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The University of Alaska Anchorage reversed course on plans to cut its gymnastics, hockey and skiing programs for budgetary reasons after allowing the teams to raise private funds to keep operating, according to The New York Times.

The decision has resulted in more than $3.7 million in donations and cost reductions, saving the gymnastics and ski programs -- at least for now, the Times reported. The hockey team has raised nearly $2.6 million but is still short of the $3 million it needs by Aug. 30, the newspaper reported.

University leaders decided last August to cut the three teams but told the Times that the private funds raised brought them more time to strengthen their fund-raising efforts and lower the institution's expenses. Industry officials said that the university's approach could become an "emergency template" for campuses elsewhere that are struggling to balance tight budgets.