(Victor Joecks/NPRI) – In an open letter to University of Nevada, Reno staff on proposed reductions, UNR President Milt Glick wrote:
Since 2009, the University’s annual general fund appropriation has been cut $44 million, or 20 percent.
That statement is false, as you can see easily by looking at the last 12 years of operating budgets for the Nevada System of Higher Education.
There are two ways you could define UNR’s annual general fund subsidy — as either the total amount of subsidy UNR gets from the state, or the amount of money going to UNR proper, excluding auxiliary programs like athletics and the Medical School. Either approach reveals Glick’s claim to be false.
Consider the total subsidy UNR has received in the past three years.
Fiscal Year 2009: $199.6 million
Fiscal Year 2010: $182.5 million (includes stimulus money used in place of a general fund subsidy)
Fiscal Year 2011: $175.6 million
Going from $199.6 million to $175.6 million per year is a $24 million, or 13.7 percent, reduction.
Consider the total subsidy UNR (excluding auxiliary programs) has received in the past three years.
Fiscal Year 2009: $130.6 million
Fiscal Year 2010: $121 million (includes stimulus money used in place of a general fund subsidy)
Fiscal Year 2011: $117.9 million
Going from $130.6 million to $117.9 million per year is a $12.7 million, or 10.8 percent, reduction.
I assume that Glick would justify his statements by saying he’s referring to “cuts” from the amount UNR wanted, which is a) ridiculous (for example, your pay didn’t get cut just because your boss didn’t give you the raise you wanted) and b) not what he wrote.
Statements like Glick’s are the reason why NSHE Chancellor Dan Klaich recently said:
I think we have been guilty of hyperbole in the past, where we get the first dollar of a cut and we would like you to believe that the sky is falling in. And here we are a few years later and, lo and behold, the sky is right where it started out. It has not fallen in.
Video of Klaich’s comment after the jump.
This is just another example of why Nevadans — citizens and policymakers — need to fact-check the statements coming from many of those in higher education. Many higher-education officials are doing their best to earn a new kind of BS degree.
Semi-related and worth reading: Glenn Cook’s recent editorial, “Bluster surrounds debate over salaries, benefits.”