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UA Loses $35-45 Million From Pandemic

J.R. Anchetta
University Relations

The University of Alaska is taking a major financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to a state legislative joint education committee yesterday, Wednesday, April 22, UA President Jim Johnsen detailed impacts on two fronts.  

President Johnsen described an estimated combined COVID-19-related impact of between $35,000,000 and $45,000,000.  He listed pandemic costs related to moving students off campuses, providing distance delivery of classes, purchase of computers and other work at home technology, and increased campus security, but emphasized that lost revenue streams are an even bigger issue.

UA Cost Revenue 2: Q:”…income will decline.” :17      

Johnsen also pointed to decreased investment and research grant related income. Johnsen said the university is in line to receive nearly $8,000,000 in federal CARES Act coronavirus response funding, but that given the magnitude of COVID-19-related costs and revenue losses, combined with ongoing state funding reductions, the situation will mean additional budget cuts.

UA Cost Revenue 3: Q:”…to reconsider those.” :21   

Even before the pandemic, President Johnsen said the university had identified nearly 50 academic degree programs for discontinuation, and initiated extensive administrative reductions and consolidations, to deal with part of state funding cuts of $50,000,000 for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.