UH Board of Regents Approves Elimination of UH Hilo Lower Division Tuition Rate
Other items approved include an international exchange program scholarship and the designation of nursing at community colleges as a high demand fieldUniversity of Hawaiʻi
The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) at its monthly meeting held today at Windward Community College approved the elimination of the lower division tuition rate at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, the establishment of an international exchange program scholarship, and designated nursing at the community colleges as a high demand field.
UH Hilo has had two different tuitions rates for its lower and upper undergraduate divisions, which began when UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College were merged to allow students enrolled in Hawaiʻi CC to enjoy the same tuition when they took courses from either campus. The differential tuition rate was retained at UH Hilo even after the campuses‘ separation in 1992, though it has increasingly become a problem for students, including the confusion the differing rates cause for prospective students and the financial aid and registration problems it contributes to for transferring students and unclassified students.
Public meetings were held to discuss elimination of the lower division tuition rate on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui and the Big Island, and there was minimal opposition. The elimination of the lower division tuition rate will also simplify UH Hilo‘s transition to the new systemwide student information system, BANNER, as UH Hilo was the only campus within the 10-campus UH system with two-tiered tuition rates.
The BOR also approved the establishment for one year of an International Exchange Program Scholarship for UH Mānoa that permits incoming exchange students who are not receiving a full tuition waiver to pay 150 percent of resident tuition. The establishment of the scholarship will serve as an attractive mechanism to increase the number of international exchange students attending UH Mānoa, and at the same time provide additional income to the university while raising its international profile. Current student exchange agreements limit the number of students participating, and partner universities believe the number of students eager to spend one or two semesters studying at UH Mānoa is increasing.
The BOR also designated nursing programs throughout the community colleges as a high demand discipline that, in accordance with BOR policy on high demand disciplines, will allow the community colleges to make salaries for nursing faculty more competitive with salaries offered by hospitals and clinics. The gap between salaries offered nurses in hospitals/clinics and nursing faculty continues to grow, contributing to the severe problems the community college nursing programs face when trying to recruit and retain qualified nursing faculty.
In other action, the BOR authorized the UH administration to enter into an easement agreement with Public Storage, Inc., involving real property at the UH Urban Garden Center in Pearl City, to maintain an unobstructed no-build area as part of the development by Public Storage of a commercial storage facility on its adjoining property. Public Storage, Inc., has agreed to pay the university $20,000 in exchange for the no-build easement, and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has confirmed that the granting of the no-build easement will not impact Urban Garden Center programs. Funds derived from the agreement will go towards irrigation infrastructure improvements and building repairs at the Urban Garden Center.
The BOR also approved amendments to BOR personnel policies that will permit the Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi (CRCH) to utilize appropriate medical faculty and medical researcher classifications, designations, and minimum qualification requirements. The amendments will permit physician faculty hired by CRCH, and who perform duties and responsibilities similar to those of clinical faculty physicians in the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), to be classified in the same appropriate faculty categories as those clinical faculty hired by JABSOM. Ultimately, these changes will allow CRCH to more easily participate in clinical research trials, which will help to attract well-qualified researchers and physicians to positions within CRCH. Hawaiʻi‘s unique population of various cultures, primarily Asians and Pacific Islanders, presents an excellent opportunity for cancer researchers to conduct clinical trials on cancers prevalent in these populations.