An Update from the UNLV Provost’s Office

April 14, 2020

Dear Members of the UNLV Family:

We hope this letter finds you well. We are reaching out to keep you informed about possible state budget cuts that may impact UNLV and all higher education institutions in Nevada.

Last week, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak directed all state agencies – including the Nevada  System of Higher Education (NSHE) – to submit plans for potential budget cuts for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020, ending June 30, 2020, and for Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1. The NSHE Board of Regents, the governing body that oversees all public higher education institutions in the state, approved plans that were submitted to the Governor’s Office yesterday, April 13. UNLV worked closely with NSHE throughout this process.

As instructed, UNLV submitted plans for a possible 4 percent budget cut this fiscal year, or approximately $10 million. Possible cuts for next fiscal year range between $15 million and $36 million. If they come to pass, we will offset these cuts primarily through reducing operating budgets and multiple other cost-cutting measures, including extending the already-imposed hiring freeze and possibly implementing university-wide furloughs. If the highest level of budget reductions is necessary, NSHE may also impose a small per-credit surcharge ($6 for undergraduates or $8 for graduate students). As we know that many families throughout Nevada and our nation are struggling financially at this time, we will do everything we can to avoid additional costs to students. Our priority in implementing any reductions will be to preserve the quality of our educational offerings and support of students. 

As we prepare our faculty and staff for possible budget and pay cuts, we also recognize the hardships our students’ families are facing and your potential questions about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Part of our strategy to offset state budget cuts relies on receiving funds through the CARES Act, including additional financial aid support for students. We anticipate awarding the student support portion of the CARES Act funds this semester based primarily on already established financial need. Although these funds never provide as much relief as we might hope, we will award them as soon as possible and stretch them as far as we can. We will know more about how and when these funds will be dispersed by the end of April. 

In the meantime, we have taken some immediate measures to support students and their families. These include prorated refunds for parking, housing, and dining, as well as loaner laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots to students in need of these. We have transitioned almost all in-person services to phone and online, including advising, tutoring, technology, health and mental health care, electronic book access, and library resources. We also have temporarily suspended late fees on tuition payment plans, allowing payments to be delayed until Sept. 30, 2020 without penalty as long as a student is enrolled in a payment plan.

All of us at UNLV remain committed to fulfilling our educational mission and to providing services that contribute to your student’s success. We believe a college education is every bit as valuable as it was before this crisis, and possibly even more so. Thank you for your support and for being part of our UNLV family.

Warm wishes,

Chris L. Heavey, Ph.D.

Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

Join the Conversation

16 Comments

  1. Really! You are going to increase tuition for already struggling students and their families. You make it sound like your doing the students a favor by issuing prorated refunds when you should have refunded them in the first place since they haven’t been using the resources. During this time when most other organizations are helping people like the casinos, restaurants, and even insurance companies (and that says a lot) UNLV will be increasing tuition. Geez, UNLV you are greedy and ridiculous.

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    1. Thank you for writing. Kindly take a look at the paragraph again – “offset these cuts primarily through reducing operating budgets and multiple other cost-cutting measures, including extending the already-imposed hiring freeze and possibly implementing university-wide furloughs.” If the State budget to higher education is reduced, the first few levels of action are to absorb the changes through other cost-cutting measures, primarily affecting staffing. The level you mentioned is a potential last-resort, if the state cuts the higher education budget at the highest proposed level. We hope to know the governor’s decision about the level of budget cuts by the end of April.

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  2. Thank you. Please keep us updated. I hope we don’t have to resort to higher tuition. Since we aren’t using any of the Universities resources like the gym, library, etc. we shouldn’t be charged for those “resources”.

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    1. Thank you for writing; I am sharing all the comments with upper administration! While physical buildings are closed, many resources were moved online for your students to access remotely. For instance, online library research for classes is heavily used by students: https://www.library.unlv.edu/ These online systems have license fees associated with them. The Rec Center also moved their exercise classes online.

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    1. Hi Michelle – Thank you for writing! We know that Summer Sessions 1 & 2 are online, but we have not heard any updates about Summer 3 (mid-July to mid-August) or Fall at this time. Decisions are made at the State level by the Governor and the Chancellor. As soon as we receive an update, we will let everyone know! I have not heard of a deadline to make a decision, likely because the situation is very fluid. I will share all the comments/questions.

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  3. How do we go about getting a reimbursement for parking passes or any other prorated services that you mentioned?

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  4. Hi UNLV,

    I appreciate your transparency and honesty. My wife and I would like to get our son back to normality at UNLV, but realize the impact from this pandemic has greatly affected us financially. My wife’s business was halted and she has now applied for unemployment Thank you for reducing costs internally first, but please consider how this virus has affected students and their parents worldwide, where more than ever, every slight affect will have a tenfold effect on each student. I worry about our financial stability more than ever now, but am still ‘Rebel Strong’. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts from the outside, looking in.

    -Jonny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for being part of the Rebel Family, and for writing in, Jonny. This is an extremely challenging time, and the well-being of students and their families is an important part of conversations. I’m sharing all the comments with upper administration, too. The situation is fluid, and we will continue to update families as we learn more. If your student needs someone to talk to, the health center is offering telephone appointments: https://www.unlv.edu/studentwellness/health-center

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  5. Will there be any refund given to the students for the resources they’ve paid for and haven’t used? Like the gym, student services, technology on campus, etc.? Those fees could make a $500+ difference per class and its ridiculous to have them pay for something that’s unavalivale to them.

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    1. Thank you for writing; I am sharing all the comments with upper administration! While physical buildings are closed, the resources you listed have been moved online for your students to access remotely. For instance, online library research for classes is heavily used by students: https://www.library.unlv.edu/ These online systems have license fees associated with them. The Rec Center & student activities have also moved their classes and meetings online.

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