Alaska cuts dozens of degree programs as enrollment dwindles

Cut programs include chemistry and sociology.

The University of Alaska’s Board of Regents approved the discontinuation of dozens of undergraduate degrees and certificate programs

The University of Alaska System announced June 5 that among other changes, it will cut 38 previously offered programs. This comes after years of declining university enrollment and a massive cut in state funding. 

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In its decision, the Board of Regents noted that enrollment at the University of Alaska has declined by 28 percent across the university since 2010. The university has also experienced its state funding budget cut by $76 million (20 percent) between 2014 and 2020 and another $45 million (15 percent) through 2022.

Discontinued programs include programs at individual campuses in sociology, earth science, chemistry, geometry, and English.

Other programs, such as the University of Alaska Anchorage’s journalism degree will be subject to “major revision and reduction.”

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The Board of Regents came to the decision “in order to provide higher education programs and services to the people of Southeast Alaska during a time of unprecedented financial challenges, while ensuring the survival of the University of Alaska and long-term excellence.”

The University plans to protect certain programs that benefit the community such as “fisheries and ocean science, mine training, health research and workforce development, public administration, management, and teacher education” in order to help prepare the “next generation of Alaskans.”

Amid the coronavirus crisis, the system furloughed over 150 employees, including its own university president 

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