The big fib

University of Alaska supporters and officials want you to believe Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s $130 million state budget cut for that institution represents a 41 percent slice of its entire budget.

That is patently untrue. It is a 41 percent cut of the Legislature’s proposed $322 million contribution to the university. It is shocking that anybody would, in advertisements and news stories, tout such a fib.

The actual cut to the state’s contribution to the UA budget is somewhere near 17 percent. In fact, the university’s complete annual budget, counting all revenue streams – including tuition, grants and contracts – hovers near $900 million.

Seventeen percent is a far cry from 41 percent, and certainly does not sound as bad. In this case, a good fib, we suspect – at least from the bloated, inefficient university’s perspective – may be better than a poor truth.

To be fair, losing $130 million could cause UA some serious problems, including, among other things, possible loss of professors, staff, tuition revenue and federal grants and matching grants. Some will tell you it would lead to a downward spiral for the institution.

Those who now are lying to the public about a bogus 41 percent cut to the university’s entire budget to generate support should argue the true and likely effects, and make their point using facts.

What they are doing only diminishes the university. If you cannot trust the university to be truthful about this, what can you trust it with?

6 Responses to The big fib

  1. Thom Eley July 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    The University of Alaska system is top heavy with Deans, Assistant Deans, Associate Deans, etc. All these folks pulling in a 6 digit salary, while the bulk of the professors are down in the mid-5 digit salary range. They need to pare down their administrators.

  2. Quincy July 9, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    The people want their money and no one is going to care that a bunch of pot-smoking, liberal professors get laid off. NBC made a completely false article about how Alaska will suffer a “brain drain” from cutting our worthless universities. Alaska does not need more English majors and underwater basket weavers. We need more electricians, plumbers, welders, and truck drivers. Political scientists have nothing to offer any of us.

  3. Morrigan July 9, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Mr. Editor, one might almost agree that losing $130 million could cause UA some serious problems, until we found this gem:
    “The University of Alaska Foundation… manages the Consolidated Endowment Fund totaling $337.5 million, which includes both $191.1 million in Foundation endowments created by gifts from donors over the years, as well as the university’s land grant endowment of $146.4 million.
    During the 2018 fiscal year, the Foundation received $2.6 million in new endowment gifts and manages a total of 847 individual endowments. The Foundation also manages 859 non-endowed funds that are restricted by donors to specific purposes.”
    And the pièce de résistance: “—The Foundation has a fund to support almost any area of interest at the University— (emphasis added).”
    Maybe our friends of the tours ivoire will consider this an “area of interest”, no?

  4. Bill Hutchison July 10, 2019 at 4:50 am

    Thom Eley sounds like he is in agreement with our Governor, as I am.

  5. Checking Out July 10, 2019 at 8:37 am

    It would be great to see the university work together to help lower our state costs. The top heaviness needs some attention but more importantly we don’t need the university if they can’t address the needs of our community such as accreditation of school teachers, nursing, xray techs, pre med, i.e… This will help bring our medical costs down as we flood the market with employees. Oh, and don’t forget the trades that most slug their way through in multiple apprenticeships positions with many employers. They need to take a hard look at what we need. If the university is reading this, please share the data. The public needs to see how many locals are applying for which programs.

  6. Student July 15, 2019 at 6:33 am

    These are amazing facts. I wish more of my peers would do the research and take the time to learn that not everything your university says in press is true. I feel like the only student apart of the UA system that agrees with our governor. If only they were sending this information out via email as supposed to the half truths they’ve been sending to scare students and promote dirty politics.


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