Update on UH fire for February 13
To the University ʻohana,
We want to clarify the status of fiscal activities and records housed in the portable building on University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa lower campus destroyed by fire on February 12 and correct some misinformation reported in the news media.
- Payroll processing of paper checks and associated documents: Payroll information and processing is all handled through enterprise servers housed elsewhere and are unaffected by the fire. Payroll will continue uninterrupted.
- Student loans: All student loan information is also stored electronically and resides with our loan collection service off-site. This information is undamaged and student loan processes will continue uninterrupted.
- Student loan paperwork: Original documents, such as promissory notes associated with original student loans, were stored on paper in a fireproof cabinet, along with other historical documentation. We will not know status or condition of the documents until fire officials bring materials, furniture and other items out of the structure so staff can sort through the materials and see what is damaged and what is not. But these potentially damaged documents will not affect the timely payments, collections, and other transactions associated with student loans.
- Other paper functions such as pre-audit processing of documents including internal travel reimbursements, vendor payments, etc., were carried out in this building, but previously processed transactions are already recorded in our financial system which is on the university’s core enterprise information systems secured and maintained elsewhere. However, transactions that were in-process at the time of the fire may need to be reconstructed or resubmitted by originating departments. This will take time but since the requests and corresponding documentation originated elsewhere in the system, copies may be retrieved or replacement documents obtained.
The bottom line is that the damage and loss of documents or information is not nearly as severe as has been reported. We are grateful for that and grateful that no one was injured in this fire and we have the fine work of the Honolulu Fire Department to thank for that. Their prompt response and continued, diligent work on the scene are in large part the reason we are facing a less-comprehensive loss of property and information than first thought. Captain Terry Seelig and his crew have been on site since Sunday morning making sure staff are not in danger, the fire is contained, and assisting with damage assessment. Our deepest thanks for their hard work and attention to safety.
We also offer our deepest apologies to those in the surrounding area who were inconvenienced or negatively impacted by the fire, smoke, heat and disruption.
We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.