Protest 101: Tax dollars at work - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 24, 2021
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Protest 101: Tax dollars at work

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A small detachment of students and other supporters protested cuts to the University of Alaska budget on Monday in front of the Capitol in Juneau. The University system is facing $134 million in cuts, or 17 percent of its total budget.

On hand was a University of Alaska Southeast van that had been used to transport the students from the Auke Bay campus for the protest, shown above. About 20 people participated. One of the protesters held a sign that read “Fund Our Future.”

UAS has about 2,500 students,  with a student-faculty ratio of 9-1, and a graduation rate of 26 percent.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • “UAS has about 2,500 students, with a student-faculty ratio of 9-1, and a graduation rate of 26 percent.” I would say that this sentence says it all.

    • No kidding! The UA system needs to streamline duplicated programs of study, raise expectations and accountability of students, and rein in some of the myriad of satellite campuses. Could do all of that without even diminishing athletics.

  • The absurdity of these circumstances are truly amazing. One would think that if students want to protect their cherished domain they would consider the optics of taking their sugar daddy’s vehicle to the protest. This incident begs the question of how and when university property is available for student purposes. What are the limits of using government property for political purposes? This is a symptom of what is wrong with a system that has miserable education outcomes, yet the highest the per student contribution in the country for a public university.

  • Satellite campuses were built to mollify rural legislators at a time when the State had a thousand times more money than common sense.
    I’m taking a lot of heat out here because I want to close the Kuskokwmin campus and follow through with Gov Dunleavy hopes of getting a satellite hub highschool in Bethel.

    This campus gives a hell of a good start on a hub highschool.

    It would save money, improve education and get a whole lot of kids closer to home than Sitka.

    The greatest density of Villages in America is on the YK Delta. It only makes sense to put a Mt Edgecombe quality school in Bethel.

    Just need to keep it independent from the Lower Kuskokwmin school district.

    • One way to keep it independent of LKSD would be for Bethel to re-incorporate as a first-class city. Would that be any better or worse?

  • These actions of the students are in line with the Chancellors through President Johnson urging this behavior by using frightening means and to a greater degree, extortion. The budget needs to be CUT for the University system. Each Campus receives their portion of the cut. Johnson has in the past and in committee stated that he will close UAS. Each university campus is separately accredited. UAS has always excelled and the idiot, Johnson is jealous. Just like all bad actors, Johnson uses threats to extort behavior. His testimony in Committee should have been enough to also observe his intention to put all funds at the UAF campus as he has done in the past. The pyramid he put together for the viewing of the committee should have been an alert on how he will beak up the campuses and close UAS. The pyramid clearly showed the UAF campus only and none of the other campuses. Under his management, UAA has lost its status in accrediting. The campus is deeply in debt and still losing. UAF has over-spent and all salaries are too high. Did anyone even mention taxes to the committee? I did not hear that but the tax portion of their responsibiliy is something else to look at. Improvements on UAF campus has been over-done and gross. Get rid of Johnson. He needs to go.

  • Land grant college. Sell land. Quit whining.

  • Personally I am embarrassed that I put son’s PFD and my PFD into to a savings plan with the college….. I really wanted him to become educated and employable and and economically independent responsible man this is not the place he wished to attend do to the management of the administration that misguided the college students about the standing of its degree accredidation.

    Now, this same admin is failing these students about reality!

    • In retrospect I’m glad we did not have enough spare money to help our two sons with college because they would likely have been strapped with huge debt like way too many other kids that drank the ” the higher degree of so called education = higher income Kool Aid “. So they sought hard working mentors to teach them along the lines of their interests and fast forward 20 yrs. and both men are making in excess of $100k working in management on the slope and the other a highly skilled road construction manager. At the same time my brothers kids were both strongly encouraged to go the college route and with a useless bachelors degree in liberal arts and the other one earning a masters in library science … Neither one of his very disillusioned kids have yet reached an income that allows them to be independent of a disillusioned roommate to share expenses so they can at least be independent of living in mommy and daddy’s basement. And as a bonus … the college educated kids sadly lost their ability to think logically and rationally. Sad indeed.

  • The UA system is a joke, always has been and probably always will be the way things are going. It’s so sad that I view online degrees from places like GCU and Phoenix as superior to just about anything from the UA system.

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