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University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner announced the creation of a “blue ribbon” committee made up of campus and community stakeholders to provide strategic vision and advice for the future of UH Mānoa athletics (the committee members are listed below).

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on universities across the country, especially on college athletics. The UH Mānoa athletics department has an estimated $9.3 million deficit for fiscal year 2021 because COVID-19 has led to the postponement of fall sports including football and womenʻs volleyball, two of the top revenue producing teams.

UH Mānoa alone cannot support the program as-is and must take action to bring revenues and expenses into alignment,” said Lassner when he announced the formation of the committee during the meeting of the UH Board of Regents (BOR) Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics on September 3. “The advisory committee is being asked to assess the current UH Mānoa athletics program and identify an achievable and sustainable future. We need to find ways that address current and foreseen challenges and opportunities so the program can continue to benefit the community and UH.”

The committee will consist of 14 members that will represent various stakeholders including athletics and campus leadership, coaches and athletics staff, community members and the UH Foundation. It was asked to convene as soon as possible to complete its work by the end of 2020 and report its findings to the BOR.

The pandemic is impacting multiple revenue streams for athletics including ticket and concession sales, NCAA and conference distributions and licensing and merchandising. The athletics department has already taken cost-saving measures including implementing the university systemwide hiring freeze, consolidating the Wahine Volleyball and Beach Volleyball programs, eliminating several casual hire positions and suspending travel for recruitment.

Blue Ribbon Committee Members

  • Laura BeemanUH Women’s Basketball Head Coach
  • Michael BrunoUH Mānoa Provost
  • Leslie Campaniano—Director of External Affairs, Hartung Brothers Hawaii/AKA
  • Tim DolanUH Vice President of Advancement
  • Susan Eichor—Chief Operating Officer aio
  • Art Gladstone—Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Hawaii Pacific Health
  • Warren Haruki—President and CEO, Grove Farm Co.
  • Denis Isono—Former ʻAhahui Koa Ānuenue Chair
  • David MatlinUH Mānoa Director of Athletics
  • Randy Perreira—HGEA Executive Director
  • Scott SinnettUH Mānoa Athletics Faculty Advisor Representative
  • Kent UntermannUH Mānoa graduate and former football player
  • Kent Youel—UH Foundation Board of Trustees/Retired Coast Guard
  • Kalbert YoungUH Vice President Budget and Finance/CFO
  • Christian Fern—Executive Director UHPA
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