed $495 million. A 1.1% hike in
dollars would bring this latter total to $500 million, a $5 million increase
now, with $15 million promised over 2 fiscal years. Moreover, student enrollment totaled 51,931
in the early 1990s. In 2006, full-time
student plus part-time enrollment at the 4 University campuses totaled about
42,000+, full time equivalent students numbering a bit under 39,000. The university system gleans more money for
fewer students. In 1989, the allocation
per student was about $4,100. By 2008,
the allocation would total about $11,900.
In addition, the UN-L faculty teaches an average of only about 4.5
credit hours per semester, bloating the faculty-to-student ratio. Full-time faculty numbered 5,201 in 1997 but
numbered 5,316 in 2006.
NTF SUGGESTIONS. If
state senators uphold this gubernatorial budget proposal, it will provide
appropriate timing for the University system to find ways to cut waste and
inefficiencies. The following are our
NTF suggestions to both trim the budget and end institutionalized waste and
inefficiencies, ideas taken from our master list of suggested budget cuts:
number of NE high school graduates will drop by 9.5% by 2012, according to
the National Center for Education Statistics. Therefore, we need not expend tax monies
to accommodate unnecessary growth in the state university and college
systems. We should not expend tax
money to recruit out of state students when so many Nebraska youth cannot
afford expensive higher education tuition. Non-residents are less likely
to remain here to work after graduation and pay taxes.
university system complains about cuts in its budget, but it received a
4+% hike in FY 2006-07. The
4-campus NU system consumes about 16% of the total state general fund
budget (FY 2006-07). State funding
is about 1/3 of its total budget.
Under gubernatorial reductions, the NU system yearly budget still
increased by 4.23% in FY 2001-2002 and 6.8% in FY 2002-2003. The Legislature can reverse the
unrestricted flow of cash to the University system by $20 million, the
entire increase for FY 2002-2003.
The U. system received $415 million in the 2001 fiscal year (p.41
in the Blue Biennial Budget Book).
The legislature has increased the U. budget from $350 million in FY
1997-1998 to $571 million in FY 2006-07.
In the former fiscal year, 49,000 students attended the U. system;
45,122 attended in Fall 2004. NU
has won hikes in state spending for years, notwithstanding falling
enrollment until 2002, when a 2.5% increase in students occurred. From 1999 to 2003, taxpayers paid a
$2,530 increase per student, from $7,143 to $9,673. Yet, U.S. News & World Report
in 2002 placed the NU system performance rating at between its 2nd
and 3rd tier. In 2006,
NE spent more than every adjacent state except Wyoming in higher education
appropriations per $1,000 of personal income and appropriations per
the direct allocation expenditure from the General Fund to no more than
$10,000 per enrolled full-time university student.
- A 3%
across the board cut in university system departmental expenditures.
the University Diversity Initiative that spends tens of thousands of
taxpayer dollars on events such as Gay & Lesbian Month, a regional
feminist conference touting topics such as bisexuality, witches, and
female oppression and a symposium on gay and lesbian issues, linked
directly to a week of legislative lobbying on gay rights, and which
included a bold attack on traditional values by a lesbian political
activist keynote speaker, who returned home with several thousands of $$
in speaker fees.
funding for a hate crimes coordinator at UNO.
the UNL diversity artist residency program.
the university commissions on women and minority issues.
exist a few classes not crucial to a quality liberal arts education, with
few students enrolled, like the Portuguese language program. Eliminate these low priority programs.
the waste of millions on projects that have no connection to academic
quality or research, like $3 million for a hydraulic indoor track at
- Do not
spend savings from administrative cost reductions elsewhere in the
the board of regents annual budget by 10%.
the academic organization of the university, a centuries-old system that
shows duplication in our multi-campus system. Most of the university budget pays for
personnel costs. In colleges and
hundreds of departments, many overlapping administrative positions and
secretarial staff could face elimination.
Combining colleges across the 3 undergraduate NU campuses could
eliminate many dean positions and department staff duplications.
personnel enjoy a lower cost of living than at most schools we use for
comparison. Thus, salary level recommendations we should adjust when
making comparisons. UNL employees
averaged 4.6% pay hikes, and Medical Center employees received 4% average
wage hikes. UNO faculty raises
averaged 6%, and UNK faculty raises averaged 7%!! These 2002 hikes rose above the
increase in the state cost of living.
The number of NU employees who earn 6-figure salaries doubled from
256 in 1998 to 2002, the university payroll growing 22% during that
from the NU health benefit package the coverage for contraceptives, which
the board of regents approved in April, 2001. Savings: between $1.5 - $2 million
to the state auditor, the University Foundation holds $1 billion in
undesignated donations. This money
could have covered the entire UN-L system budget FY 2004-2005, freeing
millions to erase the deficit and erase the need for a tuition hike. The Foundation spent less than 9% of
this largesse ($87.3 million) on university programs in 2006, although
total gifts to the Foundation that year totaled over $127 million. The Foundation in 2003 purchased country
club memberships and 160 SUVs, Cadillac Escalades, and Oldsmobiles for
almost a dozen top administrators and 100 coaches and their wives. The
Foundation afforded Pres. Smith $700,000 in a discretionary fund to spend
as he wished.
each college professor to instruct a full 15 credit hour class load during
each semester, thus reducing the
number of teaching assistants and instructors/professors.
the tenure system for university faculty members, making it easier to fire
university staff give a percentage of their consulting fees, earned
because of their university positions, to the university.
UNL administrators received 27% pay and benefit raises in FY
2001-2002. Pres. Milliken gained a
new salary for 2006 of $270,000, up from $254,800 in 2003. Included in his stash is a country club
membership, gas, service, and insurance for a vehicle, $2,000 per month
for housing expenses, housekeeping services, and 11% of his total salary
for deferred compensation. Provost Lee Jones received a 9.9% raise, to
$188,000; his successor earned $200,000 in 2003. Vice-pres. Richard Wood won a whopping
10.3% salary hike, to $150,000; he earned $156,000 in 2003. UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman earned
$220,000, a 22% pay raise; in 2003, he garnered $228,800. UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck earned
$170,000, a 9.3% raise; in 2003, the figure rose to $176,800. The UNK chancellor earned $162,000, a
9.5% hike; Doug Kristensen amassed $168,480 in 2003. NU Athletic Director Bill Byrne received
$229,472. His and base salaries for
other NU coaches do not include incentive bonuses, proceeds from clothing
contracts, and radio and TV show deals.
Peg these raises instead to the rate of inflation. Source: UNL.
Ferlic, chairman of the NU Board of Regents, wants to offer up to $600,000
annual salary to attract a new university president. Eliminate this position and allow campus
chancellors to manage the U.
the practice of university athletic department contract buyouts that cost
$850,000 for 5 fired and retired UNL assistant football coaches. Renegotiate raises given the new
staff. UNL hired a new athletic
director in 12-02 for a beginning salary of $300,000 annually, over
$70,000 more than that paid to his predecessor.
the free maid service, country club membership, lawn care, snow shoveling,
and $5,000 yearly expense account given the UNK Chancellor.
paying for country club memberships and golf outings for university
university bonuses. Top
administrators receive bonuses worth $850,000 for remaining in the system
for 7 yrs. In 2002, NU football
coaches received $156,163 in bonuses.
Former Coach Frank Solich received $36,876, a bonus higher than
some people earn in annual salaries.
agreed upon pay raises at every university and college campus until the
Legislature completes its FY 2007-2008 budget cuts.
negotiating university union contracts that guarantee specific salary
rates of increase.
the university bureaucracy. Each
campus need not have its own chancellor with staff. Each dean at UN-Kearney need not have an
associate dean. This campus lost
4,000 students in 4 yrs., yet the number of administrators has mushroomed.
several NU public service functions, like public broadcasting, overseas
cultural programs, and health services.
all career services at university campuses.
the $30,000 university recycling program.
the $41,283 university landscaping education program.
the $3 million project to build a storage facility for rarely-read volumes
in the university library system.
Sell these books instead.
- In our
Internet information era, we do not require a 13% yearly increase in
University library book purchasing spending.
the University Building, Grounds, & Custodial services and dormitory
- A 10%
cut in university staff travel expenses would save the system about
state agencies and departments, like the university system, from hiring
and paying lobbyists to lobby the legislature for more funding.
University of NE Medical College radio and TV advertising.
university programs in coordination with universities/colleges in
neighboring states, like our veterinary students now attending college in
Kansas. Such endeavor might entice
graduate students from neighboring states to permanently reside in
Nebraska, adding to our educated work force and tax base.
almost $1 million by terminating the postsecondary coordinating commission
that oversees state colleges.
University staff can make its decisions.
the state college board of trustees with the NU board of regents to
improve higher education cooperation and eliminate duplicative staff, as
recommended by the Strauss Commission.
the university system and state colleges to lower costs by teaching more
classes long-distance and thus eliminating unnecessary classroom
duplication. The number of students
taking classes by Internet and satellite doubled between 1998-99 and
2000-01. All academic departments
are developing long distance courses (NU Board of Regents meeting
the 5.5% pay raises given top administrators and faculty in the state
college system. End the
$7,000-$14,000 housing allowances for these administrators. Some of these colleges are smaller than
Nebraska high schools.
documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by NE Taxpayers for
Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by Citizens for
Local Control, Cherry County Taxpayers, and Dawes County Taxpayers. 1-07.