University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen claims progress made in Washington on land grant

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen traveled to our nation's capital this week to do some bidding on behalf of the school system.

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen met with lawmakers and other federal officials in Washington this week. (Source: Gray DC)

Johnsen met with both Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) as well as Rep. Don Young (R-AK) to discuss his priorities. He spoke with other federal officials including some at the Department of Interior. Johnsen's pitch to Washington leaders was "help us help you." He sees the UA school system as one that benefits the entire country with its research on environmental issues, fisheries, the arctic and much more.

One big thing coming from his trip, Johnsen says, is progress being made on their land grant initiative. He's hopeful they will be getting more of the land they were promised a century ago but never received.

"It's not going to benefit us financially next Tuesday or next year. But 10 years from now, 20 years from now people will look back and say fortunately they figured that out in 2020," said Johnsen. "And as a result of that we now have these scholarships, we now have these initiatives, we now have these endowed chairs, we have these positive benefits to the University of Alaska."

Alaska's University land grant is currently the second smallest in the nation. Delaware is the only state that has fewer acres.

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