UA Board of Regents Meeting

UA president Jim Johnsen goes over some possible budget reduction numbers for the UAA campus during a special University of Alaska Board of Regents meeting to consider declaration of financial exigency Monday afternoon, July 15, 2019 in the UAF Butrovich Building.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents will meet Tuesday morning to reconsider a financial exigency declaration made last month in the wake of a possible $130 million cut in state funding that has now been reduced.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed House Bill 2001 on Monday, a bill that restores $110 million in state funding to the university, setting this year's budget cut at around $20 million.

This falls in line with a loose plan laid out in a budget compact, signed by the governor and Board of Regents Chairman John Davies last week, that outlines a three-year blueprint to cut the university by a total of $70 million split into three smaller cuts.

In July, the Board of Regents declared financial exigency to allow the administration to send layoff notices to tenured faculty and enact budget-reduction measures in a more immediate manner than it would be able to otherwise.

Now that may not be necessary, according to a news release from the university that stated the regents would be considering a retraction of the declaration.

Even if the exigency declaration is reversed, the Board of Regents is still planning to meet in Anchorage Sept. 12-13 to hear a plan from UA President Jim Johnsen to eventually consolidate the three separately accredited universities in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau into a single accredited university in an effort to cut costs and absorb the governor's planned budget cuts.

University administration launched an official "New UA" website Monday outlining a general plan for the possible consolidation.

The website, which can be found at www.alaska.edu/newua/, outlines the budget compact signed last week as well as a number of other budgetary issues, describes possible ideas for consolidation and provides options for members of the public to provide their input in the plan.

Tuesday's meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/live.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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