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UAF Releases Plan For Budget Cuts

By | July 1, 2014

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has released a list of budget cuts to be implemented during the new fiscal year. The reductions affect a wide range of programs and services.

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The budget actions come in response to an $8 million cut by the state legislature and an expected $4 to $6 million rise in fixed operating costs. UAF Vice Chancellor for Administration Pat Pitney says the legislative cut is being spread over numerous areas.

“In order to take the state budget reduction, there were pullbacks from units that ranged from 3 to 6 percent, so on average 5 percent, but there were some units that were held harmless, from a strategic standpoint or from a revenue based standpoint or from other circumstances,” she said.

Pitney says shortfalls related to increasing fixed costs will have to be found within each program.  For many, the specific impacts are listed as “to be announced” pending additional review, but Pitney says there will be job losses.

“A lot of it we will try to do through attrition, but there will be layoffs. It could be in the 40 to 50 range in a six to eight month period,” she said.

Among identified savings are $2 million from holding open job vacancies for 90 days, and more than a half million dollars from a legislatively mandated restriction on travel.

“Every unit is taking a 20 percent travel reduction, with the exception of instructional travel and athletic travel, which are taking a 5 percent travel reduction,” Pitney said.

Other cost savings measures include reducing administration, bringing programs currently in leased space back on campus, streamlining marketing and communications, elimination of UAF printing services, and cutting back campus bus shuttle routes.  Pitney attributes the targeted actions to recommendations of a budget review committee.

“Almost all of the recommendations, leadership endorsed in some way, shape or form. There were some modifications,” she said.

Among non academic university supported programs that will suffer in addition to taking their share of across the board reductions, are KUAC Public Broadcasting, which has to generate $100,000 more in public support, and UAF athletics, which has to raise another $50,000.

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