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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 27, 1995)
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Arts & Entertainment
Daily Nebraskan film critics ™“™
pick Oscar winners, page 12
_March 27, 1995_
New task force to help NU be more efficient
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter 1
In an effort to make the University of Ne
braska fit and trim, NU President Dennis Smith i
has named a task force to eliminate administra- <
HI! nPAP||TC The announcement, which
NU ntUCNIg came at a Friday meeting of
NU Board of Regents,
been met with full sup
port — and confusion.
The question is how far I
the task force will go to cut j
costs and exactly who will
have the final say — or any 1
say — on what is cut.
A statement included in a report to the re- i
gents said there were 3,787 personnel in admin
istration and operations, whose salaries make
up 25.8 percent of the university budget. That is
compared to 2,830 faculty members whose sala
ries total 34.9 percent of the budget.
By Brian Sharp
Less than one week ago, Robert E. Williams
came within three hours of his scheduled execu
Today, his lawyers are talking plea bargain
as the courts grapple with who will represent
Williams in future court hearings and who will
Vince Powers, one of Williams’ lawyers, has
said Williams was prepared to plead guilty to
the 1977 murders of Patricia McGarry and
Catherine Brooks in exchange for commuting
his death sentence to life in prison.
The offer came after Williams’ scheduled
execution was stayed because of possible juror
misconduct in his 1978 trial.
County Attorney Gary Lacey called the lat
est action “a prayer.”
But Friday afternoon, Lacey, Powers, repre
sentatives from the public defender’s office and
other officials met with Lancaster County Dis
trict Court Judge Paul Merritt. A new question
County officials and Williams’ lawyers at
first declined to comment on the meeting. Pow
ers later said, however, that Williams’ represen
tation was in question.
Powers and co-counsel Paula Hutchinson
were appointed by the federal courts, which
See WILLIAMS on 7
“The university has made improvements in
he way it does business,” Smith said in a
itatement accompanying the announcement.
‘But it has not, in recent years, undertaken a
comprehensive review of its administrative pro
Regent Charles Wilson of Lincoln said after
the meeting that the task force would serve an
idvisory role. Any recommendations would go
to Smith, he said, and then be filtered through
idministrators, the board and many other people.
Regent Drew Miller of Papillion said that
laving Smith on the committee was all the
ipproval needed in most cases. Miller and Re
cent Rosemary Skrupa of Omaha also are mem
But reducing administrative costs can’t be
lone through analysis of business processes
done, Miller said. Jobs will have to be cut, he
laid, and more attention given to computers.
Wilson said he expected the task force to
jegin with general guidelines for an administra
tive slim down and then get more specific about
functions, offices, positions and departments.
The problem is that the further such recom
mendations go, they begin to conflict with the
governance shared with departments and fac
ulty. Regents were not clear on exactly how far
the task force’s charge extended.
Departments already go through practice
reviews, where they are given a predicted bud
get cut and asked to make accommodations.
The exercise is meant to maintain efficiency.
Miller said Smith’s task force sent the mes
sage that those reviews were no longer doing
enough given today’s restrictive budgets.
That “squeeze on funding” is not going away,
Wilson said, and will likely continue for an
other 10 to 15 years.
The 10-member task force also includes the
followingpeople: John Angel, retired chairman
and CEO of Guardian Life Insurance; Fred
Luthans, UNL management professor; James
McClurg, president and CEO of Life Sciences
for Harris Laboratories, Inc.; John Oseth, UNK
executive assistant to the chancellor; Julie
“The university has made
improvements in the way it
does business. ”
Totten, UNO assistant vice chancellor for busi
ness and finance and director of finance; Pamela
Triolo, UNMC associate dean of the college of
nursing; Lewis Trowbridge, president of
Mammel and Associates in Omaha; James
Young, vice president re-engineering Union
Pacific Railroad in Omaha.
Angel, who will serve as chairman of the task
force, said the need for outside influences such
as himself was needed. Universities are com
peting in a market they’ve never seen before,he
said—the business market.
Spring fung ____
Taking advantage of Sunday’s warm weather, UNL student Dan Ryan tosses a Frisbee during a game of Ultimate
Frisbee on East Campus.
Boot camp bill would replace prison with push-ups
By J. Christopher Hain
Some criminals in Nebraska could
soon be doing push-ups and running
obstacle courses instead of mopping
prison floors and making license
Part of Gov. Ben Nelson’s crime
bill, LB371, would create a boot camp
prison for first-time, non-violent of
Boot camps, or shock incarcera
tion,are an alternative to prison where
regimented physical training is com
bined with education and rehabilita
Nebraska actually is jumping on
the boot camp bandwagon late, said
Steve King, planning/administration
manager for the Nebraska Department
of Correctional Services.
The first boot camp prison was
fr*startedin Georgia mT 98 Ji and since
then, many more states have imple
mented some form of the camps.
King said boot camps had wide
appeal because they served the inter
ests of the public, the criminal justice
system and the criminals themselves.
The public probably will like the
discipline of a boot camp, he said.
“I think it’s seen as getting tough
on crime,” King said. “It matches what
the public wants to see.”
Boot camps can help alleviate one
of the biggest problems in criminal
“Where other states have started a
boot camp, it has been an effective
prison crowding release,” King said.
The Nebraska penitentiary cur
rently is almost 700 inmates beyond
capacity, he said, and that number will
A boot camp also is a money saver
when compared toprison, King said.
King said his office was working
with Nelson’s office to get federal
funds that may be available to the
In terms of preventing offenders
from returning to prison, however,
boot camps have not been proven, to
be much more effective than prison.
Several studies, including one is
sued by the National Institute of Jus
tice in October 1994, have found that
rates for criminals returning to incar
ceration are similar for prison and
Nebraska’s boot camp would at
tempt to include the benefits of the
boot camp experience and improve
offenders’ rates of return, King said..
“We’ve spent a lot of time looking
at what works and what doesn ’t,” King
A |argc number of people who have
successfully completed a boot camp
program in other states, King said,
<fI think it’s seen as getting tough on crime. It
matches what the public wants to see. ”
Correctional Services manager
“The attitudes of people coming
out of a boot camp are better than
prison,” King said.
King said the Nebraska boot camp
would attempt to address the needs of
individual offenders. For example,
education or rehabilitation would be
used for a drug addiction.
“There will be a major emphasis on
programming,” King said.
Average reading and math skills
improved in most boot camps, the
“These individuals will spend a lot
of time in class, as well as out doing
push-ups or an obstacle course,” he
King said the Legislature still
needed to approve the boot camp pro
vision of LB371 and fund the program
before it could become a reality.
• A boot camp provision was in
cluded in Nelson’s crime bill last year,
bid the bill failed to pass the Legi&la
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