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UH move to downtown was deemed too costly


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POSTED: Sunday, November 22, 2009

QUESTION: Whatever happened to plans to move the University of Hawaii system administration off-campus to downtown Honolulu?

ANSWER: In 2006, under the leadership of then-UH President David McClain, UH system administrators began looking for downtown office space.

The idea was to move the UH system administration off the Manoa campus and further delineate the separation between the UH-Manoa chancellor, who is responsible for the flagship campus, and the UH president, who is in charge of the entire 10-campus UH system.

The move would have also put the UH president closer to downtown businesses, donors and the Legislature, and would have freed up office space for UH-Manoa to use at Bachman Hall.

The UH-Manoa Faculty Senate passed a resolution supporting the move in 2006.

The resolution noted: “;The present location of the University of Hawaii System is an obstacle to the clear separation of function and of lines of authority that is needed for the effective administration of both the University of Hawaii System and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.”;

During the discussion on the resolution, it was noted that the University of California system has a separate office in Oakland for the UC president and administration.

However, the cost to lease downtown office space three years ago proved too expensive and administrators decided against the move, said Carolyn Tanaka, the UH system vice president of external affairs.

Current UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, a former UC administrator, took office in July and it is too early to say yet if she is interested in moving the system administration off the Manoa campus, Tanaka said.