University of Nebraska President Ted Carter announced Tuesday that 20 positions are being eliminated, NU’s first personnel cuts as it addresses an estimated $50 million budget shortfall this year.

Seventeen people are losing their jobs, mostly among the information technology support staff.

Three positions that are being eliminated are vacant.

The cuts total $2.4 million. Of that, $1.6 million — or 10% of the administration’s budget — will come from eliminating seven positions and making other spending cuts in NU’s administration at Varner Hall. An additional $840,000 is being saved by eliminating 13 jobs in IT.

Occupied administrative jobs eliminated are: federal relations coordinator, global engagement officer, chief compliance officer and a member of the president’s staff.

Vacant positions eliminated are: internal auditor, attorney and adviser to the president.

Carter said the cuts will affect the scope of the university’s work.

“There’s no question that the depth and breadth of our work will be narrower because of today’s decisions,” he said.

University faculty and administrators are working together on committees to develop a plan for further reductions. A hiring freeze already is in place.

“The reality is, if you look at our budget, about 80% of the university’s budget is devoted to personnel, so jobs will be impacted somewhat, what form we don’t know,” said NU spokeswoman Melissa Lee.

The university also is taking steps to guarantee that cash-strapped students return in the fall, despite uncertainties over what the future holds. NU is offering free tuition to qualified first-time college students and is freezing tuition rates for others.

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Photos: Our best staff photos of May 2020

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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