The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 29, 1993, Image 1
Chancellor announces specific program cuts By Jeff Zeleny Senior Reporter Four programs and 36 full-time positions will be eliminated at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln next year as part of a budget cut. The Academic Success Center, Writing Lab, Czech language program and fund ing for off-campus exten sion grants all will bcclimi nated before next semester. The eliminations will save the university $130,000. The budget cuts, totaling S2.9 million, have loomed over the university since they were announced in a special legislative session last September. Chancellor Graham Spanicr speci fied the cuts at a news conference Wednesday. He said the $2.9 million cut should not be confused with the cuts currently pending in the Legislature. See List of Cuts on page 2 “The timing should not confuse anyone that we are dealing with currcntculs,” he said. “This is the final step in responding to cuts in the 1991-93 biennium.” Although no colleges were eliminated in the latest round of cuts, Spanier said the quality of instruction eventually would suffer. “Anytime you reduce the university’s bud get by a couple million dollars, we can’t claim we’re emerging as a better institution,” he said. The two-page list, compiled by U NL adm in - istration, names 71 areas to cut. All areas for reduction were specific, Spanier said, which eliminated the need for across-the-board cuts. The cuts, which represent 1.5 percent of the total budget, will also eliminate 21 administra tive and support staff positions, which account for S594.000. Custodial, secretarial and other staff positions make up for the majority of the job eliminations. Fifteen full-time faculty positions will be eliminated to save $781,000, Spanier said, but no tenured faculty will lose their positions# The biggest section of cuts came from changes in summer sessions. The cuts total $1.012 million, most of which comes from the reduction of professor compensation for sum mer sessions. Classes also will increase in size due to the cuts, Spanicr said. “It’s fair to say the single largest impact is concentrated in summer sessions,” he said. Reductions in operating, travel and mainte nance fees account for $382,000. Operating and travel expenses for the Bchlcn Observatory will be eliminated under this section of cuts. Kimball Hall, the Division of Continuing Stud ies, the Bob Devaney Sports Center and mail service all will suffer cuts under the proposal. The cuts were made after consultation with the Academic Planning Committee and the Academic Senate Executive Committee. The Legislature is expected to discuss a proposed $3.5 million budget cut next week. If approved, it would increase the total budget cuts to $9.5 million since Spanier came to UNL 18 months ago. Robin Trimarchi/DN Workers on strike from American Signature printing company cheer as strike supporters drive by Wednesday. Unions blame working conditions for strike Groups combine to protest hours, benefit packages By Jeff Zeleny Senior Reporter Employees of the American Signature plant in northwest Lincoln walked out on their shifts late Tuesday night, begin ning a strike they said would con tinue for days. About700 workers arc involved in the strike against the printing and binding company. Bad work ing conditions and poor benefit packages prompted the strike, Steve Rich, a union representative, said. “We're not asking fora raise.all we want is working conditions we had before," he said. Problems began at the plant last year after it was acquired by Heller Financial Group of Chicago, Rich said. The financial group is a sub sidiary of the Japan-based Fuji cor poration. Employee Randy Kuhn of Lin coln said negotiations had been going on for more than a year, but broke down Tuesday. “We were really forced in to this," he said. “Health care premi ums are skyrocketing and coverage has gone down." American Signature officials at die scene would not speak to the Daily Nebraskan Wednesday. The strikers represent a coali tion of three unions: GraphiesCom municalion International Union of Press Workers No. 221, Bindery Workers No. 520 and International Machinists Union Local No. 31. Production work was believed to be continuing at the plant Wednesday, union members said, with office personnel running ma chines. “That’s very unsafe, pulling them on high speed machines,’’ Kuhn said. You can look at half of the (regular employees) in the dc partmcnt without fingers.” Employcesof the plant said they thought the company was hiring new employees to replace them. “Nebraska is a right to work state,” he said. “They can hire whoever they want if we’re on strike.” Negotiation meetings between union workers and company offi cials were held Wednesday, but no progress was made, Kuhn said. Kyle Slickclman, a freshman general studies major at the Uni versity of Ncbraska-Lincoln, has worked at the plant for five years. The problems began when the work See STRIKE on 3 University honors dead civil rights leader By Steve Smith Senior Reporter About 60 students, faculty and administrators gathered in front of the Nebraska Union Wednesday to pay tribute to Cesar Chavez, a civil rights champion who died Friday. Chavez, 66, was often referred to as an “American Gandhi” and was most famous for launching a drive to raise wages and improve economic conditions among Mexican-Ameri can farm workers in the late 1960s. In 1964, he unionized workers in the grape fields and formed the United Farm Workers Union. He organized several grape-picker strikes, (lie most well-known ‘liuelKa” occurring in 1965 in Delano, Calif. He later turned to calling for nationwide boycotts of lettuce and grapes. Nine speakers were featured dur ing the hour-long tribute that was sponsored, by UNL’s Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs and campus Affirmative Action. Misucl Carranza, the acting asso ciate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said Chavez battled through difficulties so others like him would not have to. “Chavez went through his struggles so that we wouldn’t be iust migrant workers, so that we could go to uni versities and to other professions,” Carranza said. “Unfortunately, that’s not true with all of us — we need to lake ihe next step. “We need to take Cesar’s legacy and use the university as a setting to stimulate social consciousness," he said. Carranza challenged the univer sity administration to boycott grapes in campus cafeterias, which drew ap plause from the crowd. James Gricscn, v ice chancel lor for student affairs, said all Americans See CHAVEZ on 2 Bjorklund requests to defend self By Chuck Green Senior Reporter nc of the men charged with last fall’s murder of a UNL , student has requested to de fend himself in his upcoming trial, and at least one county official is wondering why. Lancaster County Attorney Gary Lacey said Wednesday he didn’t un derstand the motivation behind Candice Harms murder suspect Roger Bjorklund’s request for self-counsel. “You’d have to ask him,” Lacey said. “I really don’t know why he did iL” At a hearing Monday, Bjorklund asked Lancaster County DistrictCourt Judge Donald Endacotl to grant him the option of defending himself in his first-degree murder trial, which is scheduled to begin OcL 18. Bjorklund and Scott Barney, both of Lincoln, arc charged with the first degree murder of Harms, an 18-year old University of Ncbraska-Lincoln student who disappeared Sept. 22. Last Dec. 6, a few days after the two men had been arrested in connec tion with a siring of robberies and burglaries in the Lincoln area, Barney led investigators to a site southeast of Lincoln, where Harms’ body was found in a shallow grave in a corn field. Barney apparently had agreed to cooperate with authorities investigat ing the Harms case in exchange for immunity from the death penally. Lacey said he was seek ing the death penalty for Bjorklund, but not for Barney, who will testify against Bjorklund. Bjorklund said Monday that he had filed a complaint against the Pub lic Defender’s Office with the Ne braska Bar Association’s council of discipline. He said his attorneys — particu larly Chief Deputy Public Defender Scott Hclvie — had shown a “lack of aggressiveness’’ in defending him in the case, and that he thought nc could better defend himself. Also, he sqid, he thought there was a conflict of interest between the Pub lic Defcndcr’sofficc and the Lancaster County Attorney’s office. He told Endacotl he thought the county attorney’s office was “superior," and would have more influence in decid ing his ease. Hel vie refused to comment on the matter. Lacey said he did not know if Bjorklund would be able to success fully defend himself, if Endacotl granted the request. “We’ll find out soon enough," he said.