Facing state budget cuts, UAA leadership takes furloughs

In coming weeks, UAA leaders will announce additional plans to reduce costs

April 24, 2015

Paving the way in challenging financial times, University of Alaska Anchorage leadership will take furloughs starting in July.

“This is the first of many painful decisions UAA will have to make,” said UAA Chancellor Tom Case. “By starting with furloughs at the top, we hope to avoid pay reductions for those who can least afford it.”

As a result of combined operating budget cuts from FY15 and FY16, UAA is dealing with a budget shortfall of about $19.5 million. That number is still in flux until a state budget is passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Bill Walker.

These furloughs are part of the University of Alaska’s system-wide effort to reduce personnel costs. The furloughs will affect 167 employees in leadership positions throughout the UA system and will save about $600,000. At UAA specifically, furloughs will affect 69 employees and will save about $270,000. Furloughs are five to 10 days long, depending on the position.

In coming weeks, UAA leaders will announce additional plans to reduce costs while preserving the university’s academic core as much as possible. These plans will include layoffs, reduced work assignments and position eliminations that will affect about 200 positions, many of which are already vacant. The majority of those positions are in the university’s administrative offices. On the academic side, UAA also will have to increase faculty’s teaching hours, increase class sizes, and reduce adjunct faculty hires.

“I know this news seems grim, but we all know that UAA is an amazing university with truly outstanding faculty, staff and students,” Case said. “Difficult times promote creative thinking, and I am confident our community will come together to use this situation to become an even better and stronger university.”

For more information, please read the attached letters from Chancellor Case and UA.

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