University to request $625.6 million

Budget plan includes new science building, job-focused programs

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2007

FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska plans to ask the state for $625.6 million this year for projects including a new science building and new job-focused programs such as nursing.

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The university's Board of Regents resolved on Tuesday to make the request for state funds as part of the university's proposed $1.25 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

"This budget plan makes a bold statement about our priorities and what the board values," Fairbanks Regent Cynthia Henry said.

Last year, the university received $306 million of the $642 million it requested from the state.

This year's budget request includes more than $5 million for new programs in nursing, engineering, construction management and fisheries sciences. It also includes $66 million for a new biological sciences building at the flagship Fairbanks campus that's expected to cost of $113 million.

The regents plan to fund $166 million for capital projects, including $120 million for building maintenance projects at all the campuses across the state.

The regents also approved a new $46 million health sciences building in Anchorage, naming it one of their top priorities.

Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sarah Palin, said no decisions have been made about what will be included in the governor's final budget request to the Legislature.

"We are aware of our university's needs and we're going to work with them," she said. "We're certainly going to consider their budget, but the governor is also committed to living within our means and slowing the growth of government."

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