UA Regents discuss government shutdown, enrollment falling, tuition rising

The University Of Alaska Board Of Regents gathered again today for the second day of their two day board meeting.
The regents and U-A System President, Jim Johnsen discussed further what may happen if there is a government shutdown.

"We're also certainly considering the possibility of a shut down and of a follow up board meeting necessary once the legislature concludes its work."
A follow up meeting that the board will almost certainly have to attend.
The legislature has been in Juneau for 137 days and they're in day 17 of the special session and the board is planning as much as they can.
They won't receive a finalized budget until these special sessions are over.
One scenario the board discussed on their second day of the June meeting, is the 5 percent increase in student tuition.
President Johnsen explains that even with the tuition increase, school funds may not even benefit.

"While there is a tuition increase of 5 percent scheduled for the coming academic year, because of enrollment declines, we are assuming no net tuition revenue gain."
One thing students can rely on is, the tuition increase could be seen in January of 2018, which would give them their first semester back to school to plan for the additional funds.
Vice President of University Relations at UAF, Michelle Rizk says if this tuition increase does happen, students will need scholarships like the Alaska Performance Art Scholarship.

"Students being able to have access to those, those types of funds you know making sure students have scholarships available to them to help maintain affordability and access to the university as we continue to have these tuition discussions."
The continual decrease in the university budget has also impact faculty and staff.
A total of 933 employees have been lost from the university system over the course of a few years.
Regent Heckman says decisions made about the budget reaches over the entire system.

"It just is, it tells our story in so many ways, about what we are having to do that we have one person doing two jobs now maybe even more and the stress that you see across the system as a result of the budget."
The board hopes the legislature comes to a close on June 16th.
They will reconvene on June 23rd, once they finally get a number from the state and will create a reviewed and approved university budget by July 1st.