Board of Regents face huge decisions this week

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - The University of Alaska Board of Regents will discuss FY21-22 budgets and options for university transformation during its June 4-5 meeting.

    The board will also host two hours of public testimony on Tuesday to hear from Alaskans.  Those interested can call 1-866-726-0757 between 4-6 p.m.

    State budget cuts, enrollment declines, and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have left the UAS with significant budget concerns.

    The budget deficit for the fiscal year 2021 is $24.8 million.

    This year's budget deficit for the fiscal year 2022 is between $11.3 million and $36.3 million.

    Some of the casualties so far have been furloughs among executives and suspended pay raises for employees.

    The board is also considering refinancing debt.

    Some 50 academic programs could be eliminated.

    "We've exhausted the obvious things," said UA President Jim Johnsen, "Now we need to start looking at the larger structural options."

    Johnsen will present a preliminary review of transformation options, including structural changes that have been reviewed by the university leadership.

    One proposal has been to merge UAS with either the University of Alaska-Anchorage or the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


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