Amid 'devastating' budget cuts, this is the moment of truth for U Alaska
- Alaska's governor recently vetoed $130 million in state allowances designated for the University of Alaska system’s budget.
- Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, estimated that the cuts would result in the elimination of about 40 of 105 degree programs.
Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy recently vetoed $130 million in state allowances designated for the University of Alaska system’s budget, forcing the University of Alaska president to create a financial exigency plan by Monday.
UAlaska’s budget will be cut by this amount, in addition to a previously decided $5 million, a 41 percent reduction in state funding, according to Anchorage Daily News. This amount constitutes a 17 percent cut to the University of Alaska’s overall budget.
University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Cathy Sandeen estimated that the cuts would result in the elimination of about 40 of 105 degree programs at the school and, consequently, the loss of a minimum of 3,000 students.
A document from Dunleavy’s office claims that the Alaskan state government spends $16,391 per student, compared with an average expense of $7,642 other by state governments on students.
University of Alaska President James Johnsen described the cut as “devastating” and announced that the school would be “aggressively” managing expenses in a late June video.
“Please raise your voice, make your views known to your legislator,” the president said. “That’s the only step we have at this point.”
UAlaska Fairbanks postdoctoral student Alex Webster claimed the cut “will cause a rapid, massive brain drain from the state, w/ devastating consequences.”
There needed to be 45 of 60 legislative votes for a veto override of the governor’s decision, but only 38 lawmakers convened in early July, according to USA Today.
Johnsen must prepare a financial exigency plan by Monday, reported Earth & Space Science News.
Campus Reform reached out to the University of Alaska to find out specifically which programs would be cut due to proposed legislation, but the school did not respond in time for publication.
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