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UH Board of Regents approves tuition schedule proposal

New six-year plan to go into effect in Fall 2006

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: May 20, 2005

HONOLULU — At its monthly meeting held yesterday at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kakaʻako, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) approved a tuition schedule proposal presented by the UH administration to begin Fall 2006 and run through Spring 2012. The tuition initiative takes UH Mānoa tuition to the projected national averages of like institutions by 2011-2012, and tuition for the other nine campuses to projected WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) averages by that time.

The original proposal presented to the BOR in January was presented to students and the public at 28 briefing sessions. Based on the testimony received, the proposal was revised to extend the tuition schedule from five years to six years, to eliminate a proposed information technology fee, to increase more sharply tuition paid by nonresidents, and to give campus chancellors the latitude to adjust the threshold for establishing need for those "gap-group" students on their campuses who do not qualify for need-based aid based on federal financial aid guidelines. One-fifth of the tuition increase will be earmarked for financial aid for needy and gap-group students.

"On behalf of the Board of Regents, I would like to complement all the individuals who testified at public meetings and at today‘s meeting for doing so with dignity, preparedness and respect," said UH BOR Chair Patricia Lee. "We have not seen substantial increases in funding from the state government, and in order to maintain quality in our institution, we needed to approve this tuition increase."

Based on a "stocktaking" assessment of the university‘s priority needs of some $125 million annually, about 10 percent of its annual budget, the university requested from the state a $35 million annual increase in its operating budget for the 2005-2007 fiscal biennium, and received about one-third of that amount in appropriations from the Legislature.

The unfunded amount increases the importance of the new tuition schedule in order for the university to address priorities in its strategic plan and mission, including Native Hawaiian initiatives, workforce and economic development needs, infrastructure requirements (including safety and security), and enrollment growth.

"I empathize with students and others who voiced their concerns regarding the tuition proposal and the impact it may have on various constituencies," said UH Interim President David McClain. "The administration is committed to communicating with both the Board of Regents and students as to exactly where tuition revenues will be applied at each campus, and is fully aware of its duty to ensure that the tuition increase does not unreasonably hinder access to higher education for Hawaiʻi‘s residents. To that end, we will augment our corps of financial aid counselors to insure that the increased funds being earmarked for financial aid go where they are most needed."

Revenues from the tuition increase will be applied to priority areas at each campus, including the retention and hiring of quality faculty and the addition of courses to ensure students are able to graduate more quickly. Safety and security issues are also high priorities for campuses throughout the system.

In addition, campus infrastructure concerns will also be addressed, including the repair and upgrade of classroom facilities and equipment. On the UH Mānoa campus, there is an estimated $100 million backlog in deferred maintenance and, based on current enrollment figures, a space deficit of at least 250,000 gross square feet, or approximately three buildings. At Kapiʻolani Community College, replacement of $1.2 million in computer equipment used by students is a priority, and additional revenues will also allow for more financial aid and recruitment and retention of quality faculty."This is probably one of the toughest decisions to make as a regent," said UH BOR Vice Chair Kitty Lagareta. "However, we have to think about what is best for the university in the long term and what we want this university to be. The money from this tuition increase will improve the quality of life and education for our students in the long run and that is what is important."

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