Weekly Market Update

ALASKA'S UNIVERSITY SYSTEM FACES HEAVY BUDGET CUTS

Thursday, July 11, 2019

In response to declining oil revenue, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy used his veto power to slash more than $440 million from the state's budget. The cuts are wide-ranging, but the University of Alaska system will take the biggest hit, with more than 40% of its state funding—$130 million—gone. Critics say the cuts will hurt Alaska's economy, which has already suffered three years of employment declines. The University of Alaska system will have to lay off up to 1,300 faculty and staff, cut programs, and close campuses as a result of the cuts, officials have said. In addition, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is warning state legislators that a 41% cut to the university system's budget could threaten its accreditation status.

In Other News

  • The University of Texas System will cover some or all tuition for more than 14,000 UT-Austin undergraduate students from middle- and low-income families, starting in fall 2020.
  • Arizona State University is working with local community colleges on using blockchain technology for academic records. One initial use case is verification that a student transferring from a community college has earned enough credits to be awarded an associate degree.
  • In response to increased pressure from students and ahead of state legislation that would raise the minimum wage, James Madison University and Washington University in St. Louis, among others, are raising the minimum wage paid to their campus workers.
  • The US Department of Education has opened investigations into foreign funding at Georgetown University and Texas A&M University as part of a broader push to monitor international money flowing to American colleges. However, colleges are now calling for more clarity on what the law requires.