January 27, 2011

Learn the facts about proposed cuts

WNC President Speaks About State Budget Proposal


TO: College Community

FROM Carol A. Lucey, President

DATE: January 27, 2011

SUBJECT: The Governor's Budget Recommendation

You may be wondering why you haven't heard from me with information about the proposed NSHE budget that you have seen in the media. The reason simply is we have been trying to reconcile the numbers from the proposed budget spreadsheets with the 17.6% number mentioned in the press.

We have now done that and it appears that the proposed budget reduction to the college over the next two biennial years is 31.7%. The difference between these two percentages is due to how the ARRA "stimulus" funds used in the last biennial NSHE budget are reflected in the proposed FY12 and FY13 budgets. Of course, for the college it does not matter that part of our last budget was made up of federal dollars, the material fact is that our next biennial budget is proposed to be 31.7% less than the current one. This reduction includes the 5% salary cuts for all employees.

If these cuts stand, the college will have its 2010-11 general fund budget allocation of $18,472,126 reduced to $14,941,033 (19.1% reduction) for 2011-12 and its 2012-1013 general fund allocation reduced to $12,621,694 (an additional 15.5%). Clearly, these reductions represent an extremely grave problem for the college and its students. At the very least, even after the salary cuts, reductions to this extent will require program eliminations and large student fee increases for our students. Interestingly, in the same plan we are being asked to further improve our graduation rates.

The good news is that the System chancellor presented a strong defense of Nevada public higher education at a legislative pre-session budget hearing today. This presentation was the first of a number of dialogs in what will be a long public debate about the role of higher education in our state. I am pleased to report that many in the legislature are sensitive to the problems presented by the proposed budget.

As in the past, these first budget proposals can change significantly because of the work of the legislature. We will continue to work to bring about such a change so that we can continue to properly serve our students. Stay tuned, and stay with the real program -- doing everything in your power to assure that our Western Nevada College students have a successful semester. I will be in touch as things evolve.

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu

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