July 30, 2019: BOR meeting to consider university structure

by Michelle Saport  |   

UPDATE - July 30, 2019: The University of Alaska Board of Regents took a step today toward consolidation of the university system into one accredited University of Alaska. By a vote of 8-3, regents made their decision for providing the best way to serve Alaska's students in the face of a severe reduction in state funding. Read more and watch a video update from Chancellor Sandeen.

Dear UAA Community,

Please see the media advisory below regarding the upcoming Board of Regents meeting on July 30, 2019. We have a new development I want you to be aware of. Representatives from the governor's office will join the regents' meeting on Tuesday to share a new concept for UA's budget developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that would split the cuts across fiscal years 2020 and 2021. A link to the OMB document is included below with additional explanation.

In this time of uncertainty, please know I am committed to keeping you informed as these developments occur.

Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor

UA Board of Regents will hold a special meeting to consider a structure for the university and to hear from representatives of the Dunleavy administration about the budget and the future of the University of Alaska.

Board meets from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Lee Gorsuch Commons, Room 107, on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

The board intends to discuss structural options for the university. Regents asked for a presentation on two options for university structure after a major budget cut ($136 million in state funds). The options under consideration are:

Current UA Structure

  • Distribute $136 million budget cut proportionately to each of the three separately accredited universities and to statewide administration
  • Each unit to focus on its "core" strengths

New UA Structure

  • Designed to adapt to student enrollment and budget
  • Single accreditation with shared courses and services
  • Addresses legislative intent regarding a single accredited university
  • Reduces administrative overhead
  • Deliver education via a single college for major fields serving the state

That structure discussion will be followed by representatives of the Dunleavy administration who will address the governor's perspectives on the university budget. In talking with reporters Thursday, the governor indicated his team had developed a concept for UA's budget.

The one-page Office of Management and Budget [OMB] proposal was provided to the Board of Regents and calls for an FY20 budget cut of $85 million and another cut of $38 million in FY21. The cuts would be applied to specific areas across the university, which would present an unprecedented restriction of the regents' authority to allocate the legislature's appropriations.

While some discussions have occurred with OMB, there has been no UA endorsement of or agreement with the OMB proposal. The university is still actively working with the legislature to achieve a reasonable budget.

The meeting will be livestreamed at: alaska.edu/bor/live

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