UAA gymnasts Sophia Hyderally and Tere Alonso were at Monday’s regents’ meeting. Both will begin their senior years this fall after three years at UAA and now wonder whether they will be able to complete their degree programs.

University of Alaska regents voted to declare a financial emergency facing the university by a 10 to 1 vote. Only regent Lisa Parker voted no on the resolution.

John Davies of Fairbanks, chair of the board, stressed that the declaration is only a tool that allows UA President Jim Johnsen to develop a plan to deal with the situation.

Johnsen said he will have a preliminary plan for another special regents' meeting set for July 30 and a more detailed plan at the regents' next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 12.

Several regents commented that they are reluctantly voting for the resolution from an expectation that the political situation in the state Legislature is unlikely to change in the next few days, given the position taken by Gov. Mike Dunleavy who recently imposed a major veto of state funds for the university and the House Republican Minority who so far have blocked resolution of key budget issues.

Even if some of the uiversity's funds are restored the reductions will so drastic as to require a major restructuring of the 100-year-old university in a matter of months. If changes are not made quickly UA will be out of money by February, Johnsen said.

"How can such a great institution built by so many for so long be destroyed so quickly and by so few?" he said.

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