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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 12, 1999)
NU officials prepare
to defend budget
Senior staff writer
Because of a production error, this
sjory did not run in its entirety
With the Legislature’s increased
focus on tight-fisted spending, univer
sity officials are working to convince
lawmakers that their budget requests
However, heightened concern over
state spending may impede the univer
sity’s receiving higher salaries and bet
ter technology, officials are worried.
“I sense a strong desire to help die
university,” said University of
Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor James
Moeser. “We are a favored institution
in the state, but we are living in an era
of reduced flexibility. It’s not going to
Last July, the NU Board of
Regents approved the NU 1999-2001
biennial budget request that asks for a
6.8 percent increase for the first year
over the 1998-99 budget of about
In February, Gov. Mike Johanns
will present his budget to the
Legislature for the next two years.
Ron Withem, NU associate vice
president for external affairs and direc
tor of government relations, said the
university needs to consider Johanns’
recommendation and the Legislature’s
thoughts, then act on its requests.
“It’s going to be a formidable chal
lenge,” Withem said. “There is always
more needs than dollars to go around.”
The university’s legislative agenda
includes increasing salaries, technolo
gy funding and general inflation costs.
Moeser said faculty and staff
salaries are currently 5 to 6 percent
below the midpoint of UNL’s peer
“We are slipping and our peers are
moving away from us,” Moeser said.
“We need and want to keep our faculty.
We need to catch up.”
But Regent Drew Miller of
“I believe in merit pay, not these
ideas of averages,” Miller said. “We
should reward faculty and staff when
and where it is necessary.”
Withem said if the budget is
passed, the Legislature and all four
campuses would form a partnership,
allowing each campus to gain a 4.625
percent yearly increase for the next
Along with salary increases, sever
al million dollars are needed for tech
nological funding at NU, Moeser said.
“We have to be plugged in and
wired to new technology,” he said.
Funding would go toward increas
ing distance learning capabilities
throughout the state and will provide
improved research possibilities.
Kent Hendrickson, associate vice
chancellor for information services,
said UNL seeks $1.5 million to com
plete a four-year project, reconstruct
ing the technology infrastructure of
university buildings. The project is
scheduled to end June 30, even without
All buildings will receive audio
and digital technology improvements.
However, if proper funding is not
received, all buildings will not have the
same technological capabilities.
Withem said he is concerned the
university may feel some effects of the
state’s rejecting Initiative 413 last
November. The amendment would
have cut $20 million from NU’s bud
get, according to university estimates.
“If 413 would have passed, we
would have been in dire need of funds,”
Withem said. “Now we have to focus
on convincing the Legislature that we
need this money we are asking for.”
Moeser said the university’s
requests are rational and need to be
analyzed thoroughly before a decision
“It costs money to run and main
tain a university,” Moeser said. “All we
want is what the Board of Regents is
Daughter ot victim
to speak on execution
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
Two days before the scheduled
execution of Randy Reeves, profes
sors and people connected to the
case will discuss some of the under
This afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30
at Comerstone<Church, 640 N. 16th
St., speakers will discuss American
Indian adoption, racial discrimina
tion and felony murder, and how
they apply to the Reeves case.
“I want people to understand the
differences in this case and the
implications of state executions,”
said event organizer Fran Kaye, a
UNL English professor.
Reeves, an Omaha Indian by
birth, was taken from the reservation
at the age of 3 and adopted by a
Quaker family in Central City.
In 1980, Reeves murdered Janet
Mesner, a childhood friend, and
Vicki Lamm at a Quaker meeting
' house in Lincoln.
Reeves was convicted of two
counts of felony murder because of
evidence of sexual assault, and in
1981 he was sentenced to death.
After 18 years of litigation, the
Board of Pardons denied Reeves
The clemency plea was Reeves’
best chance to stop Thursday’s
scheduled execution, though there is
still one appeal pending with the
Nebraska Supreme Court,
r Kaye said she wants people to
understand how American Indians
have been treated in the past and die
I’ve gained an
on my life. If my mom
had a chance to voice
her opinion, shed be
for clemency ”
daughter of victim Vicki Lamm
effects of that treatment.
“I teach Native Studies, and stu
dents are always horrified when
they learn of the situation,” Kaye
said. “If people understand this case,
they’ll be upset.”
During the 1950s, approximate
ly 25 percent of all American Indian
children nationwide were placed in
In Reeves’ case, family members
of both the victims have lobbied to
have Reeves’ sentence commuted to
life in prison.
Audrey Lamm, Vicki’s daughter,
will attend the teach-in to share her
views on the case and her experi
ences with the Pardons Board.
Audrey Lamm was 2 years old
and in the house when her mother
“I’ve gained an incredible per
spective on my life,” Lamm said. “If
my mom had a chance to voice her
opinion, she’d be for clemency.”
Union now student-friendly
■ New hours, services and
improved facilities await
students this semester.
By Shane Anthony
Students returning from break
might have noticed a different Nebraska
Union on Monday.
While the project’s completion lies.
on the somewhat distant horizon, a
number of new services await students,
according to Nebraska Unions Director
Daryl Swanson. The changes, he said,
represent a switch from a facility geared
toward daytime use to one that offers
piore evening services.
“We’re trying to break out ofthe 8 to
5, Monday through Friday mold,”
Just up the spiral staircase - which
opened Monday - from the building’s
north entrance, Tom Dake, an assistant
director for Student Involvement,
worked the office’s first late shift.
“I didn’t want some of our new staff
to panic, so I thought I’d be here,” he
said with a laugh. The outer part of the
office with its glass front will be open
from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through
Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, Dake said.
Swanson said ail students can use
the area, but student organizations will
probably benefit most. A meeting room
and resource library will be available, he
said, and organizations can keep more
permanent addresses by using a wall of
300 metal mailboxes.
The copy center also experienced a
big change. It has a new address.
Brenda Norquist, copy service
coordinator for University Services,
said the old center’s address used to be
“lower level, back of the bookstore.”
Now it will be room 121, just inside the
“(Students) can’t miss us now.
We’re pretty visible,” Norquist said.
Operating hours changed, too, she
said. The center used to close at 5 p.m.
Closing times will change to meet stu
dents’ needs, she said, and the center
will eventually be open until the union
closes at 11 p.m.
Students can make copies at the
center now, she said. But the room lacks
“I just wish we were all pretty like
we’re going to be,” she said.
The center’s future also includes
color and black-and-white laser printers
for the computer lab.
Swanson said the lab should open
Feb. 1. Eventually, it will be open 24
hours, he said. Students will use their
identification cards to gain access after
regular union hours. - .
But the lab can’t open for round-the
STUDENTS CAN NOW enter and leave the University Bookstore through the
north doors. The bookstore also includes a convenience store that sells
snacks, drinks and school supplies.
clock use until construction crews fin
ish the west entrance, he said. That will
be one of the last phases completed he
said, hopefully by spring break.
The original completion date was
Aug. 15. The contract contained no
penalty or incentive clauses for missing
the completion date, he said, and the bid
from Builders Inc. provided no room for
overtime to make up for lost time.
Contractors and university officials
have disagreed about reasons for delays
in the past, Swanson said, but arguments
over the $13.5 million project can’t be
won or lost.
“We just kind of called it a draw,” he
One student interviewed Monday
evening had no objections.
Joshua Fry, 23, a senior business
administration major from Houston,
said he started frequenting the union
more when study lounges opened. He
noticed few of the most recent changes,
but said he approved of the building’s
“I think it’s better,” he said. “I never
used to like to come here in previous
According to Swanson, other recent
■ The Regency and Heritage
rooms are open for use, as are two
round-table meeting rooms and an audi
torium with 240 theater seats and 66
rolling chairs at eight tables.
■ A convenience store next to the
bookstore. It will stay open after the
bookstore closes, Swanson said.
■ A recreation area with video
games and pinball should open by the
end of the week.
JNew senators take their seats
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
Out with the old, in with the new -
and in 1999 the Legislature is seeing a
lot more of the new.
Nine new senators joined the
Legislature this session, replacing leg
islative veterans including Sen. David
Maurstad, who is now lieutenant-gov
ernor, and former Sen. Kate Witek,
who is now the state auditor.
Former Lincoln Sen. Don Wesely
said he plans on running for mayor of
Ewing Sen. Merton “Cap” Dierks
said because of the large turnover this
year Nebraska lost some valuable law
makers, but assured there will be sev
eral more anxious to move up.
“I suppose that (nine new senators)
will make a difference,” Dierks said.
“The people that left for those higher
offices are qualified, but I’m sure
there will be people in this body who
can step up and fill the gap.”
Ideologically, the new senators
may appear to lean more toward the
right, Dierks said, but party-affiliation
and campaign promises do not always
indicate how a lawmaker may vote.
Dierks said he was one of 10 new
senators in 1987, which, to his memo
ry, was the last time such a large num
ber of senators joined the Legislature.
Dierks, Plattsmouth Sen^Roger
Wehrbein, Hebron Sen. George
Coordsen and Stanton Sen. Stan
Schellpeper are the remaining sena
tors of the 1986 class.
Gering Sen. Adrian Smith,28, is
. part of the class of 1999.
Smith replaced 8-year former Sen.
Joyce Hillman, but said he plans on
meeting with her to get a historical
perspective on the job.
“It’s a huge responsibility,” he said.
“Thai is affirmed every time a new bill
Smith, who is a former Gering
City Council member, said involve
ment in government there prompted
him to seek a higher office.
He said getting his constituents
more involved in state government
was one of his goals during his term.
The following is a list of new state
■ District 8: Patrick Bourne, an
attorney in Omaha, replaced Eric Will.
■ District 12: Pam Redfield,
Omaha, who is executive director of
the Omaha-Millard Rotary, replaced
■ District 16: Matt Connealy, a
Decatur fanner, replaced C.N. (Bud)
■District 26: Marian Price, a reg
istered nurse in Lincoln, replaced Don
■ District 30: Dennis Byars,
Beatrice, who is director of communi
ty support and government relations at
the Martin Luther Home Foundation,
'replaced David Maurstad.
■ District 31: Mark Quandahl, an
Omaha attorney, replaced Kate Witek.
■ District 34: Bob Kremer, a
farmer and cattle feeder from Aurora,
replaced Jerry Willhoft.
■ District 44: Thomas Baker, -
Trenton, who is president of an oil
exploration/production and agricul
tural production corporation, and •
owner of a convenience store, replaced
■District 48: Adrian Smith, a real
estate agent from Gering, replaced
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