Letters to the Editor

Letter: Disappointed in the university

Despite being thousands of miles away in my home country of Germany, I still care deeply about Alaska and the University of Alaska, where I spent 10 years as a student athlete — cross-country skiing, running and track — and a coach in the athletics department. I am very grateful for what I received and experienced while living in Alaska, but I am saddened about the developments at the University of Alaska in recent years. This ranges from deep budget cuts for academic and athletic programs to the recent Save America rally at the Alaska Airlines Center that included an appearance by former President Donald J. Trump.

In two letters to the University of Alaska Board of Regents, I already illustrated my concerns about the severe cuts of academic and athletic programs — while being aware of the University’s budget challenges — which have led, for example, to the dismissal of world-class faculty and negatively affected the social and economic well-being of the state.

The former president’s appearance at the Alaska Airlines Center at UAA brought my concerns about the university to a new level. Freedom of speech should not be used as an excuse for the University of Alaska to dismantle the tenets for which a university should universally stand: strengthening civil society and its values of rule of law, evidence-based truth and enlightenment. Events like the Save America rally promote tactics of disinformation, propaganda, and control which, considering the dark history of my own country, makes it increasingly difficult to be associated with UAA and to give back to an institution that hosts events that contradict its own values and mission.

— Mandy Kaempf

Seawolf Hall of Fame Inductee 2016

Frankfurt, Germany

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