- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The University of Alaska Board of Regents has approved a budget for fiscal year 2017 that cuts almost $6 million from the previous year’s spending plan.

On Friday the board approved a $909 million budget for fiscal 2017, with $334 million in projected state funding, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (https://bit.ly/22F6x21). Overall the budget is $5.8 million less than fiscal 2016’s budget, with about $16 million less in state funding.

The Alaska Legislature, meeting in Juneau, continues to struggle with revenue and spending issues in light of low petroleum prices. The university system received $350 million last year and lawmakers are looking to reduce that number.

That budget will be split between the system’s campuses, with $454 million for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, including $147 million in state funding. The University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Alaska Southeast experienced roughly the same level of reduction.

In addition to the budget, some regents are calling for a special committee meeting over the summer to make progress on completing the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ engineering building. Regent John Davies said steps need to be taken to secure a bond to pay the $40 million needed to complete the building.

“I’m concerned, though, that we do that in a fairly expedited manner so the issue doesn’t languish for the whole summer,” Davies said.

UA President Jim Johnsen agreed and said he would call for a special meeting for the full board to approve the request.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com


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