The developing story of the University of Alaska’s budget crisis began at the beginning of 2019. While several significant decisions are yet to be made, here is a list of important events up to Sept. 13.
Feb. 13: Gov. Mike Donleavy proposed a $155 million reduction to the UA fiscal year 2020 budget.
Feb. 28: The Board of Regents began a series of meetings to discuss cost-cutting strategies for the university.
June 28: Gov. Dunleavy announced that he signed roughly $400 million in state budget cuts, $135 million of that being to UA.
July 22: The UA Board of Regents declared financial exigency.
July 25: UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen released documents including a reduction plan from UA President Jim Johnsen, a “mission-focus exercise”, guiding principles for budget decisions and a spreadsheet showing already completed reductions.
Aug. 8: Gov. Dunleavy signed the fiscal year 2020 capital budget. This funded programs including the Alaska Performance Scholarship and WWAMI.
Aug. 10: Gov. Dunleavy signed to restore $110 million to UA’s budget.
Aug. 20: The UA Board of Regents canceled financial exigency.
Aug. 30: Chancellor Sandeen released the fiscal year 2020 budget draft in an email.
Sept. 12-13: The Board of Regents voted to consider both single and multiple accreditation structures and to authorize the organization of 13 inter-university review teams.
“[These teams will evaluate] eight academic programs and five other areas to determine how best to streamline or discontinue them,” Monique Musick, manager of communications and marketing of UA’s Office of Public Affairs, said in a press release.
The named programs and areas under review include engineering, teacher education, health, indigenous studies, management, natural sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences, career and technical education, eLearning, organised research, public service, libraries and athletics, according to agenda item details on the Board of Regents website.
These reviews are due in December, rather than by the Nov. 7 Board of Regents meeting as originally planned, Musick said in the press release.