Dear UAA community,
Welcome back to the fall 2019 semester. What an eventful summer it has been. As you are well aware, the University of Alaska system faced deep cuts to its state-funded operating budget. Gov. Mike Dunleavy had originally proposed a $134 million cut for the 2019-20 academic year. The Legislature restored all but $5 million in its budget, only to have the governor veto the funding. For over a month, we were unsure of what would happen next. I am so proud to say that our students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters rallied on behalf of the university.
The result is that your advocacy changed things. On Aug. 13, Gov. Dunleavy and university leaders agreed to a $70 million state-funding cut for the UA system spread out over three years. It’s still a steep cut, but a much better alternative to the one originally proposed.
As you enter this academic year, I want you to remember that your voice matters.
Your willingness to speak up and advocate means our academic programs and athletics season will move forward as planned. We still have some bumps in the road to work through, but we can do so with greater certainty and confidence regarding what the future holds.
Here at UAA, we’re a community that takes care of one another. We use our voices to help each other. When we see something that’s not right, we do something about it because Seawolves Speak Up. We are committed to safety on this campus because people matter. Here’s a little good news for you about campus safety – UAA has been named among the most secure campuses in the country by ASecureLife, an online publication dedicated to researching and reviewing the security industry.
We have much to look forward to this coming academic year. This week, we have events planned to welcome faculty, staff, students and alumni back to campus. I look forward to seeing many of you at Campus Kickoff this weekend. (By the way, it’s true. You can find me at USUAA’s dunk tank.)
Here’s to a great 2019-20 academic year!