UA budget emphasizes preparing Alaskans for jobs

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

FAIRBANKS -- The University of Alaska Board of Regents on Tuesday unanimously approved an operating budget request for next fiscal year that focuses on the university's critical role in preparing Alaskans for jobs in the state, especially in health care, engineering, construction management and fisheries. The budget proposal for FY09 includes $319.6 million in state general funds, a 9 percent increase over the current state share, and $536.5 million in university-generated revenue from tuition, federal research grants and other non-state sources. In a day-long meeting, the board agreed the budget request supports the state's highest needs in workforce training, as well as UA research and student success initiatives. UA President Mark Hamilton said the university's revenue growth in grant-funded research, tuition and private donations -- up dramatically compared with 1999 -- has leveled off and is not expected to continue at the same rate. Increased state support toward key programs is therefore crucial, Hamilton said. The university has added 100 new degree and certificate programs in the last nine years, predominantly in areas deemed "high demand" by the Alaska Department of Labor. For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907-450-8102 or 907-388-3506.

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