FAIRBANKS, Alaska (360N) - The public spent about four hours Saturday testifying about proposed cuts to the University of Alaska budget. The UA Finance Subcommittee held the hearing.
The meeting provided Alaskans a chance to express their thoughts and concerns regarding the proposed cuts to the budget for Fiscal Year 2018.
Over the last three years, significant cuts to the University have resulted in the loss or suspension of hundreds of employees and numerous programs.
The UA Board of Regents has expressed deep concern that the proposed cuts will have a crippling effect on the University of Alaska.
Most of those speaking Saturday at the hearing were *against the proposed cuts.
"In order to support education AND other needed state programs such as health and social services, management of our resources, maintenance of our station systems, must find resources for a sustainable budget and not rely on the use out year after year," said John Davies, a board member.
"University of Alaska has eliminated fifty academic programs in the last couple years," said UAF Chancellor Dana Thomas. "With that, 900 positions across the state, 400 of those with the Interior Alaska and our community campuses associated with the university Alaska Fairbanks."
"The significant cuts to Alaskan legislature internship program, which harmed students ability to participate in that and I'm a participant in that program or, just was. Programs like these like cooperative extension group, my husband and I have started a small farm and so we work closely with them getting knowledge about growing practice. If senate bill becomes law, fifty percent of the high school students who are currently eligible for this Alaska performance scholarship will no longer be eligible, what happens when these students go out of state, quite simply they just don't come back."