When Carla Beam prepared a report on the so-called “fiscal cliff” for the University of Alaska Board of Regents in December, she found unexpected inspiration in a Looney Tunes clip. Wile E. Coyote’s legs would keep churning in the old cartoons, whether he was running off a ledge or still had the ground beneath him.
Today it looks like a good metaphor for UA, which will need to work harder to claim its share from a shrinking pool of federal dollars.
Beam, the vice president of university relations, said sequestration hasn’t brought a cliff as much as a “changed environment” for federal agencies. The funding pie still remains, but amid an ongoing stalemate in Congress about spending, it’ll almost certainly be smaller than it used to be.