Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The University Alaska showed improvement in enrollment, student retention, research funding and other areas this year, and the economy may be part of the reason. Some of the statistics outlined in annual performance assessments at UA’s three main campuses reflect economic factors. University of Alaska Fairbanks Provost and Executive Vice Chair for Academic Affairs Susan Henrichs says recessions tend to generate students.
Henrichs says increased federal grant and loan availability further helped bolster university enrollment in a state where there’s minimal needs based financial aid. She says the tough economy is also likely playing into decreasing the number of UA students transferring to outside institutions.
The economy has also affected research funding, as federal stimulus dollars trickle down to the university, especially at research focused UAF. Henrichs says research funding at UAF went from $110 million in 2009 to $118 million this year.
Henrichs says that money benefits the local economies, because research dollars ultimately get spent on people, goods and services.
Download Audio (MP3)