September 7, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept 7, 2022
University of Alaska Board of Regents to meet Sept. 8-9
FY24 draft budget, student success, and initiatives that fuel Alaska's economy primary agenda topics
Building faculty capacity, college affordability, modernization, and innovation that empowers Alaska’s economy will be the prominent themes when the University of Alaska Board of Regents meets this Thursday and Friday on the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau.
The regents will take a first look at the FY24 budget, and approve the final distribution of the FY23 operating and capital budget, which includes funding for a major overhaul of the student-facing IT system and investments in key economic growth initiatives that fuel Alaska’s economy.
“The University of Alaska system is moving forward with renewed optimism,” UA President Pat Pitney said. “Our budget helps position the university as a critical partner in the state’s economic development - especially in key industries such as critical minerals mining, application of drone technology, recovery of heavy oil from North Slope, and the burgeoning mariculture industry.”
“We are also seeing a positive trend in enrollment for first-time and community campus students,” she said. “Making college more affordable and accessible is our goal and critical to our state’s future. Education after high school - whether it leads to a degree or a job certification - results in higher incomes and more robust and resilient local economies.”
Topics and supporting items on the regent’s agenda include:
Regents will discuss the importance of dual enrollment, which refers to students who simultaneously enroll in a K-12 or homeschool program and in classes at one of the three universities or community colleges. The benefits of dual enrollment include greater access to education; increased college affordability; and acceleration to degree or job. In 2021, 10% of UA students were dual enrolled; by 2027, UA expects 14% of its students to be dual enrolled.
The first review of proposed changes to the tuition and fees policy, which would allow for more flexibility of tuition rates and fees between universities; regents also will review a proposal to create a single undergraduate tuition rate for UAF, the research university.
In addition to a significant upgrade to the IT system, the regents will consider recommendations to award contracts for two projects:
$25 million for the UAF Bartlett and Moore Hall Modernization and Renewal project. Bartlett and Moore Halls are UAF’s largest residence halls and house about 644 undergraduate and graduate students.
$9 million for the UAF Rasmuson Library Student Success Center Project, which will enhance the student experience by centralizing student support and increasing visibility of academic services such as tutoring and advising.
The regents will consider a recommendation to approve the University of Alaska Anchorage 2022 Campus Master Plan, which will guide investment in university facilities (including campuses in Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, Mat-Su and Valdez) for the next 10 years.
Fueling Alaska’s Economy:
The FY23 operating and capital budget includes $35.3 million in one-time investments that align with the board’s goals and UA expertise, and will bring national prominence to Alaska in key industries in the global economy. Those investments include:
- $10 million to lead in research and development toward commercializing the use of drones across multiple business sectors;
- $5 million for heavy oil recovery research and development;
- $8.6 million for critical minerals and rare earth elements research and development;
- $7 million for mariculture research and development;
- $2 million for fisheries, seafood and maritime programs;
- $2.5 million for emerging energy opportunities;
- $250,000 for health program equipment.
Themes in the FY24 budget proposals, in addition to supporting critical core functions, are building faculty capacity, prioritizing student enrollment, being nimble to meet priority workforce needs and providing research for Alaska’s economic development.
Each of the three universities have proposed program expenditures for the FY24 budget draft that support UA’s five goals and include faculty recruitment and retention efforts; workforce development initiatives; promotion of Arctic policy, research, and leadership; strengthening teacher education; advancing the Alaska Native Success Initiative; increasing fisheries and ocean sciences presence in Southeast Alaska; and managing the university as a modern and efficient enterprise.
“The UA system is poised to support the development of new industry and business, while providing the education and training for the workforce that will be required,” Pitney said.
The regents will take an in-depth look at the university’s dual enrollment programs in a new segment of Did You Know?; approve honorary degrees and meritorious service awards; and approve the naming of a classroom at UAA.
Staff will provide an update on Title IX compliance and a public awareness campaign; and the University of Alaska Foundation will report on the success of the For Alaska comprehensive fundraising campaign. President Pitney will present the “Staff Make Students Count” awards.
Thursday’s meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. Friday’s meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 12:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Student Recreation Center, Room 116, at the University of Alaska Southeast.
The full agenda is available online.
The meeting, with the exception of any executive sessions, is public and will be livestreamed. To listen via phone, dial 1-866-832-7806 / pin 8475100. If the toll-free line is busy, please call 1-330-595-1371.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents is an 11-member volunteer board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Alaska Legislature. Members serve an eight-year term, with the exception of the student regent who serves a two-year term. The Board was established through the Alaska Constitution and is responsible for University of Alaska policy and management through the university president.
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For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).