UA Board of Regents Approves University’s FY19 Operating and Capital Budgets
Schedules special meeting June 19 on Haines timber project
University of Alaska Anchorage's Consortium Library.
Erin Hooley/University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Advancement
ANCHORAGE, AK—The University of Alaska Board of Regents unanimously approved the university’s FY19 operating and capital budgets, postponed a discussion on the Haines timber project to an upcoming special meeting and recognized outstanding staff at its meeting May 31 in Anchorage.
“I am pleased to report that for the first time in four years, the legislature approved a budget increase for the university. This is great news and reflects a vote of confidence in the university, in our plans and in our leadership for Alaskans and our state,” said UA President Jim Johnsen.
Regents approved distribution of $327 million in state unrestricted general funds (UGF) appropriated by the Alaska Legislature for the university’s FY19 operating budget, a $10 million increase from the FY18 budget. The university’s operating budget includes funding for operating cost increases as well as increased investments in programs that drive economic development, provide Alaska’s skilled workforce, grow world class research and increase educational and degree attainment.
The approved capital budget totals $5 million UGF, $2 million directly appropriated by the Alaska Legislature and $3 million that the university expects to receive from a separate deferred maintenance appropriation that was directed to the governor’s office for public facilities statewide. The capital funding, along with $40 million from the operating budget, will go towards the university’s nearly $1 billion deferred maintenance backlog.
Regents voted to defer consideration of the proposed development and disposal plan for the Haines timber project – a partnership between the university, the Alaska Division of Forestry, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office – until the board convenes in a special meeting on June 19.
“In light of the questions raised by regents and the public, we believe the issue warrants more time for presentation and consideration than was available to us during this meeting,” Johnsen said. The special meeting will include a full presentation from university administration, including
a summary of public comments, more details about the proposed plan and a set of principles that will guide the project as it moves through the planning and implementation process.
Johnsen updated regents about ongoing work that began under Strategic Pathways, highlighting progress made towards implementation of the Alaska College of Education that will be based at the University of Alaska Southeast. Executive Dean Steve Atwater will begin his position as head of the college on July 1 and both the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage are in the process of hiring directors to lead their respective education programs.
The meeting included recognition of three staff members were honored as recipients of the 2018 Staff Make Students Count awards: Tim Flynn of UAA, Shayla Sulser of UAS and Wanda Wahl of UAF’s Bristol Bay Campus.
Coalition of Student Leaders Chair Colby Freel congratulated the awardees, noting that staff play a crucial role in guiding students throughout the university system. “Students take classes from and work closely with faculty, but so often it is staff who really make the difference for
students. No matter what department they work in, their work is essential to student success and all of it supports students,” Freel said.
Regents approved a resolution recognizing UAF Provost Susan Henrichs, who will retire in July. Henrichs has served the university for 36 years as a professor, researcher, and executive. Regents commended Henrichs for her generosity, her vast knowledge of the university and her many years of service and leadership.
UAA Interim Chancellor Sam Gingerich, UAF Chancellor Dan White, and UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield presented the universities’ Title IX scorecards and provided overviews of campus activities that took place to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
In other business, regents approved the FY19 Natural Resources Fund budget, approved revisions to the Industrial Security Resolution and authorized the development of university regulations for unmanned aircraft systems and model aircraft. The board will hold a retreat with university leadership on Friday, June 1 to discuss strategic planning.
All Board of Regents agendas and documents are available online at http://alaska.edu/bor/agendas/. Photos of the Staff Make Students Count awardees can be found at http://www.alaska.edu/opa/enews/2018/531/.