The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is facing $2 million in budget cuts that will reduce or eliminate programs to improve the economy and quality of life in Nevada, ranging from helping children learn to read to showing homeowners how to protect their houses from fire, the program’s leader said Wednesday.
“Every academic faculty member in our college will have to become part-time, and some positions will be gone,” said Jerry Buk, interim dean of the Cooperative Extension.
Overall, 150 jobs could be lost, with 72 teaching and research faculty losing their positions and an estimated 70 more being eliminated because of the anticipated loss in grant money from federal and other sources, he said.
The loss of jobs and programs is the result of the Nevada Board of Regents’ decision last month not to include $2 million for the Cooperative Extension in its 2014 budget request.
That money would have mitigated a $5.5 million cut in funding already made to the budget of the Cooperative Extension, which is a statewide program under the University of Nevada, Reno.
Buk said the $5.5 million will be siphoned from the program to fund other needs at UNR, resulting in a loss of 60 percent of the Cooperative Extension’s budget starting July 1, 2013.
“That’s when every member of our academic faculty in our college will become part-time,” he said. “That means programs will have to be reduced or cut, and that’s when the public will feel it.”
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