UA President to meet with Alaska’s congressional leaders about UA federal priorities

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen will be in the nation’s capital this week meeting with Alaska’s Congressional Delegation and federal agency officials to discuss the university’s FY2021 federal funding priorities and provide an update on progress being made at UA.

“The University of Alaska is fortunate to have such a strong and supportive Congressional Delegation,” Johnsen said. “They understand the full nature of our mission, our educational impact in the state and the significant scientific contributions we’re making at the national level.”

Johnsen is scheduled to meet with U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, along with several federal agencies, and will address a number of topics including:

· The university’s FY2021 federal funding priorities and opportunities;
· The university’s budget, state legislative priorities and progress toward meeting its budget challenges; and,
· The university’s initiative to remedy its federal land grant deficit.

The university’s federal funding priorities include support for research in areas of national importance and UA expertise such as Arctic security, energy micro-grids, earthquake and tsunami preparedness and response, fisheries and oceans, remote sensing, fire science, human behavioral health, and long-term environmental change.

Regarding the land grant deficit, UA is Alaska’s land grant university, but it did not receive the land it was due under federal law. While Alaska is the largest state in the nation, only Delaware received a smaller federal land grant for its university. The university is due an additional 360,000 acres of land from its historic entitlements and is making good progress with the state and federal government to remedy the deficit, Johnsen said. “This is a 100-year problem that we are going to resolve,” he said. “While it won’t help our budget in the short-term, it will provide long-term benefits for our students and our state.”

“Our leaders in Washington, D.C play a key role in helping the university get the resources we need to build on our leading role in Arctic research, our important contribution to economic development, and our mission to provide wide access to educational opportunities for Alaskans,” Johnsen said.