RENO, NV - It's been an emotional day on the University of Nevada campus one day after the university proposed an additional $13.8 million in budget cuts. Combined with last month's proposed cuts, that's a total of nearly $40 million. Whole programs would be eliminated and about 1,600 students would be directly impacted.
"It's scary and I wonder what's going to be left out of this university after they cut everything out," says Rosemary Season, a junior at UNR.
At the University of Nevada, students are having a tough time concentrating on their studies when many don't even know if their degree programs will still be there.
"It scares some students, I think, to know that they're whole program might be affected," says Chris Scott, a UNR sophomore.
This week, the university proposed $13.8 million more in cuts that would consolidate four colleges into two. The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources would consolidate into the College of Science and the College of Education would be consolidated into the College of Liberal Arts.
"Very emotional. I think we've all been on a very emotional roller coaster," says Christine Cheney, Dean of the College of Education.
Her college would suffer the most. Her faculty of 40 would be slashed to 11 and nearly all of its graduate program would disappear.
"We'll produce beginning teachers who go into classrooms with beginning skills. But if they want to improve what they're doing. They'll have to go elsewhere to do that," says Dean Cheney.
The University's president says he hopes these cuts don't go through and that it's not just those on campus who would suffer.
"We understand the legislature has to make difficult decisions and the Governor," says Milton Glick, UNR's president. "We understand that everyone is making difficult decisions. But these decisions I believe have consequences for the long range economic health of the state."
More than 300 faculty members at the university stand to lose their jobs.
University officials say there is an important distinction between the proposed reductions announced in March and those announced this week. These latest proposed cuts would be subject to future curricular review only if the Legislature deems they are necessary.
"These latest cuts, we very very much hope we don't have to get to," says President Glick.