Board of Regents to discuss university budget, Strategic Pathways and enrollment at June 2017 meeting

May 30, 2017

The University of Alaska Board of Regents will address the university’s FY18 budget at its June 1-2 meeting in Fairbanks. In addition, the regents will hear plans for increasing UA enrollment, recommendations and a progress report on the Strategic Pathways process and a presentation from national experts on effective state university structures. Regents also will approve resolutions in honor of departing UAF and UAA chancellors and recognize recipients of the Staff Make Students Count awards. The meeting will take place in room 109 of the Butrovich Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus starting at 9 a.m. each day; a livestream will be available at this link.

Budget discussions will include an update on the legislature’s progress in finalizing FY18 operating and capital budgets and preliminary discussions around the FY19 budget. Currently, the university’s operating budget is in the legislative conference committee where differences will be negotiated between the Senate budget of $303 million and the House budget of $325 million. The Senate’s version represents a reduction of $22 million or 7 percent from this year, not including fixed cost increases. The House-passed budget is the same amount UA received for the current year, $325 million, and reflects a reduction of $53 million over the past three years. In discussing budget reductions, regents also will be briefed on plans for diversifying revenues, including the possibility of a mid-year tuition increase, with no action to be taken on an increase until later in 2017.

Strategic Pathways discussions will include a progress update, recommended options for Phase 2 and the introduction of options proposed by the Phase 3 review teams. The review teams for all 22 academic and administrative areas have concluded work, although each of the three phases is at a different place in the process. Phase 3 engagement forums will be held when faculty and students return to campus in the fall.

Day one of the two-day meeting also will include a presentation by Dennis Jones, president emeritus and Aims C. McGuinness Jr., senior associate with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems on organizational structures and issues in higher education systems across the nation. The presentation will shed light on productive ways to address organizational issues and will be followed by a discussion of the unique challenges faced by UA.

UA President Jim Johnsen will present an enrollment overview with Chancellors Case, Thomas and Caulfield, who will lead a discussion on their respective campuses’ enrollment goals and strategies.

Regents will take up resolutions honoring departing UAF Interim Chancellor Dana Thomas and retiring UAA Chancellor Tom Case. Both will leave their respective universities on June 30.
A noon presentation on June 2 will feature a report on the successful Week of the Arctic and Arctic Council activities, which convened at the University of Alaska Fairbanks May 8-12. The presentation will highlight UAF’s role as a world leader in Arctic research.

The regents invite the community to a public gathering on Thursday, June 1, from 4:30–6 p.m., in the Globe Room (215 Elvey Building) on the UAF campus. The informal gathering is an opportunity for members of the university community and the public to ask questions and share comments with the regents in person. Written testimony is accepted at any time and is shared with the board and the president. Please submit to ua-bor@alaska.edu.

All Board of Regents meeting agendas and materials are available at alaska.edu/bor/agendas.

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