Budget update: Dec. 11

December 11, 2019

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s tuition forum, and especially to ASUAF for co-hosting it. If you missed it, the presentation is available online. It’s a busy time of year, but it was great to get together and hear perspectives and questions. Thank you also to those of you who joined us in the Wood Center for the holiday gathering. Amid the end of semester rush, finding a few moments to come together and connect can help us all recharge. In the spirit of coming together, we also hosted two events last Friday: a research showcase for our Interior delegation, and our CTC Celebration of Community and Industry Partners. Both events were a great reminder of the connections across Alaska that strengthen and support our work and study.

In recent budget columns and at our budget forum on November 21, I’ve shared that we want to expand the use of shared services. While shared services won’t solve all of our budget gap, it can provide depth and breadth of coverage in areas where we have been getting thinner and thinner. Across the university, staff reductions have meant that there’s no backup available when someone is out, or one person is juggling the need to be an expert in a half dozen functions. 

Several times I have solicited feedback on whether it is best to have shared services based on function (e.g., travel) or based on a service center model. We have both on campus that grew organically across campus. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on which type of approach would best meet the needs of UAF. Considering that feedback, I am now inviting proposals to provide full service business centers (comprising travel, purchasing, financial management, and PPA duties) for the Troth Yeddha’ campus, such as one for Core Campus and one for West Ridge. A Request for Proposals with more details on how to propose will be sent out through vice chancellors this week.

Looking ahead, the Board of Regents will be meeting on January 16 and 17 in Anchorage, with a budget workshop on the afternoon of the 16th. Public testimony is always encouraged, and can be done from a distance. Once finalized, the agenda will be available on the Board of Regents webpage.

On a final note, it’s finals week. Take good care of yourselves and others, and take advantage of stress reducing activities where and when you can. 

Thank you for choosing UAF.