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November 8, 2019

Regents approve FY21 operating and capital budget requests, delayed a decision on increasing tuition for academic year 2021

FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Board of Regents concluded a two-day meeting, including a work session focused on clarifying roles and responsibilities across the UA system. The board adopted a $277 million state operating budget request but delayed a vote on increasing student tuition for academic year 2021 pending further engagement with student leaders. 

During two-hours of public testimony on Friday morning regents heard from students, staff and faculty, as well as Representatives Adam Wool and Bart LeBon, on a range of issues including concerns about a possible tuition increase, communication, policy changes and leadership. 

Under a compact signed in August with Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy, the $277 million state appropriation request reflects a $25 million reduction -- the second year of a three-year cut that will total $70 million in reductions. The total FY21 budget, including non-state revenue sources, is $831.6 million. Included in that budget request is budget support for athletic programs and funding for strategic initiatives through reallocation within each university. Regents also approved a $52.5 million capital budget request.

On Thursday, regents, university and governance leaders met with national higher education experts and engaged in a work session focused on clarifying the roles and responsibilities for the board, the president, chancellors and governance groups. Regents adopted a motion to conduct an audit of board policy and to consider recommendations for changes to board policy to clarify authority, roles and responsibilities, including issues identified during the workshop.

The Board elected Regent Sheri Buretta to serve as board chair and Regent Karen Perdue to serve as vice chair for the coming year. Regent Dale Anderson will remain the secretary and Regent Lisa Parker will remain the treasurer. 

Additionally Regents learned about research at the three universities, received an update on Title IX compliance and received an update on university athletics.

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For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2019 

UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield Announces Retirement Plans

After 35 years of exemplary service and leadership at the University of Alaska, UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield plans to retire at the end of the academic year in June 2020.

“I have dedicated my career to the University of Alaska, and I have especially appreciated the opportunity to provide leadership at the University of Alaska Southeast over these past 10 years,” Caulfield said. 

He began his UA career as a faculty member at UAF’s Bristol Bay Campus, working with the Department of Alaska Native and Rural Development. Rising to the level of full professor, Caulfield’s work at UA included research on the sustainability of Greenlandic Inuit whaling that was the basis for his doctoral study in the United Kingdom. He moved from UAF to UAS in 2010 to take up the position of provost, and was appointed UAS chancellor in 2015.

UA President Jim Johnsen thanked Caulfield for his dedication and service to UA. “I am especially appreciative for Chancellor Caulfield’s leadership through the recent successful reaccreditation of UAS by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.” 

Caulfield praised UAS administrators, faculty, and staff who worked hard to achieve that result, stating that “the renewal of UAS accreditation this year reflects the high quality of educational programs at our university and our intense focus on student learning and success. I’m confident that UAS will maintain that focus even as we continue to address budget challenges.”

The search process for Caulfield’s successor will begin immediately. Johnsen said a representative search committee will be created along with a timeline for the search. The Committee will include representatives from UAS governance groups, campus advisory councils, and community partners. 

The search timeline will include on-campus visits by finalists in the spring. Visits will include the UAS Ketchikan and Sitka campuses. There also will be opportunities for input from community members in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka prior to a decision being made by President Johnsen. It is expected that Chancellor Caulfield’s successor will take the reins at UAS in July 2020.

Chancellor Caulfield and his wife Annie Woodward Caulfield plan to remain in Juneau following his retirement. “We love the Juneau community and the abundant opportunities provided by Southeast Alaska’s environment,” he said.

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For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).

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