Dunleavy plan to dismantle University of Alaska needs to be stopped

I should start a new series: “Things that candidate Mike Dunleavy forgot to mention.”

One of the top 10 would be Gov. Dunleavy’s plan to dismantle the University of Alaska. How that slipped his mind is hard to imagine.

In addition to wanting to cut state funds by 41 percent, he wants to split the institution in two—one part for four-year universities and one part for community colleges.

Aside from forgetting to mention dismantling, Dunleavy failed to pass along the restructuring idea to the University of Alaska Board of Regents, the group that runs the institution.

This has all the makings of another half-baked scheme that has not been analyzed by experts, but only by the temporary budget director, who is paid $195,000 a year, but would need a map to find her way around the system.

Dunleavy should count on heavy opposition from Fairbanks for this plan, as well as statewide from thousands of Alaskans who support the University of Alaska and want it to succeed. The Legislature should kill it and reject his foolish budget cut.

On this as well as the other elements of the Dunleavy Debacle, crucial questions needs to be addressed during legislative hearings: When did the governor decide to dismantle and reorganize the university and why? If he did this during his campaign, why did he keep it a secret from the public?

He wants to create a University of Alaska Anchorage Technical and Community College, a University of Alaska Southeast School of Career Education.

This cryptic comment is included in the budget analysis about the grand Dunleavy plan:

"The structure for the University system is now separated into University of Alaska Systemwide and the University of Alaska Community Campuses. Subsidizing at $11,000 per full-time equivalent student results in a tuition decrease at University of Alaska Systemwide campuses and a tuition increase at University of Alaska Community Campuses. The increment reflects the increased subsidy amount for the University of Alaska Community campuses."

University officials that I’ve talked to are waiting to hear what Donna Arduin has in mind.

The Republican Party Foghorn claims, ”now is an opportunity for the Board of Regents to restructure and return some of its satellite campuses to community colleges, where that remedial coursework is more appropriate.”

Dermot Cole6 Comments