FAIRBANKS (AP) The University of Alaska Board of Regents finance committee on Monday approved a revised version of the 2003-04 budget that scales back planned increases to student services and recruitment.
''We did not get enough money to do what we need to do,'' UA President Mark Hamilton told regents.
He said he was troubled and dismayed about the legislative session and the tone it took regarding education funding.
''Alaska isn't going to fall off the cliff, we fell,'' Hamilton said. ''The kingdom has been judged and found wanting.''
He criticized the Legislature, saying lawmakers pitted K-12 education funding against university funding. In the past, Hamilton said, he has not been willing to tell them what to cut.
''This year and from now on, I will answer that question,'' he said. ''If the program is not in the constitution ... it should be on the table.''
The university's 2004 budget request totaled about $647 million, an increase of about $36 million from the budget this year. It counted on nearly $225 million in state funding, an increase of about $13.5 million over this year.
The state budget passed by the Legislature included a net increase in university funding of about $4.5 million. That increase is offset by a $19 million increase in fixed costs, which includes increased personnel and health insurance costs, and operating costs on new buildings, according to Pat Pitney, director of statewide budget and institutional research.
Nearly $10 million of the increased expense was supposed to come from the state, UA officials said.
The university has raised tuition, which, coupled with increased enrollment, is projected to raise about $8 million more next year.
The plan passed by the finance committee Monday funds a $1.2 million increase in the Alaska Scholars program, which provides free tuition to the state's top high school graduates.
However, it cuts all but about $1.25 million of $8.5 million planned for increases to health-related academic and research programs.
The plan keeps about $674,000 of a proposed $3.3 million increase to student services and $250,000 of a $2.1 million increase to outreach programs.
''I guess we'll deal with it,'' said Regent Joe Usibelli Jr., chairman of the finance committee.
''We will be able to proceed,'' he said. ''It's going to be on a reduced basis in regard to some of the programs we wanted to enhance.''
The full board was scheduled to vote on the operating budget Tuesday.
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