June 19, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2023
University of Alaska FY24 Budget Maintains Solid Foundation for Future Growth
(FAIRBANKS, AK) - The FY24 State of Alaska budget released by Governor Dunleavy today maintains financial stability for the University of Alaska (UA) System and sets the stage for continued enrollment growth to benefit Alaska. The enacted budget includes modest growth to support negotiated compensation for employees and targeted investment in educational programs.
“We appreciate the Governor’s support of the university system and our continued work to empower Alaska,” UA President Pat Pitney said. “The budget signed today provides continued financial stability and critical investments in UA’s educational programs, people, and infrastructure.”
The enacted state appropriation for UA is just over $308 million; combined with federal receipts and other revenues, UA’s total FY24 operating budget stands at just under $884.8 million.
Key Highlights: Investment in Educational Programs
The WWAMI medical program at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) will receive just over $2 million in state operating and capital funds which will allow the program to grow by 50% in the fall of 2025, and fund renovations and expansion of lab and clinical space.
"As we seek to address the nursing and healthcare worker shortage that impacts the entire medical field, WWAMI plays a critical role in expanding the number of medical doctors for Alaska,” President Pitney said. “I'm pleased to see these investments which will allow the program to grow from 20 to 30 new medical students a year."
Key Highlights: Investment in Students, Staff, and Faculty
The signed budget includes base increases in state funds for retroactive FY23 and FY24 compensation increases for faculty, staff, firefighters, and local 6070 bargaining unit members. It also provides ongoing certainty at UA for students, preserving important funding that has led to rebounding student enrollment through programmatic investment.
“Early reports show enrollment is on track to increase 2-5% this coming fall, and our first-time freshmen and UA Scholars are on track to increase by even more,” President Pitney said. “The sustainability provided by this budget will help us meet our enrollment goals, and empower Alaskans to succeed in their communities.”
Key Highlights: Investments in Infrastructure
Finally, the enacted budget includes key capital investments. The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aerial Systems (ACUASI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) will receive $10M to expand world-class research, development, and commercial drone operationalization, while UAS will receive $3.6 million for priority deferred maintenance projects. Additionally, UA leadership and the Board of Regents will continue developing a long-term strategy to address system-wide deferred maintenance, renewal, and repair with input from Governor Dunleavy’s Administration.
“I see great things on the horizon for our university system,” remarked President Pitney. “We have turned the corner, enrollment is growing, externally funded research is growing, and our programs are focused on jobs and industries important to Alaska’s economy. Our universities play a vital role in our state, and this budget will allow us to empower Alaska and build a strong tomorrow.”
– 30 –
For more information, contact Jonathon Taylor, director of public affairs at 907-350-0168 (cell).