Budget & Planning
FY16 Budget Guidance
Due to legislative funding cutbacks, enrollment decreases and limited tuition rate increases, it is unlikely that UAF will be able to sustain all of its programs and services next year. Even if the state maintains flat funding levels for the university, increases in fixed costs also create a budget gap. Next year, UAF anticipate that gap to be roughly $14 million.
There are two ways to bridge that gap: increase revenue and cut spending. UAF has formed a team to explore new revenue streams. In addition, UAF teams are looking into a variety of strategies for spending reductions, including program reviews, budget reduction targets for each vice chancellor, and differential percentage reductions in unit spending.
Special Program Reviews
The Planning and Budget Committee (PBC) last year recommended special program reviews of a number of non-academic and academic programs. Special committees are reviewing the operational and/or financial models for the following programs:
- Farms and large animal care
- Public information, marketing and communications
- Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning
- K-12 outreach/bridging programs
- Revenue enhancement options
Also per PBC’s recommendation, Provost Susan Henrichs is beginning an academic program review. That review aims to identify $3 million in reductions from academic programs. Not all programs will be reviewed. The PBC was reconvened this fall and they chose programs for review based on the following criteria:
- Being among the lowest enrollment programs of their type (certificate, associate, baccalaureate, graduate)
- Decreasing enrollment of more than 30 percent in the past five years
- Being among the lowest number of graduates in the past three years for programs of their type
A few low-enrollment graduate programs were granted an exception based on levels of external research funding and a few grant-funded certificate and low-cost programs were also excluded.
For updates on current and completed program reviews, click HERE.
FY16 Budget Reduction Targets
Because the savings realized through program reviews will not be sufficient to close the expected budget gap, each of UAF’s vice chancellors has been asked to identify state-funded services and programs that could be reduced or ended if state funding to the university does not keep pace with our growing costs. The initial reduction targets are as follows:
- Administrative Services and Facilities - $1.5 million
- Chancellor’s Office - $280,000
- Research - $600,000
- Rural, Community and Native Education - $1.1 million
- University and Student Advancement - $740,000
UAF is working to develop a plan earlier this year than in past years, to allow sufficient time to act prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year in July.
UAF strives to remain Alaska’s best university despite the difficult times ahead, and although choices will be difficult, UAF will be thoughtful and strategic in those choices.
Planning & Budget Committee (PBC)
This year, the UAF Planning & Budget Committee (PBC) was charged by the Chancellor with reviewing and assessing the options provided by the Budget Options Group. In March 2014, the PBC agreed to guiding principles and a decision process. About twenty additional budget reduction items were added to the initial Budget Options Group list, either by committee members or by other individuals from across the campus community. The PBC rated the reduction/efficiency options and passed those ratings and an evaluative review to the Chancellor's Cabinet in May 2014. Broad feedback was collected and reviewed.
An overview including recommendations and general cost estimates can be accessed HERE.
The PBC was reconvened in the fall of 2014 to examine all cost reduction actions, consider any new viable options, and determine which programs will undergo a special program review based on identified criteria.
FY15 Actions to Address Shortfalls
After full consideration of PBC recommendations, Chancellor’s Cabinet produced a list of budget actions for implementation in FY15 and FY16+. Some items are in progress, while other processes will take longer.
Recognizing that all options may not produce substantial savings in FY15, UAF has implemented a combination of across-the-board (ATB) reductions (applicable at the Vice Chancellor level) in addition to vertical or targeted reductions. This allows UAF leadership to achieve the necessary targets in FY15 while working on the longer-term items that may take more time to produce savings.
A summary listing of the budget actions is posted HERE.
The full UAF report with detail is posted HERE.