Las Vegas, Nevada – June 19, 2009
The Board of Regents took action today to implement legislatively required budget reductions through the use of an employee furlough program and temporary increases to student fees.
Based on recommendations from Board Chair Michael Wixom and Vice Chair Jason Geddes, the Nevada System of Higher Education will implement general professional personnel cost reduction measures in FY 2010, followed by a mandatory furlough program in FY 2011 to reduce professional staff and faculty salaries with an option for an increased workload for tenured faculty. The aim of the program is to meet the intent of Senate Bill 433 which calls for a four percent reduction each year of the biennium. This program will not affect part-time teaching faculty.
Classified staff have already received a legislatively mandated furlough program of one day per month for FY 2010 and FY 2011.
In addition, a five percent surcharge (as referenced in Option A of the Board agenda) will be added to student fees for each year of the biennium (five percent in FY 2010 and an additional five percent in FY 2011) starting with fall semester 2009.
The surcharge will not be effective until the spring semester of 2010 for Nevada’s four community colleges: College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College.
All surcharges will sunset in 2011.
Regents heard testimony from faculty and student leaders about the proposed options, with students voicing strong support for Option A in the fee increase proposal.
Due to the timeline dictated by SB 433, the Board passed an emergency motion to implement the personnel cost reduction measures. The Board then has 120 days to make the reductions final and to make changes in the program if the need arises.
Specifics on the furlough and workload increase programs are expected to be communicated to NSHE employees in the next several days.
Below is the motion that was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents today:
1. The adoption of Option A–a temporary surcharge for registration fees as set forth in the tuition and fee increase reference materials;
2. The adoption of a Code amendment set forth below which is subject to the considerations numbered 1-7 set forth at pages 3-4 in the Memorandum of Chair Wixom and Vice Chair Geddes, dated June 17, 2009 to the NSHE Regents, entitled “Senate Bill 433″ Implementation Recommendation”; and
3. The adoption of an emergency amendment of the NSHE Code (requires 7 votes and is immediately effective for 120 days, to be made permanent by further Board action), in accordance with Title 2, Chapter 1, Sec. 1.3.3.b due to the 2009 Legislative budgetary action and NSHE faculty contract provisions. The proposed amendment to the Code is the adoption of a new Code provision added to Title 2, Ch. 5, as Section 5.5.7, as follows:
Notwithstanding Title 2, Section 5.4, as the 75th Session of the Nevada Legislature has explicitly appropriated a lower amount for NSHE salaries than would otherwise be authorized and appropriate according to the NSHE salary policies, the Board of Regents does hereby and for the 2009-2011 biennium only, temporarily reduce salaries through the use of unpaid leave in an amount equivalent to the amount of legislative salary cut for FY 2011. The Board shall, to the extent feasible, devise methods that protect base compensation and benefits and shall offer tenured faculty an alternative of unpaid teaching workload increases in lieu of unpaid leave. The various Presidents shall consult with their respective faculty senates regarding the implementation of this section. Unpaid leave or temporary workload increases required by this section are final and not subject to appeal, grievance or reconsideration. The provisions of this section shall constitute constructive notice to all faculty and no individual notice to any such faculty member shall be required hereunder to implement the foregoing. To the extent any conflict or inconsistency between this and any other section of the Code exists, the provisions of this section shall control. This section will terminate on June 30, 2011.