Budget update: Dec. 4

December 4, 2019

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

Thank you to ASUAF, the Coalition of Student Leaders, and all who joined us for yesterday’s forum on tuition rates. I appreciate the time you took to participate, and your thoughtful questions and comments. Please keep sharing your questions, concerns, and ideas, and let us know if there are opportunities to improve communication. 

At UAF, we have formed a Tuition and Fee Committee to consider what the best approach for our students and university would look like. That committee will have initial recommendations in January. On January 17, the Board of Regents will be returning to the UA systemwide proposal for a 5 percent increase to undergraduate tuition for next academic year (in effect for Fall 2020).

As we consider tuition and fees, we are also conducting expedited reviews of academic departments and administrative offices. The academic program reviews are coordinated through the Provost’s office, and the administrative reviews will be coordinated through the Governance office. My thanks to the representatives who are serving on these review committees. Each review will conclude on March 6 with recommendations from the committee to me. I will share those recommendations for broader feedback before making a determination. For academic programs, any major changes would require action from the Board of Regents; for administrative functions, a decision can be made at UAF.

I have mentioned in earlier budget messages the Planning and Budget Committee (PBC), another key part of our budget planning process. The PBC will begin the next round of planning in the spring semester, co-chaired by Provost Anupma Prakash and Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Julie Queen. As with the committees described above, the PBC’s membership is made up of representatives from faculty, staff, and student governance groups as well as stakeholders from across the university. 

All of this planning, evaluation, and decision making cannot occur in a vacuum or in silos. We are returning to the strategic planning process that was put on hold while the structure of the university was being considered by the Board of Regents, and I look forward to finalizing our 2019-2025 Strategic Plan in February. To meet that timeline, we will be posting the reports for each strategic goal for your input. Look for a message later this week with more information. 

Each of the committees I have mentioned is critical to shaping UAF’s future through our budget process, and none of them would be possible without the dedication, engagement, and careful consideration that their members bring, in addition to going to class or doing their job. Thank you to all the individuals who are serving on these committees and others, and thank you to everyone who participates in and engages with this work.