Budget update: Nov. 20

November 20, 2019

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

At this week’s budget forum, we will discuss the FY20 and FY21 budgets, including strategies to meet the reduction targets and opportunities for input into decision making. I hope to see you there, or hear from you online. 

In last week’s column I addressed some of my thinking around vertical reductions. Additionally, I am asking the vice chancellors and unit leaders to consider the following options: suspending use of or closing one of our two underground mines used for student training, replacing one of our three greenhouses with a temporary structure or alternative for seasonal high volume work, reducing some activities at our two farms and increasing revenues by monetizing select parcels for lease and/or sale, convert the Kotzebue campus to a learning center, consider alternative uses or operating models for the Large Animal Research Station, and continued assessment of the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, among others. All of our units have been working hard and thinking creatively about ways to support their operations.

In the coming weeks, we will get back to our strategic planning documents that were suspended during the discussion of a UA-wide reorganization. Prior to the hiatus, the strategic planning task forces had completed draft reports that were ready to be distributed for public input. The public input phase will restart the first week of December. More to come on next steps next week. In the meantime, as we think about budget and the cuts that must be made, we will use the elements of the strategic plan as guiding principles – Leadership in Alaska Native and Indigenous Studies, Tier 1 research, a modern student experience, growing IP and commercialization, growing our culture of respect, diversity, inclusion and caring, and revitalizing our academic programs.

Looking ahead, we will be holding a tuition forum on December 3 to discuss the proposed tuition increase as well as the broader context of tuition at UAF: what it supports, what an increase means in real terms to students and units, and how it compares to our peers. My thanks to ASUAF for catalyzing this discussion, and for all they do in bringing the student voice to decisions at our university. I continue to be amazed at the thoughtfulness of UAF’s student governance leadership. UAF students and we in leadership are lucky to have them. Thank you for choosing UAF.