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University of Alaska regents cancel financial declaration

August 21, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska Board of Regents has cancelled a declaration allowing it to take drastic financial steps in the face of budget cuts, officials said.

The regents voted 10-0 Tuesday to rescind the declaration of financial exigency made nearly a month ago, The Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

The cancellation will slow the speed of job cuts and program eliminations in the university system. Declaring exigency allowed the board to quickly cut costs, including erasing jobs under a shortened timeline.

“I think it is important to take this cloud off of us,” regent Lisa Parker said.

The declaration came after Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed $130 million in state funds for the university in addition to a $5 million cut by the Legislature.

Dunleavy agreed to the Legislature’s proposed $25 million university funding cut in the current fiscal year beginning July 1, with plans to cut another $45 million over the following two years.

“I don’t want us to be lulled into an assumption that all is well because this year’s cut is only $25 million,” said regent Dale Anderson.

Faculty members have said the declaration led to increased instability and fear and hurt the university’s reputation. Some filed grievances asking regents to rescind it.

University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Cathy Sandeen said she hoped the cancellation reassured employees.

“It’s good for us, it says we’re not in an emergency anymore,” Sandeen said. “We’re more back to normal, even though we have a budget cut that we’re taking very seriously.”

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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