FY20 Budget

The University of Alaska’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2020 are based on serving Alaska’s needs through education, research and public service. The Board of Regents strategic focus is on increasing educational attainment, growing economic development, providing a highly skilled workforce, advancing world class research and operating more cost effectively. UA’s budget is built to support those strategic priorities and the needs of the state.

UA is the state’s most potent instrument for growing and diversifying our economy.  Our leadership, faculty and staff are committed to excellence in each of our primary missions – education, research, and service to the state. We are preparing Alaskans for success in an increasingly competitive, knowledge based economy. As the largest producer of talent in the state, the university is integral to maintaining a skilled and capable workforce. UA is also a world-class research institution. We lead the world in Arctic research and have built an international reputation that attracts faculty, students and investment. Our research is advancing knowledge, driving innovation and solving real-world problems, the directly benefit Alaska. These research activities have tremendous economic value, with the majority of funds coming from outside the state. In short, we are an excellent public investment.

Governor Dunleavy’s Budget Proposal

On February 13th, Governor Dunleavy unveiled his FY20 proposal, which included an unprecedented 41% reduction to the University of Alaska’s operating budget for next fiscal year. The Governor’s spending plan cuts $134 million from UA’s current year budget, reducing our state general fund support from $327 million to $193 million. If this cut is sustained by the legislature, it would be the largest year-over-year reduction in the university’s history and would take us back to 2002 funding levels.

We have been aggressively engaged with the Governor and the Legislature during this year’s budget development process, demonstrating the tremendous value UA provides Alaska and ensuring that our university continues to receive the level of financial support we need to serve you. You can’t have a great state, without a great university. The table below shows where we are in the current budget development process.

GOV budget vs. BOR budget

Capitol Budget

UA is the largest landlord in state government, owning and maintaining more than 420 buildings, totaling 8.2 million gross square feet, and with an adjusted value of nearly $4 billion. But these are also some of the oldest buildings in the state with an average age of 33 years and a facilities maintenance backlog that is approaching $1.1 billion. Historically, the University has looked to the legislature to provide annual capital funding to address this obligation and to protect the state’s investment. Deferring maintenance increases the risk of mission failure and costly emergency repairs. The university understands these risks and is using limited internal operating funds to partially mitigate them. UA spends over $35 million annually to maintain our facilities but in order to keep the maintenance backlog from growing, the annual amount should be closer to $60 million. We are good stewards of our facilities, but are always exploring opportunities to reduce our long-term operating costs and overall footprint.

Budget Background Information:

Provide workforce

University of Alaska

One consequence of a massive budget reduction would be the loss of access to the university system as it now exists and the reduction of opportunities currently available to all Alaskans. The closure of campuses and/or elimination of program offerings could further diminish Alaska's already low college-going rates.

If this budget passes the legislature the ripple effect will be felt throughout the entire Alaska economy.

Advocacy Materials - download the advocacy toolkit

Advocacy Actions

#supportUA on social media

Social media is a great place to share positive news about the university - and to respectfully correct misinformation when you encounter it.  As always, the most effective tool is your personal story. Share how you have been impacted by the University of Alaska, why you support funding the university and why you oppose huge cuts to education.

Lift your hand for UA - Social media campaign


Alaskans often use their right hand to make a map to show where they live, travel, work or study in the state. We want you to lift your "Alaska" hand to show your support for higher education. Mark which c­ampus you attend, graduated from, work for, or hire from and post the picture to your social media with your #supportUA story. Share it, make the image your profile picture, ask others to join you and proudly tell the world why you support the University of Alaska. 

Send a postcard:

Goals postcard

Copies of a privately-funded postcard are available through campus alumni and governance offices. Anyone interested can grab a few to write a personalized message to your legislator. Postage not included.

When contacting legislators remember to make your communication personal to your own views.  While it’s good to be aware of the University of Alaska budget, it’s preferable to talk to legislators about what you know best.

If you’re a student and you’ve had a professor who really made a difference in your educational path—share that story. Perhaps you’re an alumnus who is involved in a successful venture—talk about that. Maybe you’re a business owner who regularly hires UA graduates—that’s a great story to share.

If you live in a particular legislative district—speak to your representatives as a voter and constituent; tell them specific ways you’d like to see them support UA.