June 1, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2020
University of Alaska Board of Regents to discuss FY21-22 budgets and options for university
transformation during its June 4-5 meeting
The University of Alaska Board of Regents will discuss the university’s FY21 and FY22
budget, address financial solutions for closing significant financial gaps in both
fiscal years and take up the preliminary review of possible options for university
transformation when it meets June 4 and 5. The board also will hold two hours of public
testimony on June 2 to hear from Alaskans about these topics.
The university faces significant financial headwinds brought on by state budget cuts, enrollment declines and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The board will review and approve the FY21 budget plan and provide guidance to address the FY22 budget where the gap ranges from $11.3 million to $36.3 million.
Work to address the FY21 budget issues began several months ago. The university has already implemented executive furloughs, suspended market pay increases for employees, and is proposing to refinance UA debt. Nearly 50 academic programs are proposed for elimination and there is $19 million in administrative cuts across the system.
Despite these actions, the university still faces a $24.8 million gap in FY21 due predominately to COVID-19 related impacts. To balance the FY21 budget, the board will have to decide whether to use one-time funds or find other ways to fill that gap. The budget issues facing the university in FY22 are greater, and that has led to the need for transformation.
“We’ve exhausted the obvious things,” said UA President Jim Johnsen, “so now we need to start looking at the larger structural options.”
Johnsen will present a preliminary review of transformation options, including structural changes that have been reviewed by the university’s leadership as well as its business and academic councils. These options were created with input from chancellors, community campus directors, governance representatives, and others who provided feedback and ideas for these transformative solutions. Visit alaska.edu/bor/solutions for the latest information on proposed options, timelines, opportunities for engagement, governance resolutions and presentations to the board.
In addition to the budget, the board’s agenda includes updates on Title IX. President Johnsen will present three outstanding staff
members with the “Staff Make Students Count” award for providing outstanding service to students, and regents will recognize retiring leaders, UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield, UA Foundation President Susan Foley, General Counsel Mike Hostina as well as Erika Van
Flein, director of employee transitions and benefits.
The Board of Regents will hear public testimony from 4-6 p.m. on June 2 via audio. Those interested can call 1-866-726-0757 to join the queue. Public testimony will be live streamed at: www.alaska.edu/bor/live/. You can also provide written testimony anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The board meeting and public testimony will be live streamed at www.alaska.edu/bor/live/
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For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).