University of Alaska Board of Regents vote to end financial exigency

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska The Board of Regents met this morning to make a decision about financial exigency, deciding unanimously to cancel the exigency.

The Board of Regents met at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on August 201th, 2019. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

The decision comes after the July 22 meeting where they declared financial exigency in the face of a $135 million cut from the university this year. Since then the university and Governor Dunleavy reached a new budget deal. Agreeing to cut only $70 million over the next three years.

Because of the new budget deal the regents decided that the drastic step of exigency was not needed but that they still needed to be aware of the budget.

“We’re still going to be reducing the budget but it will not be as much,” said John Davies, Chair of the UA Board of Regents. “… So we think that we can handle that within the normal terms of the contract without having to have that declaration in place, so we are removing that for now.”

Financial exigency would have allowed the university to quickly terminate employee contracts, helping to meet the much smaller budget that was proposed.

“We believe that while it will be difficult, we can deal with those kinds of reductions without shortening the notice period to our employees,” Davies said.

Even with the smaller cuts, the university still has to focus on cutting costs.

“We’re not out of the woods but we are in a process where we can deal with this in a way that allows more people to comment, be able the table making the decisions,” Davies said.

The university still has to decide whether to consolidate into one university with multiple campuses. The regents are expected to meet next month to make that decision.

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