University of Alaska Responds to Dunleavy Spending Cuts

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Not everyone was expecting the extent of the spending cuts.

The President of the University of Alaska system, Jim Johnsen, held a press conference where he told the media that this was just the first step in negotiating a budget for the statewide organization.

According to Johnsen, everything and anything is on the table to be cut, including up to 1300 positions.

Until more information about the proposed budget is brought to light and discussed with the board of regents and legislators, Johnsen said UAF faculty, staff, and students should remain diligent in their research and studies.

"I want to say to our facility and our staff and our students and our donors and our alumni and the employers who depend on us for their workforce, research agencies and companies that rely on us for research; that, as a result of these purposed budget cuts we're heading into an extremely uncertain time. There will be a University of Alaska next year and ten years from now and 20 years from now. Our state needs us, we may be less of what we are today, but our state absolutely needs us; and so what we need to focus on during this time is students and our mission,” said Johnsen.

On a more local level, UAF Chancellor, Daniel White, says if he had a chance to sit down with the Governor, he would want to emphasize the significant financial impact of the university to the state.

"I want to talk about the future of the state and the future of the state's economy, and the importance that the University plays in the future economy in Alaska for Alaskans and what will grow the economy in the state of Alaska, and the University is a key part of that. What I would want to talk about is how to grow revenue, and that is one way to balance the budget, and the University is a key part to the ability to grow revenue in the state of Alaska and to balance the budget,” said White.