Like many of you, NACAC leaders and staff have been closely following the State of Alaska budget crisis and its potential effects on the state’s public universities.
The $130 million reduction in funding to the University of Alaska system imposed by Governor Mike Dunleavy will undoubtedly have a negative effect on current and prospective students. The cuts—which represent a 41 percent reduction in state funding—are expected to result in substantial faculty and staff layoffs and the elimination of academic programs, likely forcing many students to re-evaluate their educational options.
NACAC encourages all who work with Alaska’s students, including school counselors, independent educational consultants, and higher education institutions inside and outside of Alaska, to ensure that students’ best interests remain a primary consideration.
NACAC and PNACAC members can play a positive role in assisting these students and ensuring they are protected against unscrupulous recruitment practices. Students impacted by the cuts are particularly vulnerable to uncertainty. They must be allowed time to make their own decisions about their educational futures and be permitted to initiate conversations about pursuing alternative options, should they so choose.
NACAC supports robust public investment in postsecondary education and is disappointed that the Alaska governor and legislature have so dramatically weakened the state’s investment in the educational and economic futures of its residents.
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