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University officials praise the budget increase | News from Alaska

FAIRBANKS – President of the University of Alaska, Jim Johnsen, praised the state Legislature on Monday for raising state funds for the university by $ 10 million for its operating budget for the next fiscal year.

Lawmakers approved the $ 10 million increase in state funds for the university, bringing the state allocation to $ 327 million for fiscal year 2019.

The $ 317 million increase in funding last year is still $ 9 million less than what the House originally wanted to award the university and $ 24 million less than the request of the UA Board of Regents earlier this year. , but it presents itself as a breath of fresh air after four consecutive years of budget cuts.

We appreciate the $ 10 million increase in the operating budget, the first for the university after four years of cuts. I think it represents a significant sample of support from the Legislature, "Johnsen said.

Johnsen highlighted the important position that the university has in the state's economic health.

" By approving this increase, the legislators expressed their support for our university and our strategic priorities: economic and workforce development, research and innovation and student success, "Johnsen said." This renewed support for the university recognizes the strength of our faculty and campus, our position as a world leader in arctic research and the fundamental role we play in expanding opportunities for Alaskans. "

University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Dan White said that the increase in funding brings with it a positive outlook the future of the university.

"I am very optimistic about the increase in funding this year. with respect to the last, "said White. "The financing will allow strategic investments in students, academics and research."

White argues that after the last few years due to budgetary difficulties and program cuts, the Fairbanks campus remains a good option for higher education.

"The UAF is still a premier opportunity at an affordable price," White continued. "The Legislature's bold decision to increase funding demonstrates this state's commitment to the state university and higher education."

It has not yet been decided how the university will spend the additional funds. The UA Board of Regents will meet on May 31 in Anchorage to finalize the university's budget for fiscal year 2019.

Contact writer Erin Granger at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter:

@FDNMPolitics.

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