Budget Overview

UAF funding comes from a variety of sources. About 38 percent is from state general funds and the remaining 62 percent comes from things like externally funded research activity, student tuition and fees, and auxiliary activities. Because a large percentage of the UAF budget comes from the state, and because the cost of doing business rises with inflation each year, even flat state funding has a sizable effect on UAF operations. In recent years, as state revenues declined, appropriations to the university have gone from flat to reduced.

During the spring, the Legislature approved a budget for the University of Alaska of $322 million, a $5 million decrease from FY19. In June 28 2019, the Governor responded with an additional $131 million cut to the university. This equates to a 41 percent decrease in UGF to the university.

 The legislature is still working through supplemental funding that could provide additional funding for the university. However, due to uncertainty about budget outcomes at the state level and the short timeline in which to implement reductions, the Board of Regents (BOR) voted 10-1 to declare financial exigency on July 22, 2019. The BOR also discussed the possibility of three new university structures:

  1. Fewer universities and campuses
  2. Current UA structure, but lead campuses
  3. A New UA

The BOR will explore considerations for options 2 and 3, and UAF leadership will gather input and feedback from university staff, faculty, students and the community. The BOR is scheduled to make a decision on the university structure during the September meeting, but in the meantime, President Johnsen has asked the universities to plan for reductions based on a pro rata share of UGF reductions. UAF was tasked to develop a plan with a $68 million reduction and the initial proposal can be seen here.

 UA will continue to communicate openly with state leaders about the importance of continued investment in higher education and UA’s ability to contribute to the Alaskan economy.

 Up to date information from Chancellor White may be viewed on the Chancellor’s FY20 Budget website.  

 For more information about financial exigency, including FAQs and budget resources, visit the President’s Office FY2020 Operating Budget website.

Governor Walker released his budget in December 2018, and newly elected Governor Dunleavy has the option to submit a revised version by February 2019. The legislative session will run from January through April 2019, although in recent years special sessions have continued through June. UA contingency budget planning efforts will likely begin in January 2019.

UA will continue to communicate openly with state leaders about the importance of continued investment in higher education and UA’s ability to contribute to the Alaskan economy.

For FY20, the UA Board of Regents approved an operating budget request of $358 million, a 9.6 percent increase over the FY19 UA budget of $327 million. This level of request supports compensation increases, fixed costs, Title IX and campus safety, and UA strategic initiatives. UA also put forth a $50 million capital request for DM, $5 million for sustaining USArray research capabilities in Alaska (for UAF), and $2 million for digital fabrication laboratories.

FY20 UA Operating Requests- BOR Approved - November 2018:
Budget Request
Capital Request

 

 In July 2018, the State of Alaska Office of Management & Budget provided early budget guidance to all state agencies to be cognizant that budget constraint is the new normal. The overarching expectation is to provide a safer, smarter, and stronger Alaska. 

UAF is preparing an initial FY20 budget request in collaboration with UA and the other universities. The first review with the Board of Regents' is in September 2018, with final approval in November 2018.

UAF is making every effort to focus its remaining resources on core mission activities, and to communicate to faculty, staff and current and prospective students that UAF continues to be a strong institution with a bright future.

UA is currently also leading a review of some key academic and administrative areas in an effort to streamline operations, known as the UA Strategic Pathways review.  For more information on this review please visit the website.