ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska university board regents approved a $277 million operating budget request following a plan previously negotiated by university leaders and Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted unanimously Friday to cut the university system’s budget request by $25 million for the 2020-21 school year, school officials said. The decrease is part of a three-year plan to reduce the budget by $25 million this academic year, an additional $25 million next year and by $20 million the following year.
Under the recent approval, the University of Alaska Anchorage is set to lose $9.1 million in direct state support, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is set to lose $12.3 million and the remaining cuts would be received by the University of Alaska Southeast and other remote campuses, officials said. It is not clear what programs or staff would be affected by the decision.
“The compact agreement actually benefited the university over a three-year period by $260 million,” University President Jim Johnsen said compared to Dunleavy’s original one-year cut proposal. The budget cut is also subject to state Legislature approval.
The board originally planned to vote on a proposed 5% tuition increase for the coming fall semester but unanimously agreed to postpone the vote until January after student opposition, regents said.
The Anchorage and Fairbanks universities were also told to continue with their individual athletic programs for the 2020-21 season, following an October announcement to table the idea of consolidating into a single-accredited university until 2021, officials said. The future for both athletic programs after the 2020-21 season remains uncertain.
The next full board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17 in Anchorage.