Prioritization memo from Provost Baker and VC Spindle

1-27-2014

Dear Colleagues:

About 10 months ago we announced that UAA was beginning a process of reviewing, evaluating and prioritizing all of our academic programs and support functions. Prioritization was initiated to guide the growth and development of UAA, and to enable us to build the best university we could for Alaska. Our effort was not initiated as a cost-cutting exercise in the throes of a fiscal crisis, as was the case at institutions in the Lower 48.

In December, Governor Parnell released his proposed FY15 budget. As you may have heard, his budget includes more than a $14M cut to the University of Alaska's current operating budget. It's likely the legislature may ask for additional funding cuts. This news underscores the importance of what we're doing at UAA with the prioritization process. The impacts of a reduced FY15 operating budget will require us to make some short-term budget adjustments without the benefits of a completed process. Any FY15 budget adjustments will not be base cuts. We expect the results of prioritization to inform our FY16 budget decisions and any base budget cuts required.

The prioritization process has not been free of bumps, but it has allowed us to begin a very important, participatory analysis of our current programs and services. As we continue to move forward with the prioritization process this spring, we want to assure you our goals remain the same: to ensure strategic investment in the programs and services that most align with our mission, our strategic plan, and the needs of our students and state. In order to remain a healthy, sustainable university for years to come, this will be essential.

Sincerely,

Provost Elisha "Bear" Baker
Vice Chancellor William Spindle