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The Antelope

The Antelope

Largest budget reduction in the last 20 years

Photo illustration by Antelope Staff.

UNK administration is addressing a $4.3 million shortfall, $3 million of which will be reduced from the Academic Affairs division. The 2023-24 fiscal year will be the 15th of the last 21 years that has included budget reductions. 

Total reduction amounts since 2001 can be found on the UNK Factbook. The Antelope searched for detailed reports of each year but could only locate specifics for select years since 2002. Jon Watts, vice chancellor for Business and Finance, provided information regarding budget reductions for 2002-03, 2003-04, 2007-08 and 2008-09.

In the 2002-03 fiscal year, UNK had $1,208,572 in permanent budget reductions – one of the highest amounts the university has had to cut in the last 20 years. The operating budget for facilities of Business and Finance was reduced by $87,675. University Relations faced a similar reduction following the elimination of a printing office, totaling $86,530.

The 2003-04 fiscal year brought reductions of $1,675,828. A total of 26.05 full-time equivalent positions were eliminated. Of that, 5.4 were eliminated from Academic Affairs summer school which amounted to $297,000. Academic Affairs also reduced its instructional equipment by $85,000.

State-aided budget cuts from 2007-08 and 2008-09 amounted to $629,294. The Academic Affairs/Student Life budget was reduced by $566,365, and University Relations was reduced by $3,999. Business and Finance cut $34,532, and the Chancellor Campus Advancement budget cut $10,092.

Some of the largest reductions were from 2017-2019, with the two years amounting to $3,682,598 in cuts. During this time, baseball, men’s golf and men’s tennis were eliminated along with 16 faculty positions, 2.5 administrative positions and 16 staff positions. 

In 2020, UNK announced the elimination of 15 positions. Of the 15, five were filled and 10 were vacant. Those that were filled included a research compliance manager, a business technology analyst, an office associate in admissions, an office/accounts assistant and a programmer analyst. 

A few years later, the Board of Regents voted to eliminate the philosophy major. The 2022 decision removed the major but did not take away the philosophy minor and classes.

Since then, reductions have continued to take effect at UNK. The final cuts for the current shortfall are unknown, but a plan will be submitted to the university system’s president’s office by Dec. 1. The Faculty Advisory Committee and the Budget Advisory Committee’s recommendations for the plan are due to Chancellor Doug Kristensen by Oct. 25. A campus forum detailing the plan will be held in November.

Photo illustration by Antelope Staff.
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Amarha Bridger
Amarha Bridger, Advertising Staff
Jenna Heinz
Jenna Heinz, Reporter
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