September 9, 2022

September 9, 2022

UA Board of Regents set FY24 budget priorities,
recognize outstanding staff

During its two-day meeting in Juneau, the University of Alaska Board of Regents addressed Alaska’s critical needs for a qualified workforce, the success of the dual enrollment programs across the system, and investments in the university to improve the student experience, faculty capacity, research and innovation to empower Alaska’s future.

On Thursday, regents held an initial discussion on the FY24 operating and capital budgets. Each of the three universities and the UA System Office proposed investments that support workforce and economic development for the state.

Regents heard from OMB Director Neil Steininger who provided a brief update on the state budget outlook and projected revenue forecast. University leadership will be meeting with OMB to discuss the university’s FY24 budget, as well as the critical need for funding to address the university system’s $1.3 billion backlog in deferred maintenance and renewal and repurposing projects.

A draft tuition policy change was previewed that defines the guiding principles for how the board will assess tuition requests from the universities and paves the way for further tuition differentiation based on, among other criteria, university mission, residency, two-year vs. 4-year programs, or costs of modes of delivery. Regents received a first look at proposed tuition rate changes for UAF’s Troth Yeddha’ campus for the academic year 2024. Under this proposal, to be voted on at the board’s November meeting, UAA and UAS, and all community campuses, will retain the current tuition rate. The board also discussed the importance of scholarships and financial aid in ensuring affordability and access to higher education.

Four outstanding staff members were recognized with the “Staff Make Students Count” award that recognizes staff who have made a difference in the lives of students. Each received a plaque, $1000, and two Alaska Airlines vouchers.

Kevin Lechtenberg, Associate Athletic Trainer with the University of Alaska Anchorage, was recognized for his dedication, work ethic, accountability and professionalism - “all traits we strive to develop in our student athletes” - and for being the type of person who you can count on to be calm in stressful situations.  

Minnie Lucy Naylor, an academic advisor with University of Alaska Fairbanks Rural Student Services, was recognized for her personal dedication to student success, friendly and caring nature, and dedication to UAF and its students.

Martin Carter, IT Support Specialist with the University of Alaska Southeast, was recognized not only for his support of students who need tech support, but also his role as a mentor for IT Services student assistants. His colleagues noted his patience, calm demeanor, professionalism, and upbeat attitude - as well as his ability to speak in terms that non-IT people can understand.

Dory Straight, a scholarship officer with the UA Foundation, was recognized for the support, guidance and counsel she provides students, her depth of knowledge of scholarships, and the role she has played in helping retain students through personal and financial support.

Regents approved the FY23 operating and capital budget distribution plan as approved by Governor Dunleavy, which includes $35.3 million in one-time investments that align with the board’s goals and UA expertise, including funding for drones, heavy oil recovery research, critical minerals, mariculture, maritime programs, alternative energy and health programs. 

In addition, the board approved key deferred maintenance and renovation projects including the UAF Bartlett and Moore Hall Modernization and Renewal project, and the UAF Rasmuson Library Student Success Center Project. The regents also approved 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. 

On Friday morning the regents took a deep dive into dual enrollment programs at all three universities as part of the Did You Know? series. Dual enrollment 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. In 2021, 10% of UA students were dual enrolled; by 2027, UA expects 14% of its students to be dual enrolled. Panelists who answered questions from the regents included superintendents from Fairbanks and Anchorage school districts and staff and faculty from across the system. 

In addition, Regents received an update on Title IX compliance and previewed the public awareness campaign which will be launching this fall promoting the university system’s role in empowering Alaska’s economy. The University of Alaska Foundation reported on the success of the For Alaska comprehensive fundraising campaign. Regents also approved the honorary degrees and meritorious service awards for fall 2022 and spring 2023 and approved the naming of the John E. Havelock Simulation Courtroom at UAA in honor of Havelock’s landmark work in public policy and constitutional law, and his founding of the UAA Justice Center.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents is an 11-member volunteer board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Alaska State Legislature. Members serve an 8-year term, with the exception of the student regent who is nominated from his/her campus and serves a 2-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).