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UA Budget Request Tops UA Regents Agenda

The University of Alaska Board of Regents will meet in Anchorage Wednesday, Nov. 7, to discuss the proposed operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year.

The proposed operating budget emphasizes strategically selected programs necessary to develop Alaska's economy and support student achievement. Investment requests include $1.5 million toward student-focused and service-based efforts to improve retention, completion and graduation, including expanded academic advising for students. Other key areas that would receive additional funding include high-demand job training in health and biomedical fields, workforce development, teacher education, fisheries, seafood and maritime programs and mining programs. Research areas critically important to Alaska would also receive state funding under the proposed plan.

The meeting will start promptly at 9 a.m. in Room 107 of the Lee Gorsuch Commons at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. System governance leaders will report to the Regents, followed by public testimony at 9:15 a.m. The meeting is expected to wrap up around 3 p.m.

The proposed operating budget for the 16-campus UA System, which has facilities from Ketchikan to Kotzebue, requests $963 million in spending authorization. If the board approves the budget, it would be a 4.2 percent increase in operating funds over the current year. Of that amount, $383 million would come from the State of Alaska and the university would generate the remaining $580 million, through federal dollars, contracts, tuition, earnings from land leases and sales and other revenue sources.

The proposed FY14 capital budget, which would go into effect July 1, 2013, includes a sustainment funding plan for University of Alaska facilities, including funding to address deferred maintenance, and continuation funding to complete the UA Engineering buildings. At a proposed $233.9 million in state funds, UA's capital budget would put $112.5 million toward deferred maintenance, including $37.5 million proposed by Gov. Sean Parnell plus an additional $75 million toward reducing the maintenance backlog. If approved, the capital budget would also set aside $50 million for an annual renewal and repurposing sustainment funding initiative for UA facilities. The capital budget also supports investment in Alaska-focused research, in areas including Alaska Chinook salmon, energy technology testing and development, energy analysis and fossil fuels, arctic oil spill response and enhancing base maps for Alaska resources. UA owns more than 400 buildings across the state that total 6.7 million square feet, with a total infrastructure value of more than $2.5 billion.

For the complete agenda for Wednesday's Board of Regents meeting, go to www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas.

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