August 20, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2019
The University of Alaska Board of Regents unanimously votes to terminate Declaration of Financial Exigency
In a vote of 10-0, the Board of Regents terminated its July 22 declaration of financial exigency due to the change in the university’s budget.
The declaration adopted by the board on July 22, 2019 was based on an operating budget reduction of $136 million in state funding, which would have had a material adverse effect on university (UA) operations and require cost reductions of approximately $200 million.
On Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, Governor Dunleavy signed into law a revised operating budget with a $25 million reduction in state funding for UA based on an agreement signed last week between the governor and Board Chair John Davies. Given the change in circumstance, the board terminated the July 22, 2019 declaration.
However, regents continued to express concern over the magnitude of a reduction of $70 million over the next three years. Projected expenses will still exceed projected revenues in FY20, and may well have a material adverse effect on UA operations.
“We have been given the luxury of a $70 million cut and a three-year glide path. I don’t think we can assume that a declaration of exigency is off the table,” said Regent Dale Anderson. “We cannot afford the university-of-yesterday. We can’t think we are okay with a $25 million cut, it’s a $70 million cut.”
“Exigency was meant for the most dire of situations, which we faced on June 28,” said Regent Karen Perdue. “In some ways the lifting of exigency requires us to be more vigilant.”
UA President Jim Johnsen said no actions have been taken under financial exigency. The universities and the administration have been reducing expenses through consolidation of human resource services, freezing travel, restricting hiring, reducing adjunct and term faculty contracts and limiting purchasing, he said. Administrative restructuring is underway for information technology and fundraising functions. The university is also pursuing revenue from selling and leasing its facilities.
For information, call Roberta Graham, assoc. vice president/public affairs, 907-360-2416 [cell].