Readers of these pages will be familiar with the recent controversy surrounding University of Alaska-Anchorage Athletic Director Dr. Steve Cobb. If not, a quick grounding is available from the Anchorage Daily News (see “State hockey association approves vote of no confidence in UAA athletic director,” Apr. 20, 2013, and “Former players issue vote of no-confidence in UAA athletic director,” Apr. 23, 2013).
I have written during the week on this page (and my shorter takes blog) about the significance of the controversy from the perspective of Alaska fiscal policy. This issue has arisen at a time when the central question facing Alaska state government increasingly is “where can we cut the state budget.”
The University system is a significant consumer of state spending and this situation raises the question of whether the University is doing all that it can to limit its call on state funds. As I wrote in an earlier piece, athletics is often a front door through which potentially significant private donors enter a university. Continue reading