University of Nevada Reno (UNR) faces a $11.9 million budget deficit due to falling enrollment numbers. In the fall of 2021, 21,000 students were enrolled in comparison to 19,200 in the Spring of 2022. 90 percent of the budget goes to positions and the deficit impacts hiring/filling vacant positions.
Last year’s income was $110 million, but costs were $119 million. The gap was covered by emergency Higher Education Relief Funding (HEERF) provided by the federal government through the CARES act, but next year HEERF is not available.
In July 2020, the Democratic majority in the legislature passed Assembly Bill 3 which reduced the Nevada System of Higher Education’s (NSHE) budget by $135 million with steep cuts to its institutions and programs.
UNR saw more than $25 million in cuts from its total budget “in addition to $1.67 million from its statewide programs and more than $7 million from the School of Medicine.”
Governor Sisolak signed the bill which enacted deep cuts across most state agencies in order to offset the revenue shortfalls caused by the Governor’s shutdown of “non-essential” businesses during the pandemic.
“Notably, the proposed budget includes a restoration of some, though not all, of the cuts made during the 2020 special session, where lawmakers slashed nearly a billion dollars from the previously approved budgets as the state faced massive shortfalls in key revenue streams such as the gaming tax and sales tax.
‘I am committed to remaining flexible and working closely with the Legislature in this unprecedented and evolving fiscal situation,’ Sisolak said in a statement accompanying the release of his budget. ‘Throughout this dynamic process, the priorities will remain the same: recovering from this crisis and creating jobs, educating our kids, promoting justice and equality, and most importantly now, protecting the health of our people.’
Despite the deficit and budget cuts at UNR, according to our source there is a concerted effort to reprint employee badges to include pronouns. Staff are already encouraged to include pronouns on their evaluations forms. Our source stressed concern over the cost to reprint everyone’s badges during a time of budget cuts, deficits and reduced student enrollment.
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