U. of Alaska Furloughs Its Own President

One hundred dollar notes are seen in this photo illustration at a bank in Seoul January 9, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

The University of Alaska announced this week that it will be furloughing 166 employees — including university President Jim Johnsen. The University has faced a budgetary crisis in recent years stemming from declining enrollment.

According to a report by Campus Reform, the University of Alaska announced this week that it furloughed 166 employees including high-level administrators. Although the recent furloughs have come in a response to the ongoing Chinese virus crisis, the University of Alaska has been experiencing budgetary issues for several years due to declining enrollment and cuts in state funding.

In a letter to the community, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced that he and other executive officers would be furloughed in response to financial burdens imposed on the university by the ongoing pandemic.

“The furloughs will affect 166 people including myself, the chancellors, executive officers and senior administrators across the system as well as faculty who hold significant administrative leadership roles including deans and directors. Designated officers of the university will incur ten (10) furlough days and designated senior administrators and non-represented faculty serving in leadership roles will incur eight (8) days,” the letter reads.

Breitbart News reported in 2019 that Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) moved to cut the University of Alaska’s funding by more than 40 percent. As a result, the university was forced to lay off professors and cut entire academic departments.

University of Alaska, Anchorage Professor Nolan Klouda told Time in 2019 that the Alaska economy often experiences dramatic shifts over short periods of time. “Alaska doesn’t have a very diverse economy. It’s like a three-legged stool. You have federal spending, oil and then everything else like tourism, mining, and fishing,” Klouda said. “It’s easy for one of those to shock the economy.”

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