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Massive Cuts to University of Alaska System Could Force Layoffs

Massive Cuts to University of Alaska System Could Force Layoffs

“University leaders have begun an uphill battle to lobby members of the Legislature to override the veto”

If this goes through, even tenured professors may have to look for new work.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

‘Shocking’ Cut May Force Layoffs for Alaska’s Universities

Stakeholders at the University of Alaska system spent the weekend preparing for a difficult future after the state’s governor cut 41 percent of the system’s state appropriations through a line-item budget veto.

University leaders have begun an uphill battle to lobby members of the Legislature to override the veto and have warned that if they are unsuccessful, they will have to take drastic cost-saving measures.

Governor Mike Dunleavy had previously promised extensive cuts to the state’s operating budget, which university leaders, working with legislators, thought they had averted. But on Friday, Dunleavy vetoed portions of the budget passed by the Legislature — taking the largest chunk from the University of Alaska system.

The veto resulted in the university losing $130 million in state support. Dunleavy has indicated that the statewide cuts would enable an increase in contribution to the Alaska Permanent Fund. The fund provides a dividend to state residents based on oil revenue.

Dunleavy said at a news conference that “we can’t continue to be all things for all people.”

Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, said that state appropriations account for 40 percent of the system’s total budget, with the rest coming from other sources such as private donations and student tuition.

“Stunned disappointment” was how Sandeen described her reaction upon learning of the cuts.

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If the state had started cutting services years ago we wouldn’t have this problem. The politicians just kept on spending, using savings, postponing obligations, catering to the special interests and spending like ‘drunken sailors.’ Now we just need to get to a sustainable budget and the governor is doing just that. (I would have made different cuts, but… I won’t criticize him.)

Shutting down Alaska’s natural resource dependant economy was a constant goal of the Left in order to bring Alaska back to harmony with nature. Now that it means living within one’s means, some of these people can not bear to deal with the outcome. Going forward many want to reach into their fellow Alaskans’ pockets for more “easy money”….always living off of someone else’s money and hard work.

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