The 2011 Legislative Session is in full gear and I, our system administrators and chancellors have been spending a lot of time at the capitol meeting with legislators and testifying on a number of bills that impact the university. Of the six bills in the legislative package approved by the Board of Regents, five are still moving.
Of special concern to us are House and Senate bills that would reverse our financial flexibility by repealing the University of Hawaii’s special and revolving funds. Both bills have been deferred, but that does not mean that we’re in the clear yet. We will continue to stay vigilant and do all we can to preserve the university’s funding and flexibility.
Earlier this week, Gov. Abercrombie presented his draft state budget to legislators. It proposes giving UH only part of what we asked for. We would, of course, like to receive more, but the administration has worked with UH to identify the highest priorities considering the limited resources available, and we are grateful to be treated relatively well. I have met with Gov. Abercrombie and key members of his senior staff on numerous occasions, and I will continue to do so to make sure they know and understand what the university’s needs are.
University and campus news
- Big Island projects reach milestones
- UH APEC team appointed
- New Hawaiian language facility started
- $6 million energy grant received
- Alums join Korean cabinet
- Firms support West Oahu insurance program
- Community colleges extend outreach efforts
UH Manoa News
$6 million energy grant received
Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources was recently awarded $6 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to increase Hawaii’s energy security using locally produced renewable energy. The project will seek to develop high-yielding biofuel feedstocks that are economically viable and sustainable.
Establishing local biofuel production for transportation fuel can have a tremendous impact in improving the state’s environment, helping the economy and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Air, sea, and land transportation fuel alone accounts for 63 percent of the oil imported into the state.
As a first step toward this goal, the project will examine the use of tropical grasses such as banagrass, energy sorghum and energy cane for biofuel production and develop ways to assess the sustainability of renewable energy production in Hawaii.