James Johnsen’s letter to the University of Alaska system went out like a flare. “It is with grave concern for the future of our university and our state that I share with you devastating news of the budget Gov. Mike Dunleavy released this morning,” Johnsen, the president of the system, wrote in the June 28 note to members of the university. The governor planned to cut $130 million from the school’s budget. Combined with a previous $5 million cut, that made for 41 percent of the system’s budget gone in one year.
Johnsen implored the Alaskan legislature to override the veto. (The legislature, for its part, has struggled even to agree on a meeting location to vote on the override.) He wanted students, faculty, and staff