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Thu Aug 29, 2019, 03:41 AM

UA overturns exigency, but a return to the extreme measure is not off the table

The University of Alaska’ Board of Regents voted unanimously Aug. 20 to end a declaration of financial exigency for the university that was voted by the board on July 30. The move was taken one day after Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a revised state budget that restored all but $25 million of a $136 million cut the governor made the UA budget in a June 28 veto action.

The declaration of financial exigency gave University of Alaska president Jim Johnsen emergency powers to terminate tenured faculty and take other steps to sharply cut costs. With the easing of the immediate budget pressure those drastic steps are not needed, several of the regents said in the meeting. There was concern voiced about the effects of the declaration on student enrollment and retention of faculty.

Johnsen said he is still proceeding with several administrative actions, including a hiring and travel freeze, restrictions on procurement and layoffs of administrative staff and non-retention of adjunct faculty. Some of the restrictions are being eased following Dunleavy’s decision to back off on the deep cuts, and his signing of a final budget bill for the year.

An effort to “monetize” the university’s assets, meaning sale or rental of buildings, is also under way, Johnsen also told the regents Aug. 20. A meeting on that is planned for Sept. 5, he said.

Read more: https://www.anchoragepress.com/news/ua-overturns-exigency-but-a-return-to-the-extreme-measure/article_d7176e62-c39b-11e9-8d39-3788de229787.html

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