Budget update: June 12

June 12, 2019

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

On Monday, June 10, President Johnson released an update on the budget for the University of Alaska. Both the House and Senate have approved the state operating budget of $322 million in unrestricted general funds, a $5 million reduction from the FY19 budget. The budget now returns to the governor for consideration.

As we continue to look at savings by reducing operations and maintenance of facilities, I realized that some of our largest facility opportunities may be hidden in plain sight, waiting to be removed, reduced, renovated and even reinvented for our modern-day student experience. I’d like your creative thinking in identifying opportunities to transform our physical environment. I look forward to seeing UAF modernize as we achieve cost-effective renovation and renewal of underutilized and outdated space. Our efforts in high-resource utilization will help accommodate new program and space demands without the need for physical expansion. If you have or know of any underutilized space, I encourage you to submit your idea to the “ Box of Big Ideas ” for consideration.

Along with revitalizing internal space we are also touching up areas around the Fairbanks campus, including repairing sidewalks, guardrails and roofs, replacing parking lot lights, and removing buildings that have outlived their useful life. More information about these projects can be found on the Design and Construction website and in the June 6 construction update .

Inside our facilities, the strategic enrollment planning committees, made up of more than 100 faculty, staff and students, have been busy analyzing how we currently engage students throughout the enrollment lifecycle. The SEP committees generated 71 proposals, all targeting enrollment growth and expanding UAF across Alaska and the Northwest. In FY19 we invested new funds toward this effort and plan to continue these efforts into FY20 as we review proposals and determine where to best use our resources. Proposals that have been submitted and are being considered for FY20 strategic investment funding are focused on student recruitment and retention, advising, online learning, and diversity.

The outlook on UAF’s future is positive as we see these initiatives unfold and come to fruition. Our enrollment growth won’t happen overnight, but we can’t move the dial if we don’t start investing in our future.

Again, please share your space ideas or any ideas you may have to position UAF for the future. As always, thank you for your effort in making UAF an amazing place to study, work and live.