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The Antelope

Admin makes post-pandemic budget cuts

Budget cuts

The College of Arts and Science eliminated $619,000 in budget cuts. This action was the final part of the 3-year plan that began in June 2020, shortly after the pandemic hit.

The money from this cut is all from the unallocated salary, which are open positions from someone that may have retired or departed.

“The good news is from a tuition revenue perspective, we actually performed a little better than expected,” said Jon Watts, vice chancellor of Business and Finance at UNK. “I think the COVID-19 pandemic and the way the board tried to prepare for that gave us a runway, so we kind of knew the plan the last three years.” 

The UNK system overall had roughly $3 million for 32 positions reported unallocated. They took approximately half, $15 million or 15 positions, from every college and department that had those unallocated dollars available.

The money was used to equalize UNK’s negative balance. 

In June 2020, UNK eliminated 15 positions to get a head start at what they knew was coming of a $2.8 million budget cut. They then made a dent in the total with an $800,000 cut.

They were able to reduce that by $500,000, bringing the total to $1.5 million. This is the total that is left for this 2022-23 school year to balance.

“So, the money didn’t really go anywhere, it was a reduction we needed to make to balance our budget,” Watts said. “That’s what each of the colleges were asked to do. So the College of Arts and Science, as the biggest college — their number reduction of $619,000 was the largest cut in terms of dollars, but it was not any greater in terms of percentage of available unallocated.”

Watts said due to this budget cut, the deans will have challenges going forward with having less money to invest in priorities and less to support the chairs and their departments.

Another challenge will be having less personnel and positions at the colleges due to these cuts.

“To me it’s just another difficult budget decision that the dean’s have been asked to make and I do think the impact will be lasting and challenging,” Watts said. “But I appreciate the good work of the dean’s and the other vice chancellor and senior vice chancellor who help us balance our budget.”

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