On Feb. 20, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen gave his annual State of the University Address. Johnsen's address lasted roughly 30 minutes and touched on points of pride, concern and confidence for the University. Among the concerns covered in the speech were the shrinking UAA budget, Alaska's dwindling economy and low graduation rates. Despite these concerns, Johnsen remains confident about the University's future, highlighting a focused budget, plans for a new business innovation center at UAF and increased efficiency across the UA system.
Johnsen also laid out five goals for the University to achieve by 2025:
- Contribute to the state's economic development
- Provide a highly skilled workforce
- Increase the state's education attainment
- Operate more cost effectively
- Continue to lead the world in Arctic research
Johnsen ended his address by asking the Alaska State Legislature for an increase in the University's operating budget from $317 million to $341 million and a renewed investment in "much needed" facility maintenance.