The Board of Regents and Chancellor Sandeen announced the official budget cuts to multiple sports programs earlier this month. Sports being discontinued include men’s hockey, women’s gymnastics, downhill and nordic skiing. A public testimony held on Aug. 31, included students and coaches, who criticized the cuts. A new announcement released on Sept. 11 included a new budget approved by the Board of Regents.
“While the board did vote to eliminate men’s hockey, women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s alpine [downhill] skiing, the alternate proposal provided supporters of these athletic programs a window of time through February 2021 to raise private donations,” Sandeen said in an email sent to all UAA students.
The Board of Regents has chosen to keep nordic skiing a part of the sports program in the alternate proposal. The regents continued in a separate email saying that UAA is going to be a lot smaller, but nevertheless they will try to make it accessible to everyone.
“If you look how much has [been cut from] academics and administration proportionately to support our academics and research mission, and how little has [been but from] athletics, it’s hard for me as the chancellor responsible for the entire UAA university, to justify protecting one aspect to that level,” Sandeen said to the board during a meeting on Sept. 10.
In the same email, Chancellor Sandeen said the sports teams can raise private donations through February 2021 to keep their sports funded.
Winter Osborne is a junior at UAA who is a part of the gymnast program. She is pursuing a bachelor’s in art with an emphasis on graphic design. Osborne has been doing gymnastics since she was six years old.
“I didn’t have much time to process the [decision],” Osborne said.
The women’s gymnastics team are trying to keep their spirits up by raising funds for their sport.
“We have realized how important this program is to us and how much determination we have to do everything in our power to save it,” Osborne said.
Osborne mentioned that the gymnastics program will have a go fund me page up soon to help raise funds to keep their program.