LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In response to the economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Regents approved a budget reduction proposal that includes furloughing some employees. Coming up with a budget reduction proposal was a request of Governor Steve Sisolak.
According to the Board of Regents, here are the steps they took to come up with the budget:
The Office of the Governor asked for budget reduction proposals from all state agencies, including NSHE, that show a 4% cut in Fiscal Year 2020, and a 6%, 10%, and 14 % reduction in Fiscal Year 2021. The budget reduction for NSHE totaled $124.7 million for the two-year period – $27 million in 2020 and $97 million in 2021.
Similar to the economic slowdown during the Great Recession (2007 -2009), NSHE turned to a “shared sacrifice” model when considering this budget reduction.
The proposals emphasized mitigating financial impacts to low-income students and avoiding layoffs. NSHE used approximately $60 million from the federal legislation known as the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or ”CARES Act” to first meet the gap in the budget reduction.
NSHE then used savings from not filling vacant positions, enacting a hiring freeze, repurposing capital funds, reducing operating costs, and other contracts as part of the reduction proposal.
To help make ends meet, NSHE focused on furloughs for academic faculty and professional staff (classified employees fall under the purview of the Nevada Legislature) to be effective in the fiscal year 2021 (beginning July 1, 2020).
Lastly, NSHE proposed a temporary per credit surcharge. Find more information here.
By enacting these budget adjustments across the entire system, we will be able to use the CARES Act funds and Student Access fees to minimize the impact on low-income students and keep our institutions focused on student success.
These are difficult decisions to make, but together we can emerge from this economic downturn stronger than ever.