UAF Chancellor Dan White revealed some savings measures he’s considering to cope with the cuts in Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget. Closing three of the older residence halls on campus and moving the Nanooks Hockey games back to the Patty Center are notable. The impact of cuts on the university is also felt in the community, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward wants people to know that.
The statewide university system generates about 1.1 billion dollars every year in economic activity. A McDowell Group study three year ago, found 7,000 jobs directly in the University system in the state, with another 15 thousand jobs indirectly connected to University activity.
In support of that economic impact, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward wrote a proclamation praising the University, and the Fairbanks campus in particular.
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“The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an integral part of the academic, economic and social health of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.”
The Fairbanks campus, with more graduate programs and most of the research programs in the state, has a greater impact on its local community than campuses in Anchorage or Juneau, with more spending, and more employees paying borough taxes.
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“UAF is itself an economic engine for the Borough and Alaska, in that every dollar invested in UAF research generates more than six dollars into our economy.”
Ward surprised the Borough Assembly at its meeting last week with the Proclamation signed by all three local mayors, City of Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly, City of North Pole mayor Michael Welch, and Bryce Ward too.
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“…do hereby proclaim every Friday as Blue and Gold Day, and encourage all residents to recognize the positive impact of UAF in our community by wearing Blue and Gold on Fridays.”
Ward says he and his staff will be wearing the university’s colors in the office and for public meetings.