FAIRBANKS - The future of a University of Alaska computer center may depend on whether Congress approves a Defense Department appropriations bill in the next three weeks.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Senate version of the funding bill tells the Defense Department it cannot spend any money to close six high-performance computing centers around the nation, including the one on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.
Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska steered the language into the fiscal 2011 Defense appropriations bill in September.
A Begich spokeswoman said the move was made after university officials learned the federal contract with the computer center could be in jeopardy.
The Defense Department contract accounts for about 95 percent of the $12 million annual budget for the Alaska center.