Budget Priorities

State investment in the University of Alaska system is essential to meet necessary workforce demand in Alaska.  In addition, state investment can be leveraged to earn higher revenues from tuition, industry research, grants and philanthropic giving.

The UA budget is guided by the Board of Regents’ Goals and Measures and priority focus areas including increasing enrollment, developing Alaska’s workforce, Arctic research excellence, Alaska Native success, industry partnerships and operational efficiency and modernization.

FY24 Operating & Capital Budgets

UA is Fundamental to Economic Recovery

A strong university supports a strong economy and serves all of Alaska. The UA system’s academic and research programs are critical to the state’s economic recovery. UA makes high-quality, accessible, and affordable post-secondary education available across Alaska, and provides solutions for career training, research and economic development. From welding, to diesel mechanics, to drone piloting, to vital climate research, to enhanced oil recovery, to critical mining solutions, our three universities and their community campuses shape the jobs and career paths that fuel the state economy.

In-state training improves the Alaska-hire rate, and median wages jump dramatically with post-secondary credentials. 

Stable state support allows UA programs to continue to support Alaska businesses and industries, local communities, and state and national security.

Meeting priorities, goals and measures

The FY24 incremental request of $24 million provides much needed fiscal stability to retain quality faculty and staff, as well as manage unavoidable operational cost increases. An additional $7.2 million would advance key priorities in student success, supporting research, and increasing workforce development capacity.

The request includes a 2.75% compensation increase for employees, which represents a moderate but reasonable increase for valued state employees. 

This request also includes $2.4 million for health benefits increase expected in FY24; it’s the first rate increase for UA’s health plan since 2016.

Student support and recruitment

Increasing enrollment is the university system’s top priority. The budget request includes funding to attract, retain and support more students including additional student support services, increasing financial aid, providing additional student advising, and offering more dual credit opportunities.

Expanding workforce training capacity

In order to increase our capacity to train a workforce to meet Alaska’s greatest needs, we need additional faculty in climate science, health, STEM fields, earth system science, and critical minerals. To meet our diversity goals, we need to attract an increased number of tenure-track Alaska Native/Indigenous faculty and staff.

UA’s Physical Assets Need Care and Attention

The capital budget request includes the top priority FY24 request for $17.5 million for UAA heating, mechanical and electrical system improvements.  The FY24 total $72.3 million (which includes the $17.5 million for the UAA improvements) for deferred maintenance funding is necessary for facility modernization to improve the student learning experience and increase workforce training capacity. 

Capital funding is a top priority and critical need. Due to many years of unfunded deferral of critical projects, there is an increasing risk and evidence of building closures, and a deferred maintenance/renewal & repurposing backlog that has grown to more than $1.5 billion.

UA facilities are often shared by the public and our strategic partners, but the UA often bears the long-term costs of use.