University of Alaska to cut programs

  • Sunday, July 12, 2015 11:56pm
  • News

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska plans to eliminate or suspend a number of majors this year to deal with an ongoing budgetary squeeze on the state’s public universities.

The university system has slated 31 academic programs for removal, including 21 at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“Sometimes having three of something isn’t as good as having one strong something,” UA president candidate Jim Johnsen told the Juneau Empire.

The university system has $15 million less to work with this fiscal year. The legislature slashed its budget by 4 percent to help make up the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit.

But state employees were also promised a 2.5 percent pay raise this year. Half of that will be paid through state general funds but the university system has to cover the rest, said University of Alaska Southeast Vice Chancellor Michael Ciri.

“So unless we can show that we can earn more money, it’s always a budget cut,” he said.

He said UAS will need to make up from an approximately $1.6 million reduction this year. It plans to eliminate four programs over the next few years: its master’s of business administration, its associate degree in automotive power technology, its residential building science certificate and its pre-engineering certificate.

UAS has also suspended admission to its arts program.

Students currently enrolled in the changing programs will be able to finish their coursework and ear their degrees, even if new students are not admitted.

Ciri says the programs chosen by UAS are not entirely related to the budgetary issues. The school is also adding three new academic programs this year and working on an undergraduate fisheries degree.

University of Alaska Anchorage’s certificates in massage therapy, pharmacy technology and paralegal studies and its master’s degree in computer science are on the chopping block.

Meanwhile, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has proposed eliminating six programs, including its undergraduate sociology program and its master’s degree in music. Six other programs have suspended enrollment, including dental hygiene.

UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers and Provost Susan Henrichs wrote in April that the programs because of low enrollment, decreased enrollment or low graduation rates.

The UAF program reviews are “absolutely a facet of the budget climate,” UAF spokeswoman Marmian Grimes said. “There were certainly more” than in years past.

More in News

Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. With less than two weeks to go before Alaska’s Aug. 16 election, the three candidates seeking to temporarily replace Congressman Don Young in Alaska’s U.S. House seat have made clear their positions on abortion. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Here’s where Alaska’s U.S. House candidates stand on access to abortion

Palin and Begich oppose congressional efforts to guarantee abortion rights, Peltola supports abortion access

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Russian River Campground to be closed until June 2023 beginning next week

Resurfacing and reinforcement work will occur along about 1 mile of the Russian River Campground Road

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Hikers rescued near Cooper Landing

They became trapped in a steep ravine after taking a canoe over Kenai Lake and climbing a mountain, troopers say

Vials of empty monkeypox vaccines sit at a table at Seattle Central College in Seattle, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (Daniel Kim/The Seattle Times via AP)
State announces two-tiered system for monkeypox vaccine

Due to low availability, the monkeypox vaccine is administered only in response to potential exposure

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, leads an informational town hall about ranked choice voting inside the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Carpenter holds forum on ranked choice voting

Don’t “overthink it,” representative says

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River dipnetting closed; Kasilof to close Sunday

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery is reportedly slow, but fish are being caught

Silver salmon hang in the Seward Boat Harbor during the 2018 Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo courtesy of Seward Chamber of Commerce)
Seward Silver Salmon derby runs Aug. 13-21

Last year’s derby featured 1,800 contestants competing across eight days

Rayna Reynolds tends to her cow at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Animals take the stage at 4-H expo

Contestants were judged on the quality of the animal or showmanship of the handler

Emily Matthews and Andy Kowalczyk pose outside the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies headquarters on Friday, July 29, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/Homer News)
AmeriCorps volunteers aid Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

The 10-month commitment pushed them outside of comfort zones

Most Read