The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents and administration praised the State of Hawaiʻi executive budget released Monday and thanked Governor Neil Abercrombie for his support of public higher education for students throughout the state.
Board of Regents Chairman John Holzman said, “The governor’s proposed budget demonstrates his strong commitment to public higher education in Hawaiʻi. If passed, it will allow the university to address the urgent need to substantially reduce a $487 million backlog of deferred maintenance.“
The executive budget supports the board’s request for $14 million to restore the salaries of UH faculty to pre-recession levels and $19.5 million for the modest negotiated 3 percent faculty pay raises in the current biennium. The requested funds will enable the university to free up student tuition to invest in improvements on all UH campuses.
Interim UH President David Lassner also praised Abercrombie and state Budget Director Kalbert Young for entering into this partnership with the university. “The executive budget represents a huge step toward financial sustainability for the university. If supported by the State Legislature, this will enable the restoration of classrooms, labs and infrastructure to provide 21st century educational facilities, programs and support that enrich students’ lives and communities across the state.”
The executive budget also supports the board’s capital improvement requests for construction of the College of Pharmacy building at UH Hilo and the renovation of Kuykendall Hall at UH Mānoa, as well as the boardʻs operating budget requests for investment in outcomes-based funding for community colleges, systemwide educational innovation, implementation of the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative (HI2), and support for systemwide Native Hawaiian initiatives.