July 10, 2019

As you have probably heard by now, not enough legislators were in Juneau today to successfully override the governor’s veto of the university budget. However, while the Legislature did not override the veto, the session recessed until tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., giving the option of holding another vote, as more legislators are expected to arrive in Juneau tomorrow. You can watch tomorrow’s session live on 360 North.

While the governor’s cuts have been referred to by some as “belt tightening” or a “haircut,” they are not. If not overridden, these cuts will result in significant change at the university. Alaskans deserve access to postsecondary education, and they deserve this opportunity here in Alaska. Many individuals, organizations and businesses throughout the state made this clear through their emails, letters, calls and public testimony. And, while the Legislature did not muster 45 votes for the override today, many stood with us. My thanks to the many legislators who supported the university’s budget.

The well-being of every student and every faculty and staff member is of the utmost importance to me. It is important that we stick together through this challenging time and continue to support one another. We all handle stress and uncertainty differently. Please be aware of how you, your colleagues and friends are doing. There is no shame in asking for support for yourself or others. I encourage students in need to reach out to the Student Health and Counseling Center. For staff and faculty, there is the Employee Assistance Program. I am also working with the Statewide Office of Human Resources to provide other opportunities to support well-being at UAF.

The Board of Regents will convene by video on Monday, July 15, from 1-3 p.m. to discuss their next steps, including the possibility of financial exigency. So that you have all of the information available, I encourage you to tune in.

I hope that you are able to take a moment and put the day’s events in perspective. I think it will do us all some good to focus on the future and take the long look forward.

Thank you to everyone for your advocacy efforts; they were nothing short of remarkable. I am proud of how the community came together in support of the university, and I believe the outpouring of support bodes well for us moving forward. We will continue to need your support in the days and weeks ahead.

— Dan White, chancellor
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