Verbatim – Chancellor issues new year’s greeting, discusses budget plans, energy savings

Jan 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Campus News, Issue, January 15, 2009

Chancellor Harvey Perlman issued this Jan. 8 e-mail as a welcome back for the spring semester.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all had a good holiday break. As much as I hate to admit it, I discovered the holidays are somehow happier when we win a bowl game. It is hard not to be optimistic at the start of a new year. While economically no one is sorry to see 2008 end, when I look back, it was a good year for the university with increased enrollment, increased research funding, and a growing stature among the nation’s universities. For this, you should all be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

We know 2009 will be challenging. However, our continued success is the strongest argument we have to secure support from donors, from the Legislature, and from the people of Nebraska. It is critical that we continue to advance the missions of the university.

Soon we will begin a process to start identifying potential budget reductions. Of course, we won’t know if, or by how much, we will be asked to reduce the budget for some time so we will be working quietly to be prepared. I will keep you as informed as I can on what our situation is. If history is a guide, in times like these, rumors and innuendos tend to surface about proposed cuts and these can generate unnecessary concerns. If this happens, I would encourage you to e-mail me directly and I will try to respond as best I can.

My attitude is to advance our priorities, undergraduate education and research, to propose vertical reductions rather than reduce the quality of the university across the board, and, wherever possible, to find ways to save money that do not adversely impact current employees. This is why I again want to encourage you to think about saving energy as a way to reduce our expenses. This requires vigilance and changes of habit.

I know I smugly told you that I now turn off my computer when I leave my office for extended times. It wasn’t until this week I realized that my screen and printer remained on. So now I’m crawling under my desk to push the switch on my power strip. So far I have survived this indignity!

Our communications office has produced a video featuring engineering professor Jerry Hudgins talking on the topic of energy savings, which can be viewed on line at . The video is part of a relatively new online series called “N the Know,” designed to engage fellow Nebraskans, alumni and friends with the university. Each video gives viewers an opportunity to hear insight from one of our faculty – on a current event or topic. In an effort to further challenge our professors, and keep the attention of online viewers, these mini-lectures are limited to about three minutes in length.

Later this month you will notice we will begin placing stickers on light switches reminding you to turn off the lights when not in use. Though some of these energy conservation measures may sound trivial, when multiplied by several thousand, they are not – there is a substantial savings to be realized if we all pay attention to how we use energy. I have been assured that my Oscar winning performance of turning off a light switch, so prominent in the last utility-savings campaign, will not be reprised.

With your good-will and support we can continue to move the university forward, and we will.

— Harvey


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