To the editor: I am mad about the governor’s massive line-item veto of UA. I understand trimming a budget and waste, but this is excessive. The issue should not only be important to our beloved local UAF campus and the statewide system but also to every private-sector business in this state. You cannot ignore the trickle-down economics to private enterprise statewide, and you can’t ignore the job training that takes place through the university system of people willing to stay and work in Alaska. Are we willing to destroy a reasonably priced institution that educates those who want to stay in this state? Do we want to say Alaska has nothing to offer our high school graduates or those wishing to attend a university? Are we that short-sighted and greedy?
I understand we can’t be all things to all people, but there are reasonable measures that could be taken, and the Legislature has been trying to take them. I am against increasing government handouts, and yet that is exactly the seed being sown by promising “full dividends” and excessive cuts to fulfill that promise. Conceivably, dependence on other government handouts and social programs will increase because jobs will be gone. Again, we cannot forget trickle-down economics and the recession of the 1980s.
I ask the public to really think about their friends, neighbors, children and the general future of this state and contact their legislators to override the line-item veto for UA. My family and I value the educations we all received at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We value the employees we have hired who got their degrees from the university. This massive cut will devastate the university offerings and create a self-fulfilling prophecy of less attendance and a downward spiral. It will stop attracting research revenue when students don’t enroll because they can’t count on four years of uninterrupted education, much less get a master’s or a doctorate needed for the research dollars.
I’m mad! I’m UA Strong, and I vote!