June 27, 2016

For Immediate Release
June 27, 2016

Regents Approve Preparation of Financing Package to Complete the UAF Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility

The Board of Regents today voted 11-0 to authorize the university’s Chief Financial Officer to make arrangements and prepare the documents necessary to issue debt, not to exceed $37.5 million, to complete the Fairbanks (UAF) Engineering Facility. The financing plan will be presented to the regents at the September meeting. Today’s vote authorizes only the process to commence.

The action was set in motion last week by the board’s Facilities and Land Management Committee following a special meeting June 17. At that meeting, UA and UAF administrators provided a presentation on how the Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility (ELIF) meets the growing needs of the engineering program. The committee reviewed the proposed financing plans, UA system debt summary, the projected return on investment and the project’s relationship to Board of Regents priorities for increasing engineering graduates.

At its June meeting, President Jim Johnsen proposed building in the $2.2 million cost to service the debt into the UA system budget. “It’s more cost effective and better for our students' education to bite the bullet and just finish it,” Johnsen told Regents during the June 2 budget discussion.

Regents also approved a second motion to authorize President Johnsen to allocate reductions, if any, in the final FY17 budget. The vote was 10-1. The Board of Regents approved the FY17 budget plan at the June meeting. Last week the legislature submitted the operating and capital budgets to Governor Walker who will announce any veto decisions in the coming days.


For more information contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).