Alaska’s governor is essentially trying to kill our higher education system.

By |2019-07-07T09:52:54-08:00July 8th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |15 Comments

And he just might succeed. 

Courtesy of The Guardian

In a shocking example of political overreach, Dunleavy announced 182 line-item vetoes to his state’s 2020 budget last week. He thereby cut the budget proposed by the Alaska legislature by almost $410m in general funds. Almost one-third of the cuts will come from the University of Alaska system, which will see its budget cut by $130m – a staggering 41%.

In a shocked response, the University of Alaska system’s president, James R Johnsen, said Dunleavy’s veto “will strike an institutional and reputational blow from which we may likely never recover”. Scott Downing, faculty senate leader at the University of Alaska Anchorage, told the Washington Post: “It’s going to be devastating. The effects on programs, on the students, on staff and faculty are just going to be – it’s kind of unthinkable.”

Dunleavy has defended his draconian budget cuts as a “policy choice” to increase the Permanent Fund dividend Alaskans receive each year – a major election promise he made during his campaign. While this might be good news for drug dealers – research shows a 14% increase in substance-abuse incidents the day after the annual payout – there is little evidence that the dividends actually boost the state economy. But the University of Alaska system does.

Here’s more courtesy of NBC News

If Dunleavy has his way, the university says it will have to eliminate 1,300 jobs, close entire campuses, lay off tenured faculty, and shutter academic programs. “We may not even be able to mow the lawns,” university Chancellor Cathy Sandeen told NBC News.

Lawmakers and university administrators knew the state would cut $5 million from the budget, which seemed manageable and foreseeable considering Alaska has reduced its financial support of its university system four out of the past five years. But the extra $130 million added on by the Republican governor’s veto, totaling a 41 percent cut in the state funding, blindsided the university.

The state Legislature has until July 12 to overturn the veto, but it needs support from three-fourths of the legislators. State political experts say it will be an uphill battle, and they will need to whip votes fast — right now it hinges on about six undecided Republicans.

If the cuts happen, “the university will drastically change overnight,” Sandeen said. She and others say Knight isn’t the only one who will leave the state, and fear an impending “brain drain.”

“It would take decades to reverse this damage,” Sandeen said. “We would see a reduction in student enrollment.

Sandeen, who has worked in public higher education for the past 30 years around the country, said, “I have never seen cuts of this magnitude.”

Somehow I think just saying “This is really fucked up” does not relay exactly how fucked up this is.

Every damn Republican administration that comes to power up here seems to attack our education system in one way or another, but Dunleavy has turned that up to eleven and may actually succeed in forever damaging our higher education system in a way from which it will never fully recover. 

I went to UAA in my twenties and it was a pretty good school with some great teachers. 

It provided a good education for young people of little means who would then stay and participate in our workforce.

That allowed Alaskans to stay in Alaska, and make a substantial contribution to the economy and to their communities. 

If Dunleavy succeeds in driving a stake through its heart he may also drive a stake through the future of this great state. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.


  1. Anonymous July 8, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Maybe a fellow IMer can explain it to me, but I never quite got how the Permanent Fund would ever be sustainable.

  2. Anonymous July 8, 2019 at 8:06 am

    This is simply stunning. Alaska’s Katrina.

    • Better Resign Before Getting Indicted July 9, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      He’s gaming the system. Not so bright Standing Tall got told ‘Veto these items’ then they told him ‘send enough to Wasilla’ and that will make the vetos solidify. Smart but not so smart. Sounding like the same crew around Palin. Same outcome as Palin when he is caught shifting funds around like ol Sarah was. It’s WHOSE funds those are that is the issue. I hear sanctions can be placed on the USA for this money laundering racket? Yikes! The interest rates can cripple the economy. Better ask those elders about that depression and how to survive it. Now go find Sarah and give her a big hug for this crap coming. Laughing out loud.

  3. AK Lynne July 8, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Republicans know they can manipulate uneducated people much better than those who have learned how to think for themselves.

  4. AK July 8, 2019 at 9:36 am


  5. Joshua Wilson July 8, 2019 at 11:49 am

    I need a passport to drive to Alaska? That’s bullshit man. Didn’t the war of 1812 settle this?


  6. Anonymous July 8, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    The writing was on the wall long before this dun guy got elected. People who were familiar with him from the school district where he worked were warning people. But no, Alaska always has to bit itself in the ass and vote republican, thinking there’s something in it for them. We are a state of assholes.

    • nanna July 8, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      I’m not even Alaskan and I agree with you.

  7. WHO really owns Alaska? July 8, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Oh. Dumb ass is BLOWN away that a student got an A+ in Restorative Justice. So he CRIES and buries his head. What am I supposed to do???

    Just like Palin. Resign.


  8. why ask why... THE NAME IS PALIN plus also too she had a 3.497 GPA July 8, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Meantime while Alaska is being burned to the ground by Governor DunKoch…BRISTOL SPEAKS AND THE DAILY MAIL HAS AN EXCLUSIVE!!!

    I yolo’d too hard and am paying for it’: Bristol Palin admits she’s gained 10lbs after eating ‘like crap’ over the past few months – as she reveals what she is doing to get herself back on track

    Bristol, 28, opened up about her weight gain while holding an ‘ask me anything’ session on Instagram Stories on Sunday
    When a fan asked how she stays ‘so fit,’ she admitted she has put on 10lbs
    ‘For me, diet is 97% of it,’ she said, explaining that her workouts are wasted if she is eating poorly because she will feel and look ‘like crap’
    Bristol has been a Teami partner for three years and frequently shares images of herself drinking the brand’s skinny tea on social media
    During the Q&A, the mother-of-three also shared that she is working on her second book, ‘a daily devotional’
    Bristol published her memoir, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far, back in 2011

    • nanna July 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      Funny about that, I was looking at a picture of her in a bikini the other day and noticed that her thighs look like sausages, there was no hint of muscle. She is all about liposucking instead of exercising and it shows.

  9. nanna July 8, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Republican politicians don’t need the University of Alaska, it’s not where they want their own kids to go so there’s absolutely no need for it and naturally the Republicans and their donors will pocket all that funding.

    The only time I ever- ever- saw Alaskans fight back against the GOP it was to elect Lisa Murkowski as an Independent. ha!

  10. Anonymous July 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Dunleavy called a legislative session only in Wasilla. The Democrats refused and all met in Juneau, where government business is supposed to be conducted. But the Republicans went to a middle school gym in Wasilla so no quorum. Democrats need at least some Republicans to override Dunleavy’s veto.

    Why do you keep electing these schmucks?

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