June 20, 2017: Budget update from UA President Jim Johnsen

by Michelle Saport  |   

Dear UA Community -

I had planned to address you tomorrow via a livestreamed webcast to inform you about contingency plans for reduced university operations as of July 1. But the long days of the solstice seem to have brought with them hopeful news from Juneau.

In ongoing conversations with legislative leaders, I hear that progress is being made on our operating budget. While we will continue finalizing our contingency plan, which outlines how we would maintain university operations after July 1 in the absence of a state appropriation, given the news I get from Juneau I am cautiously optimistic that we will have an operating budget before the end of this fiscal year.

At the Board of Regents meeting on June 22, I will provide an update on the budget including our contingency plan. Additionally, I want to assure you that the regents have been engaged in the legislative process and advocating for the university's budget. Chair Gloria O'Neill sent a letter on behalf of the board to Governor Walker, Senate President Pete Kelly, and House Speaker Bryce Edgmon urging action on the budget and advocating for $325 million in operating funds for UA. The letter can be found at alaska.edu/bor.

Finally, I want to thank the chancellors for their ongoing campus communications this week and to their teams for planning the town hall forums on each campus Friday, June 23 and at Statewide on June 22. During the forums, university leadership will provide a FY18 budget recap as well as a summary of the Board of Regents meeting. HR representatives will also be able to address questions you may have. The forums will take place at:

The Board of Regents meeting on June 22 will take place from 9-11 a.m. and is available to livestream with the exception of any executive session at alaska.edu/bor/live.

Thank you again for your patience during this unpredictable legislative process. We are committed to keeping you updated with the latest information as soon as possible. I appreciate your service to our students, our university, and our state.

Happy Solstice, Jim Johnsen

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