FAQ on Transformative Options
No. The Board of Regents already decided to suspend consideration of a single accreditation. The president and chancellors have opted not to look at that option any further at this time.
The financial details are still being worked on for these estimates. Part of the evaluation process is determining the savings potential, however this will take longer than possible before the June meeting when the regents will have an opportunity to weigh in on the options presented.
The severity of the financial impact, exacerbated by declining enrollment/tuition along with other longer term impacts, means that we must face these challenges in order to remain within the constraints of our current budget.
One-time funds will be needed in the coming fiscal year, but it’s important to remember that those funds cannot be relied upon indefinitely or to meet the baseline budget reductions necessary to meet our FY2022 obligations and expectations of lower levels of state funding moving forward. The Board of Regents decided June 4-5 to use one-time funds to address the FY21 budget gap.
System and local governance groups have been engaged in the discussion of options, and representatives hold positions on the two councils where the administrative and academic options are being evaluated. Governance plays an important role in shaping options, sharing information and soliciting feedback from system and local governance groups.
The Board of Regents held two public testimony sessions, one on May 26 and another on June 2 to hear from university stakeholders. The Board of Regents also accepts written testimony at any time. Additionally students, staff and faculty are encouraged to communicate with their chancellors and local governance organizations to share ideas and provide feedback.
The University of Alaska Southeast is a much smaller university than either UAF or UAA, and already a more streamlined organization. The possibility of merging UAS into one of the other universities is more attainable than other options, but by no means a simple or non-disruptive process. Great care must be taken to ensure that any structural options retain access to quality education throughout Alaska and protect university accreditation.
Input on possible options for transformation came from many sources including those gathered from community campus directors, governance leaders, the chancellors and others. The options were reviewed by our leadership and by our business and academic councils.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted on a process for a more in depth review of an option to merge the University of Alaska Southeast with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The motion, offered by Juneau Regent Dale Anderson, includes student, staff and faculty governance in the process and sets an October deadline for finalizing a report to the board. No other actions on other options were taken.
Actions must be taken to reduce the University of Alaska budget gap and bring it inline to its state UGF funding level in FY2022, including reductions being taken by individual universities and Statewide, and any transformational options that may be directed by the board.