City opposes University of Alaska Southeast absorption

City opposes University of Alaska Southeast absorption

Assembly votes to oppose possible merger.

City and Borough of Juneau Assembly opposes the potential absorption of University of Alaska Southeast into either University of Alaska Anchorage or University of Anchorage Fairbanks.

During a special meeting, CBJ Assembly unanimously passed a resolution objecting to any action that would eliminate UAS as a separate university. Such a move is being considered in light of revenue losses caused by COVID-19 and expected budget cuts.

[Regents have options to consider for University of Alaska restructuring]

“Suffice it to say University of Alaska Southeast is an important part of our civic community, ” said City Manager Rorie Watt during the virtual meeting, who recommended the Assembly pass the resolution, during the virtual meeting.

Assembly member Wade Bryson objected to a motion to approve the resolution to ask what would happen if UAS were to be absorbed. Bryson said his objection was solely to ask the question.

Mayor Beth Weldon said it would mean no chancellor for UAS and asked Watt if he was prepared to answer the question.

Watt said a lot of the particulars are unclear. He agreed it would mean the loss of a chancellor position and likely other positions, too. Additionally, Watt said it could hurt UAS’ attractiveness to students and continue the centralization of educational function to Anchorage or Fairbanks.

He said it would be a “significant blow” to UAS’ independence and economic standing.

Assembly member Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, who is a UAS alumna, also spoke positively of UAS. She said her graduating class included police officers, firefighters and business owners.

“I wouldn’t be in Juneau without the university,” Hughes-Skandijs said. “It’s a real magnet to bring folks to Juneau,”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of May 22, 2022

Here’s what to expect this week.

Coast Guard aircrews medevaced two people from Dry Bay Airstrip, approximately 30 miles Southeast of Yakutat, Alaska, after their plane crashed, May 25, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Coast Guard District 17)
Three medevaced after plane crash near Yakutat

All four aboard were injured, three critically so.

The author’s appreciation for steelhead has turned into something like reverence considering what’s happening to populations in the Lower 48 and Canada. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
I Went to the Woods: Silent steel

“You forget most of what ends up in the freezer, but those steelhead, they stick with you.”

Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, seen here in this June 16, 2021, file photo, announced Wednesday he will not seek relelection in the Alaska State Senate, where he has served since 2013. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Senate president says he won’t run again

“Honor and a privilege.”

Hoonah’s Alaska Youth Stewards helped make improvements to Moby and water the plants in summer 2021. (Courtesy Photo / Jillian Schuyler)
Resilient Peoples & Place: Moby the Mobile Greenhouse cultivates community

It presents opportunities to grow food knowledge and skills.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, May 26, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Supreme Court orders use of interim map for elections

The decision came just over a week before the June 1 filing deadline for the August primaries.

Most Read