The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 05, 1973, Image 1

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monday, february 5, 1973
lincoln, nebraska vol. 96, no. 66
Exon's cuts ingites concern at regents meeting
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NU President D.B. Varner . . . expressed his concern
over Gov. J.J. Exon's proposed budget at the Board of
Regents meeting in Omaha.
by H J. Cummins
A proposed tuition increase and the
allocation of 20 per cent of the requested
program improvement funds for UNL-both
part of Gov. J.J. Exon's proposed 1973-74
University of Nebraska budget-are of
"particular concern" to NU President D.B.
Varner. Varner was addressing the Board of
Regents at its February meeting in Onaha on
Varner said he fears the tuition increase
proposed by the governor, "could create a
genuine hardship for many parents and
The Exon's budget calls for students to pay
$18 a credit hour, for resident tuition, and
$48.25 for non-resident tuition. The regents
had recommended the figures be $17 and $46.
Both plans eliminate the "Free hours" (from 12
to 16 credit hours) students can now take.
Varner also said in his statement that the
reduced program improvement budget "will
clearly impede progress toward reaching the
goals of the five-year ("Toward Excellence")
Exon's $91.4 million proposed NU budget is
$2.7 million less than the regents' request. By
campus, the governor's recommendations are:
$50.6 million for UNL, $1.2 million less than
requested; $13.7 million for UNO, $375,000
less than requested; and $22.9 million for the
NU Medical Center, $1.1 million less.
The differences, according to NU Vice
President for Administration Howard Neville,
are generally because of reductions in
money and the governor's recommended 3.5
per cent salary wage increase for faculty. The
regents had budgeted a 5.5 per cent increase.
The governor also reduced the NU
construction budget by nearly $14 million. He
proposed $2.2 million for a UNL Life Sciences
Building, $3.7 million 'less than requested; and
budgeted no money for proposed land
acquisition and a new library for UNO.
In other financial business, Varner read a
letter he'd written to the Legislature's
Appropriations Committee, requesting
reimbursement for the tuition losses suffered
by NU because of the Legislature's liberalizing
the residency requirements.
The losses for the three campuses were:
$248,071 for UNL; $9,700 for the NU Medical
Center; and $182,710 for UNO.
In other action; the board:
-amended the contract offer of Athletic
Director Bob Devaney, extending it from five
to seven years. His salary would remain
$35,000 a year.
learned that a freeze on certain Housing and
Urban Development programs will prevent UNL
from obtaining low-interest loans for its 40 new
married student housing uniis. uNL Chancellor
James Zumberge said a study showed that 32
two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom
units would best serve students' needs,
appointed T.E. Hartung as associate dean of
the College of Agriculture and director of
resident instruction. He had been chairman of
the NU Department of Food Science and
Harper criticizes closed meetings
by Mary Voboril
A decision barring the public and press from task
force hearings about student fees sets a "dangerous
precedent" that should be discontinued and might
even violate Nebraska statutes, according to Council
on Student Life (CSL) member Chris Harper.
Harper introduced a resolution at last Thursday's
CSL meeting requesting that news reporters be
allowed to attend and report on meetings of the four
student fees task forces established by UNL
Chancellor James Zumberge to study the use and
distribution of student fees.
Ken Bader, vice chancellor for student affairs, said
committee chairmen jointly decided to close the
meetings to the public and press.
Bader would not say if he agreed with the
decision, but said he fully supported the taskforces
and "wasn't going to tell (them) what to do or not to
He said he "didn't know the entire reason why
Harper brought up the issue," except that Harper
"probably felt deeply about it." He said that there
were arguments on both sides.
'There probably are a number of persons who
feel, like Chris, that if meetings are being held on
public property and in public meetings on issues that
will affect the public, the public has a right to
information concerning what is being discussed," he
On the other hand, he said, sometimes greater
harm can be caused by having meetings open rather
than closed and "sometimes it is much better to have
a free and open discussion (among committee
members) without fear of reports in the press."
"However," he said, "generally speaking,
(University) meetings should be open to the press."
But he indicated that closing meetings occasionally is
justified "if something is being disucssed which might
do harm to individuals."
He said an example would be meetings pertaining
to tenure or promotions within the university.
Asked if persons or situations were being discussed
in task force meetings that might have caused harm to
individuals, Bader said "there could have been."
The reports, established because administrators
decided student fees "have not been allocated
properly," concern the University Health Center,
administration of student fees, programming financed
by student fees and fee-financed facilities.
Health Center hearings have been held since
mid-September, but other hearings have been held
since about mid-November. All meetings have been
closed to the press, and committee members have
been instructed not to talk with reporters. Meeting
minutes have been unavailable to the press.
All reports are scheduled to be in Bader's hands by
the end of this week. He said he then would release
them to the press. From Bader the reports go to
Zumberge, who then will make recommendations to
the Board of Regents.
With committee meetings for the most part over.
Harper said he would modify his proposal at this
Thursday's CSL meeting to include a more general
proposal allowing the press access to meetings which
involve student concerns.
He said the problem of closed meetings will be far
from solved when the fee reports finally are released
because a "dangerous precedent" has been set.
Harper, a copy editor for the Daily Nebraskan,
said he raised the issue because he was "personally
concerned" over the possible precedent.
He said he was not asked by any member of the
Daily Nebraskan to introduce the proposal, and that
it was offered "with direct reference to the task
forces," although it would be modified later.
He would not disclose the wording of the new
proposal, which he said would be introduced at this
week's meeting.
However, Harper indicated concern over the
legality of the closed meetings. He pointed to sections
84-1401-1405 of the Statutes of the State of
Nebraska, which state in part: ... all convened nvened
meetings of governing bodies ot all agencies now or
hereafter created by the Constitution, statute, or
otherwise pursuant to law. . .exercising legislative,
executive or administrative powers or supported in
whole or in part by public funds or entrusted with
powers of recommending the expenditure of, or
actually expending, public funds shall be deemed to
be a public meeting. . .and which shall be open in
attendance to the public. . .
". . .all persons interested in attending public
meetings are hereby fully empowered and authorized
to do so, and all such parties shall be allowed to . .
.fully report. . .what transpires thereat, or may do so
from the minutes thereof, so that the public of this
state shall have full rights to know about, and have
full access to, the public bodies. . .created to serve
". . .Any official who shall violate the provisions
of sections 84-1401 to 84-1405 shall be deemed
guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction
thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $25."
Zumberge could not be reached for comment on
the matter.
Chris Harper
be illegal."
'Closed meetings may
Regents differ
on student post
Two NU Board of Regent members differed
in their opinions of LB323, Hastings Sen.
Richard Marvel's bill to place one to three
students on the board.
The bill would have the Legislature
determine the student regent(s) selection
procedure. The student(s) would have one vote.
The bill is a constitutional amendment so it
must be approved in a state election.
Lincoln Regent Ed Schwartzkopf said in the
Friday evening meeting with the Intercampus
Student Advisory Council, that he's not
opposed to the idea.
"But if students are serious, why don't they
do more in the Legislature. That's where the
power is," he said.
Board Chairman Robert Koefoot said he
feared the student member(s) could set a
dangerous precedent.
"Would the administration and faculty then
want a board representative?" he asked.
Todd McDaniels, a member of the ASUN
Legislative Liasion Committee, said the
committee would like a student on the board,
to more directly express student concerns and
inform students more quickly of board action.