Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I have two critically important updates. I am including a fair amount of detail but suspect that there will be ongoing questions that we will address as needed in the next few days and weeks.
Additional Federal Student Financial Aid
For our students, we have received welcome news from the U.S. Department of Education that they are preparing to release federal funds under the recently adopted CARES Act in the amount of approximately $1.38 million dollars to Nevada State College that is earmarked to help our students in these uncertain financial times with education and certain other expenses. Our Office of Financial Aid will be working hard with College Leadership to determine eligibility and develop a fair process to apply these funds to help our students as quickly as we can. Look for more information early next week about how these funds may benefit you. We want to thank our Federal congressional delegation for supporting these critically necessary funds.
Budget Reduction Scenario Proposals Approved by Board of Regents
The COVID-19 health crisis has significantly impacted state revenues that are used to help support and fund all state operations including higher education. The Governor of the State of Nevada requested late last week that all State entities submit potential budget reduction plans of 4% for the next three months, and then three additional levels: 6%, an additional 4% (10% total) and an additional 4% (14% total) in the coming fiscal year beginning July 1. We have been working nonstop with the Chancellor, the College leadership team, and discussion with faculty and student leadership this week about how the Nevada System and our College can best implement these possible cuts to minimize the impact on students and our faculty and staff as these proposals must be to the Governor’s Office Monday morning.
The Nevada System of Higher Education’s Budget Reduction Proposal including the College proposal was approved today. Essentially, the College is applying salary savings, and making significant operating budget and travel budget reductions for this fiscal year and then applying institutional stabilization funds under the CARES Act to cover the first levels of the cut next fiscal year (July 1). If the Governor requests a 10% reduction, we will continue to make operating and travel reductions, and a 2.3% furlough NSHE-wide (salary reduction) will be applied to all faculty and staff (except classified staff which would require State action). If the Governor ultimately requests a 14% reduction, then an additional 2.3% furlough (salary reduction) will be applied NSHE-wide, and a student per credit fee temporary surcharge will be imposed NSHE-wide which for Nevada State College will be $5 per credit hour. The Chancellor has announced these approved budget reduction proposals in a message sent this afternoon (Chancellor’s Message). I want to thank all those involved in a thoughtful deliberation under very difficult circumstances and the Board of Regents for prioritizing our faculty, staff and students such that the impacts do not fall on them except in the event the highest levels of cuts are imposed.
The budget reductions present a unique challenge to all higher education institutions, but especially for Nevada State College as the second fastest-growing public baccalaureate institution in the nation. However, we will take the necessary steps to meet the requested reduction to help our State restore its financial health while at the same time building for the future. We intend to do this with a strong commitment to do our best to maintain our outstanding student experience. The primary objective of these budget reduction proposals is to maintain our core mission and minimize any layoffs.
Be Bold. Be Great. Be State.