UH requests
$710M for budget

That is 12% over the last two
fiscal years, but much of that
is attributed to pay raises

The University of Hawaii administration is asking for about $710 million in state funding over the next two fiscal years, with $68 million going toward faculty and staff pay raises and a general scholarship fund.

Proposal would
increase budget

A look at past and proposed state general fund appropriations for the University of Hawaii system:

Fiscal year Appropriation
2002 $303.6 million
2003 $312.5 million
2004 $310.6 million
2005 $312.3 million
2006* $361.5 million
2007* $348.0 million

* Proposed

Source: University of Hawaii

The request represents a roughly 12 percent increase over the previous two fiscal years but is only about 2.6 percent higher when $48 million in pay raises and a one-time $20 million payment for the scholarship fund are factored out.

At a budget briefing yesterday for UH regents, the administration did not discuss specifics on expected tuition and fee increases beginning in fall 2006.

The proposed tuition increases will be unveiled at a meeting in October or November, acting UH President David McClain said. He said the increases will vary from campus to campus. Final approval of the tuition increase is scheduled for the spring or summer of next year, after a series of public hearings and after the Legislature adjourns.

At a meeting next week, the regents are scheduled to discuss and approve state budget requests that need to be sent to the governor and the Legislature. In addition to the general fund budget request, the administration has also put together a wish list of about $300 million in proposed capital improvement projects to be funded by state bonds.

The highest priority for construction money is about $23 million in health and safety improvements, including $3 million to repair Lyon Arboretum, which was closed indefinitely last week due to unsafe buildings and paths.

The university would also like to tackle an estimated $160 million in deferred maintenance on all 10 UH campuses. Regents are requesting $50 million a year for the next two years and the ability to float their own bonds to renovate dorms and other buildings.

The approval of the budget request by the regents is the first step in a long process to determine how much state tax money will go to the university.

The governor's office might make changes to the budget before submitting it to the Legislature. Lawmakers will also make changes, and even after the money is approved, the governor can withhold funding for specific programs or projects.

McClain said the university has been talking with Budget Director Georgina Kawamura and her staff, and said the governor's office is committed to funding higher education.

McClain said the governor's office has also indicated it will support the $20 million to set up a UH scholarship fund, a step toward reducing the number of tuition waivers that the university grants.

The university waives about $35 million a year in tuition for needy students, he said. Tuition waivers will not be completely eliminated, but McClain said consultants recommended that the university establish a general scholarship fund to pay for tuition so that the university can take advantage of Pell Grants and other federal aid available to needy students.

The fund would be replenished by recycling federal and state money back to the scholarship fund. In addition, part of the tuition increase would go into the scholarship fund so that needy students could still afford to go to UH, McClain said.

In putting together the budget, McClain said the administration relied on the strategic plan and set four priorities: serving native Hawaiians, meeting enrollment demands, expanding work force and economic development to benefit the state's economy, and addressing repair and maintenance needs.

University of Hawaii


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com