University of Nevada-Reno officials submitted proposals last week that outlined what would happen if the school had to cut its budget 20.7 percent, the Nevada Sagebrush reports. Under this scenario, the institution could lose two sports, 25 percent of classes, and its planetarium.
A 20.7 percent cut represents a reduction to 2006 budget levels. If the state cuts the entire higher education budget further than 2006 levels, Nevada would not be eligible for about $123 million of stimulus money.
University officials and Gov. Jim Gibbons have been in a loud and high-profile fight over how massive the cuts to higher education institutions should be. School officials would prefer cuts in single-digit percentages; the governor has proposed reductions of 36 percent, and Gibbons has asked the Obama administration for a waiver from the stimulus requirements. Budget levels from 2006 (an 18.8 percent cut to the entire system) fit snugly between these two constituencies.
At Reno, school officials have already made plans for a 14 percent cut, but "if they went to 20 percent, we're kind of out of options," said the Reno provost. "If we go further than [14 percent], I'm having a hard time figuring out where to go. We are just whacking all over the place." Officials would not name which sports could be affected by a 20.7 percent cut, but they said it would not be football or basketball. As for education, 100 faculty and 20 classified positions could be eliminated, and Reno could save $12 million by cutting about 800 class sections between 2009 and 2011.