Update on FY22 budget and legislative progress

by Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Community,

Welcome back from the holiday weekend. I hope you took time to celebrate, relax and enjoy time with your loved ones. Over the past week or so, a lot of news has circulated regarding Alaska’s state budget. I want to follow up regarding what these announcements mean for UAA.

First, I hope you all saw UA President Pitney’s message last Thursday, which announced the university will honor the Alaska Performance Scholarship and Alaska Education Grant awards for new and continuing students this fall and assume delayed payment from the state, ensuring our students are able to pursue their education this fall without added financial obstacles. We are confident the governor and the Legislature will resolve issues impacting the APS and AEG awards during the August special session.

Last week, Gov. Dunleavy also accepted the state budget from the Legislature. Despite a series of vetoes, this action ensures funding for the University of Alaska and will let us continue to prepare for the upcoming academic year. Gov. Dunleavy approved the $273 million appropriated by the Legislature for UA’s FY22 operating budget. 

This operating budget decreases the budget cut outlined by the compact the university entered with the governor’s office back in 2019. The additional funding allows us to cover substantial costs incurred due to the pandemic while helping us continue to deliver excellent academic programs that serve Alaska with student success at the forefront of our efforts. 

Throughout the legislative session, UAA staff, students, faculty, alumni and other supporters elevated the voice of the university, and it did not go unnoticed. As the legislative process progresses, we will continue talking with state leaders and communicating the importance of the state’s investment in higher education attainment. Alaska’s economic recovery depends on a strong workforce, and the university is well-positioned to fill that need. 

We look forward to a fall semester that will see many of our courses, as well as our students, staff and faculty, return to campus for in-person operations. As the fall semester approaches, we remain committed to supporting our students.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our mission.

Sean Parnell
UAA Chancellor

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