The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) deferred action today on the proposed tuition schedule. After a robust discussion involving all regents present, BOR Chair Lee Putnam requested that the administration take the feedback received into consideration and return to the BOR at a future meeting.
The administration presented information about tuition rates at other comparable institutions and its finding that tuition at UH’s four-year institutions have risen above many, especially for non-residents. The rates at the UH community colleges, while remaining among the lowest in the nation, have also increased in recent years. The administration had proposed decreases in the approved tuition rates for 2019–2020, to be followed by a three-year freeze in rates.
Comments and questions were expressed by regents were wide-ranging including economic uncertainties, declining college-age populations nationwide, aging facilities and other university needs, inflationary trends, and the amount of revenue the university might lose by adopting the proposed tuition schedule. In addition, there were comments and suggestions about specific elements of the proposal including the proposed decreases in resident tuition rates, decreases in non-resident tuition rates, and the length of the freeze proposed.
University leadership was asked to consider how to balance these concerns with the original objectives of ensuring affordability for local residents and increasing competitiveness for non-resident students.