Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) – The University of Alaska (UA) Board of Regents will be putting its proposed “Roadmap to Empower Alaska” into action by requesting funding toward priority strategies during the upcoming November 9-10 Board Meeting in Anchorage. Regents will approve the university system’s FY25 operating and capital budget requests, including employee compensation increases, programs to support state workforce needs, cyber security investments, facility maintenance, and fixed cost increases.
“With growing enrollment, increased research investment, and record numbers of first-time freshmen, the University of Alaska is gaining momentum,” UA President Pat Pitney remarked. “Attaining our long-term vision and goals requires strategically investing in long-term stability and growth to empower Alaska and meet state needs, now and in the future.”
The budget anticipates increased revenues from higher enrollment, research, and other investments, and does not include increases to student tuition rates.
“Our student-centered budget supports investments in student well-being, Indigenous support, recruitment and retention, and investments in workforce development programs to meet Alaska’s employment projections,” said Pitney. “It supports the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ (UAF) progress toward achieving tier 1 (R1) research status, and excellence in teaching and research across the UA System. Achieving R1 research status will attract additional external funding and students, resulting in more workforce coming to Alaska.”
The “roadmap” is a robust plan for the university system to advance Alaska’s economy through education, workforce development, research, and strong partnerships across the state. It is a revision of previous university goals and measures, and incorporates long-term vision and priority strategies at each university and the system office to achieve specific, measurable aspirations for the university system.
In lieu of one-time capital funding, UA is pursuing a legislative strategy for consistent state funding through establishing the “University of Alaska Major Maintenance and Modernization Fund.” Legislation will be proposed to establish a fund with a modest stream of $35 million annually to address approved priority deferred maintenance projects.
“This stable funding structure would give UA the resources to plan and efficiently execute the most critical projects in our facilities maintenance backlog rather than just acting on emergency fixes that are disruptive and much more costly,” Pitney said.
Friday afternoon, the full board will hear an update on the Alaska Native Success Initiative (ANSI), including current metrics from each of the universities and systemwide progress toward ANSI goals. The Board will also recognize retiring University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Ketchikan Campus Director Priscilla Schulte.
During Thursday’s committee meetings, the Audit and Finance Committee (8:00 a.m.) will review the external auditor’s report and adopt the FY23 audited financial statements, as well as review financials from the UA Foundation and Education Trust of Alaska. The committee will also receive an update on financial projections and hear an audit and compliance report.
The Facilities & Land Management Committee (11:00 a.m.) will hear an update on the university’s Land Grant Initiative, discuss FY25 and future capital projects, and vote on approval of expanded health workforce clinical infrastructure and simulation labs in Anchorage and at the Kuskokwim Campus. They will also review the FY23 Land Management annual report.
In the afternoon, the Academic & Student Affairs Committee (1:30 p.m.) will receive a report on UA student demographics, the Student Information System modernization project, enrollment, and accreditation reports, and an update on the recent Student Success Convening. The committee will also consider approval of a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business and Data Analytics at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).
The Full Board will convene Friday Morning at 8:00 a.m. to work through the full agenda.
All committee meetings and the full board meeting will be held in Anchorage on the UAA Campus at the Lee Gorsuch Commons (Room 107); the agenda is available online.
All meetings, except any executive sessions, are public and will be livestreamed.