These proposed cuts have caused a near panic among faculty and staff. Now the story gets even worse.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Accreditation Risk From Alaska Cuts

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is warning Alaska legislators that a 41 percent cut to the state university system’s budget could threaten its accreditation status.

“I write today to share my concern over the proposed reduction in funding, and urge you and your colleagues to ensure the University of Alaska campuses are provided adequate funding to continue the delivery of high-quality public education to the citizens of Alaska,” Sonny Ramaswamy, the commission’s president, wrote in a letter to the Alaska Legislature. “Failure to properly fund these institutions could have disastrous effects, including the potential loss of accreditation, that could be felt for generations. I urge you to please reconsider this year’s drastic budget reductions being proposed.”

Other groups have urged Alaska’s Legislature to override a $130 million system budget veto by Republican governor Mike Dunleavy. Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, for example, wrote to the Alaska Legislature earlier this week, “I understand that Alaska is grappling with tough decisions and weighing competing priorities. But gutting the state’s universities is a short-term step in the wrong direction, one that would trigger a series of damaging long-term aftershocks to the state’s social fabric and economic future.”

Still, the commission’s intervention is unusual in that accreditors typically do not weigh in on state budget and policy debates. Ramaswamy’s letter is a sign of the scale of the cuts.

 
 
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