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Hawaii state capitol

Kalbert Young

Kalbert Young, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, shares his analysis of the UH budget request to the legislature.

In mid-November 2017, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) approved a supplemental budget request that was submitted to the governor and the legislature. The governor has considered the university’s request and has included portions as part of the executive branch’s budget proposal to the legislature. The executive budget proposal was transmitted to the legislature on December 18.

The UH BOR budget request seeks $16,821,507 in additional general funds for FY2019 for various programs. The governor’s executive branch proposal included $6.7 million of UH’s original request. For reference, UH currently receives about $475.7 million in state general funds as part of its over $1.2 billion operating budget.

The following table shows the operating budget request approved by the BOR and the amounts included in the governor’s budget:

Campus Description UH BOR Governor
CCs Hawaiʻi’s Promise Program $700,000 $700,000
CCs Architecture/Engineering for Facilities $273,600
UHWO Health and Safety/Utilities/Equipment $781,000 $300,000
Mānoa Facilities Maintenance $4,038,848 $1,500,000
CCs Additional Positions for Security $1,083,264
Hilo DKICP-Janitorial and Groundskeeping $120,495 $120,495
System Office of Strategic Planning and Development $500,000
Mānoa Student Success Initiative-Veterans, Filipinos, Mental Health $575,000 $400,000
CCs Apprentice Lecturer Costs $260,000 $260,000
CCs Filipino Student Support $614,920 $350,000
CCs Veterans Support $473,108 $473,108
Mānoa Native Hawaiian Affairs Action Plan $700,000 $500,000
CCs Native Hawaiian Student Support $1,729,908 $500,000
Hilo Native Hawaiian Development $260,000 $200,000
Hilo Student Workforce $200,000
Mānoa Student Research and Innovation $535,000 $175,000
Mānoa Graduate Student Initiative-Phase I $2,850,000 $621,397
UHWO Academic Affairs Restructure and Growth $680,000 $400,000
UHWO Student Affairs $446,364 $200,000
Total $16,821,507 $6,700,000


The UH capital budget request was for $269.7 million for FY2019 to address capital renewal, progress on deferred maintenance and funding for projects to modernize each of the campuses within the UH System. The governor included $120 million of this amount in his budget request. The following table lists the projects from the Board-approved budget and the amounts that were included in the governor’s request:

Project Title UH BOR Governor
Mānoa-Renew, Improve, Modernize (RIM) projects $139,500,000
Mānoa-Sinclair Library Renovation $41,000,000 $20,000,000
Mānoa-Keller Hall Renovations, design phase $1,500,000
Hilo-Renew, Improve, Modernize projects $27,900,000
Hilo-Puakō Marine Educational Center, design phase $1,000,000
West Oʻahu-Renew, Improve, Modernize projects $3,000,000
West Oʻahu-Relocation of Dental Hygiene Program from UH Manoa to UH West Oahu $10,000,000
CC-Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance $25,000,000 $12,000,000
CC-Minor Capital Improvement Projects $10,000,000 $10,000,000
Hawaiʻi CC-Campus Development, design phase $2,000,000 $2,000,000
Leeward CC-Repave Fascia and Replace Walkways Campuswide $8,800,000
UH-Renew, Improve, Modernize (RIM) Projects $76,000,000
Total $269,700,000 $120,000,000


I would like to take this opportunity to highlight two items from the operating budget: $700,000 for the Hawaiʻi Promise Program and $500,000 for the Office of Strategic Planning and Development.

Last year, the legislature appropriated $1,829,000 to the community colleges to create a new scholarship program for students with financial need called Hawaiʻi Promise. The scholarship helps students cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation, and is a “last dollar” scholarship, which means that other sources of financial aid such as Pell grants and other scholarships are applied before Hawaiʻi Promise funds are committed.

The original amount requested last year was $2,500,000. However, only $1,829,000 was provided. The $700,000 requested this year would bring the total up to the original amount. For the fall 2017 semester, about 1,000 students from all seven community college campuses were awarded scholarships averaging $1,146 per student.

The request for $500,000 would establish an Office of Strategic Planning and Development which would provide the university with a dedicated office to evaluate, oversee and manage public-private partnership opportunities. Public-private partnerships (P3s) could capitalize on the strengths and assets within both the public and private sectors to help deliver projects or services more efficiently and effectively for our university community. Examples of projects that have been successfully done as P3s at other universities include facilities redevelopment and campus expansions, student housing developments, physical plant infrastructure and facility maintenance.

The legislature convenes on January 17, 2018. There will be a number of committee briefings for UH before then. As of today, UH will be presenting before the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Committee on Higher Education on December 27 and 29. The university will also be participating in a pair of “budget briefings” for the fiscal committees. UH is currently scheduled to present its budget request to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means in the afternoon of January 9, 2018 and tentatively scheduled to the House Committee on Finance in the morning of January 16, 2018

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