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A cool, rainy summer led many to seek inspiration through books and learning. Photo by Monique Musick

Congratulations Dana Thomas

UA System vice president for Academic Affairs and Research and a 30-plus year statistics faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been selected the 2014 recipient of the Edith R. Bullock Prize.

Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence Goes to Longtime Educator

The University of Alaska Foundation has announced that Dana Thomas, UA System vice president for Academic Affairs and Research and a 30-plus year statistics faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been selected the 2014 recipient of the Edith R. Bullock Prize.

The prestigious title includes a cash award and is the single largest award presented by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees each year.  MORE...

Alumni Giving is Up 28 Percent

The UA Foundation reports that system fundraising efforts resulted in private contributions of $23,070,025 in FY14, an increase of 32 percent over FY13’s total of $17,446,547. Of particular note is FY14 total giving by alumni which increased 28 percent (from $869,925 in FY13 to $1,110,104 in FY14), likely due to ongoing work at all three universities to increase alumni engagement.

"Come Home to Alaska" Waives Nonresident Tuition Surcharge at UA

The University of Alaska System has a new program in place aimed at enticing Lower 48 students with family ties in Alaska to head north.
 
“Come Home to Alaska” waives the nonresident surcharge for students with parents or grandparents currently living in the state. This means a substantial savings to an out-of-state student—over $13,000 for 30 undergraduate credits a year.
 
The program will start with the fall 2014 semester. Associate Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Saichi Oba called the program “innovative.”
 
“The idea is to incentivize potential students with ties to Alaska who are living outside the state to come back home. Resident UA tuition is incredibly affordable compared to tuition at most other public colleges and universities in the Lower 48,” Oba said. “Our campuses offer exciting, hands-on, quality programs in the most spectacular state in the country—Alaska. Adventurous souls who come north, jump in and embrace all that UA has to offer will have an amazing experience.”    
 
UA President Pat Gamble approved the waiver for the next two academic years to test its success. Students admitted under the program will continue to receive the waiver so long as they are continuously enrolled and qualify.
 
“Come Home to Alaska demonstrates our commitment to grow enrollment while maintaining quality and affordability. Educating students in Alaska is good for Alaska’s future, as graduates tends to remain in state and get jobs,” Oba said.

Statewide and Budget Cuts

Ashok Roy, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer

At Statewide we understand the budget challenges and work hard to meet them every day. We will remain focused on core SW functions. This has been, and always will be, central to our decisions that address the challenge of increased costs and higher expectations coupled with ever-limited fiscal resources. Prudence requires us to be prepared for volatility.

The FY15 operating budget included an unallocated UA general fund reduction of $15,900,000 and a reduction to UA Travel of $1,066,200. Statewide's proportional reduction was a general fund reduction of $1,260,000 and a reduction to travel of $78,900.

To stay ahead of the curve, Statewide took action in FY14 by reducing our base operating budget by 4.8 percent. This prepared us for FY15.

Additionally in FY15 we have eliminated Corporate Programs; reduced our institutional support to the UA Foundation; reclassified positions at lower grades when vacancies occurred; did not fill some vacancies; increased the Network Fee by 0.5 percent; saw an increase in interest income due to markets; increased the vacancy lag from 60 days to 120 days; and reduced functional areas travel by 20 percent.

Among SW's many strengths is the spirit of collaboration. That spirit has allowed us to meet past challenges, will allow us meet current challenges, and will help us meet those we will face in the future. Thank you for your support. We will keep you informed of any changes in the budget situation. We appreciate your hard work through these times and continue to seek your input on additional cost savings ideas and revenue enhancement opportunities.

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