CHRO Message Re Financial Exigency
July 19, 2019
Dear University Staff,
As you may know, legislators who assembled in Juneau last week voted 37-1 to override the governor’s veto to the university’s state funding. Unfortunately, that was eight votes short of the ¾ vote required by the constitution. While those same legislators are taking up the issue of supplemental funding for UA, the governor has the authority to veto any such appropriations. For that reason President Johnsen is continuing discussions with both Legislative leadership and the governor’s office regarding additional funding.
In light of continuing budget uncertainty, on Monday, July 15, the Board of Regents deferred a vote on financial exigency, and instructed President Johnsen to brief the board on a recommended structure for the University on July 22.
While we continue to work on advocacy, the present reality is that we face unprecedented reductions and significant changes at the university. I want to assure you that even in the event of a declaration of financial exigency, regular employees remain eligible for advance notice of changes in employment - four weeks for non-exempt staff, eight weeks for exempt staff, and 60 days’ notice for regular faculty. While I recognize that this will be small comfort if you receive such a notice, there is no question that we have, together, done all we could to avoid this result. We must now act to provide certainty to our students and employees, and to avoid compounding the level of reductions in programs and services that will result from delay.
During this time, we know you are going to have a lot of questions. To help answer those questions and provide as much information as possible, we are creating a website solely dedicated to this issue. It will be updated with information as soon as we know it.
Our students and employees are at the heart of our university. We will do all that we can to reduce the impact of these difficult times on you. Please remember to take time to support each other and work together during these challenging times. Reach out to our DeerOaks Employee Assistance Program for counseling and other services 24-hours a day.
Keli Hite McGee, CHRO