Chancellor update on BOR athletics decision
by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor |
Dear UAA Community,
The Board of Regents’ meeting concluded earlier today, and I’m writing to share an update on the board’s decision regarding approval to eliminate gymnastics, hockey and skiing from the UAA sports roster.
You may recall I announced to the university community and the public in mid-August I would be pursuing this option with the board at the September meeting in an effort to close the gap on the $7.2 million budget cut UAA must make during fiscal year ’22 to satisfy the university system’s compact with the governor. I am pleased to say that, based on feedback we received from the public and our student-athletes, I was able to offer an alternate proposal to the Board of Regents yesterday, which they accepted.
While the board did vote to eliminate men’s hockey, women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s alpine (downhill) skiing, the alternate proposal provided supporters of these athletic programs a window of time through February 2021 to raise private donations. The stipulation is that funding must cover two years of expenses to lead to possible reinstatement. Nordic (cross country) skiing will remain at UAA, and we will continue to solicit private support for these teams.
UAA’s $34 million decline in state funding since fiscal year '14 has forced leadership to make difficult cuts to academic programs and administrative areas and precipitated the proposed cuts to athletics as well as many other difficult decisions. As noted earlier, next year we face another $7.2 million cut.
Our fiscal reality requires that UAA become smaller and more focused. In spite of these challenges, I am hopeful the community will seize this opportunity and rally behind our sports teams. I encourage you to read statewide’s press release for more information about the September board meeting.