Budget update: July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

As we move into FY21, Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Services Amanda Wall and her team will be releasing updated guidance on unreserved fund balances (UFB). The system office has changed the level of UFB each university must carry forward across fiscal years, moving the target from 2% to 4% of our unrestricted operating budget by the end of FY22, which increases the level of UAF reserves during this time of heavy uncertainty. 

In addition, I previously released a memo in late FY20 requesting restraint on “nonessential spending” due to COVID-19. Now that we are moving into FY21 and preparing for the fall, spending should resume as it normally would in preparation for the semester. Thank you all for your diligence in FY20, managing your budgets prudently during a very uncertain time.

With the resumption of regular spending, please continue to work with AVC Wall on COVID-19 needs for your college or department. As we procure items centrally to prepare campus, we are finding that many items are on backorder and some we are unable to find. It’s important that we coordinate efforts across UAF’s campuses to ensure that everyone has adequate supplies for a safe working and learning environment. 

We are purchasing face shields for teaching faculty and for staff who will require them this coming fall. We have also placed an order for reusable face masks for staff, faculty and students. We will be stocking buildings with disposable masks to make sure that everyone is safe, including campus visitors or the occasional student who forgets a mask. Masks are required indoors except in single-occupancy offices and for special accommodations. Masks are required for all employees, students, contractors and visitors. 

We are operating under an expectation that the Board of Regents will want to review UA’s (and therefore also UAF’s) budget actions for next fiscal year (FY22) as early as fall, which is sooner than in prior years. Budget action plans are being requested by the November board meeting. As such, we will start budget planning early this year. Once the semester starts, I will send budget guidance to vice chancellors so that we can assemble our budget plans to comply with the new budget timeline.

Thank you all for undertaking the challenging work towards our fall resumption. Special thanks to the university’s Incident Management Team that has been working doubly hard on preparing plans for all of our sites so that we are ready to go next month!

Thank you for choosing UAF.