Budget update: Aug. 17, 2022

UAF Chancellor Dan White
UAF photo by JR Ancheta
UAF Chancellor Dan White

— by Dan White, chancellor

UAF recently submitted our annual operating and capital budget request for FY24 to President Pitney. The President will weigh our needs alongside those of UAA, UAS, the system office, and what she feels is an appropriate request to the governor. The President will present her draft proposal to the Board of Regents in September and then again in final form in November before the budget is submitted to the Governor’s office in December for consideration. The FY24 legislative session begins in January 2023. Once President Pitney releases her proposal for presentation to the BOR in a couple of weeks we will share with you what was included from UAF’s request.

UAF is requesting an operating budget increase to support employee compensation increases (to be determined at a UA level), fixed cost increases, and strategic academic, outreach and research initiatives that align with UA’s Goals and Measures and UAF’s Strategic Plan. It is uplifting to be submitting potential increases to continue UAF’s great work, which also contributes heavily to Alaska’s economy, and student enrollment and success. Stabilizing the budget for FY23 has been very helpful after years of cuts. I am grateful to the President, the Board, and our elected officials for supporting our FY23 budget currently in place and I am optimistic about a FY24 build forward approach — a reflection of the value of the university within our great state and beyond. 

The operating budget includes unrestricted general fund (UGF or “base”) funding, as well as one-time increments to seed new initiatives. A capital budget request thus far primarily includes deferred maintenance needs, as well as more robust investments in facilities renewal and renovation projects as we continue to modernize student and employee spaces. We are beginning planning for new construction as well as seeking funding to demolish facilities whose repair costs exceed functional replacement costs. Included in our planning for new construction are new residence halls and an emergency training center. Both of these facilities are in our master plan. While not a state budget ask, the other critical facility in our master plan is the Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center.

Thank you all for submitting proposals to the Planning and Budget Committee and through the Strategic Enrollment Planning (SEP) steering committee. These are the two primary ways to advocate for needed resources for your programs or units, to bolster existing initiatives or to propose new ideas in need of resources. Members of the UAF Core Cabinet also contributed to the request to align unit needs with overarching priorities and potential areas of growth, or to package similar concepts for greater impact. If you submitted a funding request to the planning and budget committee or through SEP and your proposal doesn’t receive funding this year, please consider submitting it again when the FY25 planning cycle begins in spring 2023.   

The FY24 budget process will continue to evolve as UAF receives input from the President and the Board. Please connect with your unit leader if you have any questions about what was submitted. The Office of Management and Budget will also post updates on their website, as information is available.

Thanks for your support.