KODIAK - The newly appointed director of Kodiak College has resigned due to budget cuts to Alaska’s public universities.
Jessica Paugh informed the college on July 31 that she would not fill the post because of the state funding reduction, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Wednesday.
Paugh was selected in May after a monthslong search and was scheduled to begin her appointment Aug. 12 at the college, which is an extension of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
"I have spent days agonizing over this decision and, in light of the unprecedented drastic budget constraints and pending changes to the university, I cannot uproot my life to come to Alaska with a very bleak future ahead," Paugh wrote in an email to the college.
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed line items equaling $444 million in reductions to Alaska's operating budget in June. Dunleavy vetoed $130 million in state funding for the university system on top of a $5 million reduction by the Legislature. The Legislature has approved a bill restoring $110 million in funding to the university.
The process of selecting a new Kodiak College director has not begun, said Keli Hite McGee, University of Alaska chief human resources officer. Officials were uncertain whether Paugh's resignation would result in the establishment of a new search committee.
Kodiak College has already cut back in areas from staff hiring to office supplies in preparation for the budget reduction, said interim director Betty Walters.
“We may have less money, but we will survive. We will have a full semester and hopefully we will straighten it all out,” Walters said.