UAF starts laying off people amid budget woes

A reduction in state funding combined with rising fixed costs will force layoffs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The university said about 40 positions will have to be eliminated to help make up for a $12 million budget deficit. Officials hope not filling open positions will take the brunt of the layoffs, but some pink slips are going out, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Wednesday.

The university had little choice since it’s a “service-intensive, people-intensive operation,” said Pat Pitney, vice chancellor for Administrative Services

The university is instituting across-the-board cuts of 3 percent to 6 percent of all academic units, and that will translate to lost jobs.

The university employs about 2,000 people, mostly in Fairbanks. There are about 100 positions that naturally open up every year, and UAF hopes attrition will help the layoff situation.

However, Ptiney said some reductions will need to be more targeted.

“There’s no way we can meet this reduction without 40 or 50 fewer people,” Pitney said.

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More layoffs may be needed as the budget cuts are finalized.

The statewide University of Alaska system also is facing a 4 percent budget cut, which is about $1.4 million. Other campuses in Anchorage and Juneau are also facing reductions.