Stressing the vital role of the University of Alaska in Alaska's economic development, University President Mark R. Hamilton and the Board of Regents are submitting to the state an operating budget request that calls for a $16.9 million increase in general funds for the next fiscal year.

The university's budget request is focused on recruiting and retaining Alaska students, offering academic programs directed at training Alaskans to fill the jobs in highest demand today and in the future, and building the technological capacity of the state.

"The state's commitment to an increasing investment in the university is essential to preparing Alaska for sustainable economic success," Hamilton told the regents as they considered the budget request.

The additional state funding is requested in the following categories:

  • Maintaining a Solid Foundation: $9.2 million that will be used for salary maintenance, fixed cost increases, distance education, equipment repair, upgrade and replacement, and increased business efficiency.
  • Attracting and Retaining Alaska Students: $988,200 for student advising, support and web-based services.
  • Meeting Alaska's Employment Needs: $4.2 million for teacher education, health care, information technology and vocational-technical education.
  • Preparing for Alaska's Economic Success: $2.5 million to bolster university efforts to capitalize on existing research strengths, and to help the university produce workers for jobs on a natural gas pipeline, a missile defense system, fisheries, information technology, finance management, engineering and natural resources.
The proposed $16.9 million increase would increase the state's general fund investment in the university from $188.9 million to $205.7 million. The university would raise another $350 million from other sources for a total operating budget statewide of $556 million.

Alaska's economic success is predicated on the availability of natural resources, skilled workers and technology, President Hamilton said. He went on to point out that for the last ten years, Alaska has been the only state in the nation that has experienced a decrease in gross state product.

"By learning from the past, rather than getting only short-term benefits from the next period of economic prosperity," Hamilton said, "Alaska can invest now to build the technology capacity and prepare Alaskans to hold the 'legacy jobs' and related value-added industries for the long term, or wait another 30 years for the next opportunity."

Regents also approved an $87.5 million capital budget request, specifying that for new facility construction, the top three priorities - totaling $12.7 million of the overall capital request -- are community campus improvements at Bristol Bay, Sitka and Ketchikan campuses; the Egan Library Classroom addition at UAS in Juneau; and the UA Museum on the UAF campus in Fairbanks.

After extensive discussions among themselves and with student leaders from around the university system, the regents approved inflation-only increases in tuition for Academic Year 02, which begins with the fall 2001 semester. At that time, tuition will increase $2 per credit hour for lower division courses and $3 per credit hour for upper division courses.

The board approved the UAS allocation for facility renewal, and approved related projects: Anderson Building in Juneau, Paul Building roof in Ketchikan, the Sitka Campus Center, Juneau student housing and Juneau student housing water system replacement design.

The UAA allocation of capital appropriations also was approved, including the following projects: Science Building research lab renovation, McDonald Building renovation, Engineering Building renovation, College of Arts & Science IT renovation and Sports/Physical Education Facility roof repairs and renovation.

The Finance, Facilities, and Land Management Committee of the Board of Regents approved schematic designs on several renewal projects, and authorized the administration to bid and award contracts. The projects are the UAF Rasmuson Library, $18.6 million; UAF Brooks Building, $5.65 million; and the UAF Physical Plant, phase I, $3.75 million. The committee also authorized the continuation of the design for the UAA Library addition and renovation project at a total project cost of $34.7 million, and to expend up to $1.6 million for that continuing design process.

Resolutions of appreciation were approved for Regents Mary Jane Fate and Dan Ogg, both of whom were appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Walter J. Hickel in 1993. Their terms expire in February 2001.

Maxine Whitney, who with her late husband, Jesse, owned the Eskimo Museum in Fairbanks for many years, was recognized by the regents for donating her private collection of Alaska Native art and artifacts to the university. The extensive collection is housed at the Prince William Sound Community College Alaska Cultural Center, 300 Valdez Airport Road, in Valdez.

Michael J. Burns (1997-2005)

Vice Chair
Elsa Demeksa (1997-2005)

Mary Jane Fate (1993-2001)

Chancy Croft (1995-2003)

Joshua B, Horst (1999-2001)
Robert Malone (1999-2007)
R. Danforth Ogg (1993-2001)
Brian D. Rogers (1997-2007)
Frances H. Rose (1999-2007)
Joe J. Thomas (1995-2003)
Joseph E. Usibelli, Jr. (1999-2007)

Board of Regents Office

Jeannie Phillips
202 Butrovich Building
P.O. Box 755300
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5300
(907) 474-7908


The University of Alaska Board of Regents is the governing body responsible for university policy and management through the president. Regents are appointed by the governor for eight year terms, subject to legislative confirmation. A student regent is appointed for two years from cantidates nominated on each campus. (Regents' terms of office shown in parentheses)

November 16-16, 2000

March 7-9, 2001

Published after each Board of Regents' meeting by the Office of Public Affairs, 206 Butrovich Building, P.O. Box 755340, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5340. (907) 474-7272. E-Mail: syserve@orca.alaska.edu. Written by Director or Public Affairs Bob Miller, Electronic Layout by John Hall, Original Layout by Adela Batin.