In the face of a devastating 41 percent reduction in state funding imposed by the governor, Alaska AAUP members are mobilizing to save their public university system.
In an open letter to state legislators, AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum and Abel Bult-Ito, president of United Academics of the University of Alaska (AAUP/AFT), urged legislators to override the governor’s crippling reductions.
“The governor may view these cuts as a means to balance the budget. But as university faculty and higher education advocates, we believe the budget cuts would mean the end of Alaska’s public university system,” they wrote.
Here’s more from the open letter sent yesterday: “Despite its small size, Alaska’s public university system plays a big role in educating Alaskans. Rural and lower-income communities depend on the University of Alaska system for improving their job skills and providing accessible degrees beyond a high school diploma, ranging from certificates to PhD degrees . . . .
“The governor’s 41 percent reduction in state funding to Alaska’s public university system would mean closing campuses across the state and endangering the university’s accreditation. Alaskan students would have fewer options for continuing their education, and those options would be poorer in quality.”
This devastating cut is an assault on higher education as a common good.
Show your support for University of Alaska faculty, employees, and students. Add your name and comments of support now.
P.S. Want to know more about the cuts? Here’s an article from the New York Times.