Will President Johnsen end the travel ban anytime soon? Shouldn’t it be up to each department/unit to manage their budget? At this point, we have set budgets for FY17, so if a unit can afford a trip for professional development, we should be able to use it.
Last winter, Gov. Bill Walker asked all state agencies to freeze travel and hiring in order to conserve funds. As an entity that receives a significant portion of our budget from the state, UA President Jim Johnsen decided the UA system should follow suit and institute a semi-freeze of our own. The UA system office provided direction to the chancellors regarding additional approvals necessary for hires and travel partly or wholly funded with state dollars.
Although the university does now have a budget for FY 17, it is important to note that the university’s budget remains very tight, and we expect additional reductions next year, so there continues to be a need to save funds where possible. That said, Interim Chancellor Mike Powers has asked President Johnsen whether the additional required levels of approval could be revisited, as it creates an additional administrative burden in these times of leaner staffing. At a meeting this week, President Johnsen indicated to the chancellors that the system office will issue revised guidance soon that will reduce the administrative burden some. I would expect this revised guidance to be out before the end of this month.
— Kari Burrell, UAF vice chancellor for administrative services