Budget update: Sept. 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

Last Friday, the Board of Regents held an Audit Committee meeting from 9 a.m. to noon. During the Audit Committee meeting, the board discussed our internal controls over assets in a pandemic situation, and heard a financial briefing from Interim President Pitney about the state’s budget in general, UA’s budget wrap-up from FY20, FY21 activity to date, and COVID-19 financial impacts and relief. If you cannot listen to the board meetings, all BOR agenda and documents are online. Recorded webstreams are also available, usually a week or two after each meeting.

This week the board will meet again on Thursday and Friday as a full board. Thursday's session will hear from interim UA President Pitney, all three MAU chancellors and governance. Additionally, there will be a financial briefing and discussion around the university's FY21 and FY22 budgets. Friday's meeting will be a review of reports from the Academic and Student Affairs, audit, and Facilities and Land Management committees. A compliance update will also be provided on Title IX and a review of each university’s Title IX scorecard.

If time allows and you’re able, it's always useful to listen or watch the BOR meetings. Each meeting provides additional insight into university operations and the board's strategies as we move forward in FY21 and future years. 

For UAF, we will continue to focus on the FY22 budget and, in particular, on increasing revenues through enrollment growth and reducing costs by reducing our footprint. I have asked that leadership go back to the Planning and Budget Committee and Strategic Enrollment Planning Committee recommendations to see where we can invest reserves to generate revenue for FY22 and beyond. While some revenues may come from activities such as commercialization of UAF intellectual property, we will be focusing closely on revenue opportunities from increased enrollment all across UAF, from Dillingham to the Community and Technical College to the Troth Yeddha’ Campus. The strategic enrollment planning process that many of you participated in focused on investing in the areas of greatest return on investment. That is a great place to begin. 

As we continue to look at a reduced footprint, I will be asking units to determine what renovations or improvements can be made to marginally functional and poorly used space on our campuses so that buildings we don’t need can be sold, leased or demolished.

Increased revenues by increased enrollment and reduced costs through reduction in footprint will allow us to preserve jobs, programs and educational opportunities at this world-class university. 

Thank you for choosing UAF.