Budget update: May 1

May 1, 2019

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

In my budget update on April 24, I mentioned that President Jim Johnsen had asked chancellors to continue planning for a level of funding according to “case 2” of his April 8 Board of Regents presentation. Case 2 includes a universitywide cut of $10 million from state funding and would require a reallocation of $30 million in existing funds to meet BOR priorities. The reallocation would go toward supporting the FY20 BOR request that contained the following priorities: Title IX enhancement, strategic initiative investments, compensation and equity increases, and fixed costs.

At this time, we do not know what the final numbers will be from the legislative conference committee and the governor. However, we do know that our fiscal year end is fast approaching, and units need to start budget planning for FY20. Given the uncertainty in the current budget discussion, renewal of contracts, and a short timeline to turn continuation budgets around, I have distributed a memo to the provost and vice chancellors for FY20 budget planning outlining the following:

  • Universitywide reductions: Plan for a 10% reduction to state appropriation general funds within your authority. The 10% need not be applied equally between your units. The current reduction is not being requested from the unrestricted revenue sources of tuition or indirect cost recovery.

  • Unreserved fund balance, or UFB: Plan to follow university guidelines for FY19 UFB, or work with Financial Services if additional resources are needed to stay within the allowable thresholds.

  • Faculty early retirement program, or ERP: UAF Human Resources is working to collect information on an ERP for specific areas. Deans and directors should plan to provide recommendations on where this might be effective in their units.

  • Increasing class sizes and reducing sections: Recent recommendations from the Class Size Task Force suggested immediate implementation of increasing GER class capacity and offering fewer sections.

Additional budget information will be forthcoming as we receive it.

Please continue to look for advocacy efforts that you can engage in or share with colleagues such as UA Strong . One new advocacy effort that recently launched through private efforts and support of the Fairbanks Economic Development Corp. is the “Save our University” campaign .

Thank you.