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Hawaii state capitol

Kalbert Young, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, shares his analysis of the UH budget as it goes through the 2022 Hawaiʻi State Legislative session.

Kalbert Young

The 2022 legislative regular session ended on May 5 with the legislature passing 343 bills, with approximately 95 of them having some impact, interest, effect and/or concern to the University of Hawaiʻi. The most significant bill, as usual, was the supplemental budget for the State of Hawaiʻi.

Barring any unlikely (line-item) veto of budget items by the governor, here is a breakdown of the funding for the UH 10 campuses and system for the upcoming fiscal year compared to the Board of Regents budget request from the start of the session.

Description BOR FY23 Gov FY23 CD1 FY23
General Fund Restoration – UH Mānoa $30,000,000 $30,000,000 $30,000,000
General Fund Restoration – JABSOM $1,200,000 $1,200,000 $1,200,000
General Fund Restoration – UH Hilo $2,280,000 $2,280,000 $2,280,000
General Fund Restoration – UH West Oʻahu $1,080,000 $1,080,000 $1,080,000
General Fund Restoration – UH Community Colleges $4,600,000 $4,600,000 $4,600,000
General Fund Restoration – UH System Support $3,391,232 $3,391,232 $3,391,232
Athletics – UH Mānoa $3,600,000 $3,600,000 $7,200,000
Athletics – UH Hilo $400,000 $400,000 $800,000
PISCES – UH Hilo $550,000 $550,000 $550,000
Creative Media – UH West Oʻahu $282,000 $282,000  
Nursing Clinical Instructors – UH Mānoa   $381,767 $381,767
Nursing Clinical Instructors – UH Hilo   $532,150 $532,150
Nursing Clinical Instructors – UH Community Colleges   $842,572 $842,572
Residency Program Expansion – JABSOM   $2,040,000 $1,670,000
Teacher Workforce Education – UH Mānoa   $557,097 $557,097
IT and Cybersecurity Workforce – UH System Support   $1,575,000 $1,575,000
Creative Media – UH Mānoa   $380,000 $580,000
Aviation Program – UH Hilo   $190,000 $190,000
3 Positions and Funds for HIMBUH Mānoa     $85,500
3 Positions and Funds – UH Community Colleges     $836,000
8 Positions and Funds – UH Community Colleges     $389,840
11 Positions and Funds – UH Community Colleges     $1,633,909
1 Procurement Director – UH System Support     $125,000
Repairs, Maintenance, and Equipment – UH System Support   $21,700,000  
Immersion School Teaching Pathway – UH Hilo     $2,889,496
Total $47,383,232 $75,581,818 $63,389,563


Although this final amount was considerably lower than the amount in either the House or Senate versions of the budget, the amounts and budget items provided are at least equal to what was originally requested by the Board of Regents, and are sufficient to meet the existing operations of the university.

Our top priority was for the Legislature to restore state general fund support to the university that it reduced last session. The university’s request was simply to regain public funding to pre-pandemic levels as two years ago (FY2021). Additionally, the Legislature provided $8 million for UH Athletics. Although additional positions and funds to support creative media at UH West Oʻahu were not included, every other request by the board and the governor was included, including appropriations to fund initiatives to address critical shortages in the state’s workforce for nursing, medical residency, teaching, aviation, information technology and cybersecurity.

The Legislature included a few add-ons, primarily for the UH Community Colleges and for the Immersion School Teaching Pathway at UH Hilo’s ʻImiloa Astronomy Center.

Other initiatives such as cash funding for capital improvements or expansion of the Hawaiʻi Promise Program were not included in this final version of the budget.

Also included in the supplemental budget was funding for the UH System to address capital improvement projects and deferred maintenance. The supplemental budget appropriated a total of $57.8 million in general obligation bonds for the following projects:

Description BOR FY23 Gov FY23 CD1 FY23
Hamilton Library $6,000,000    
Central Admin Facility w/ Parking $4,000,000    
Leeward CC Fascias $6,500,000 $6,500,000 $6,500,000
Waikīkī Aquarium Discharge System Upgrade $11,500,000 $11,500,000 $11,500,000
RIMUH Systemwide $33,500,000 $32,000,000 $2,360,000
RIMUH West Oʻahu $2,500,000 $2,500,000  
Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance – UH Community Colleges $25,000,000 $24,000,000 $25,000,000
UH West Oʻahu Campus Expansion and University Village   $10,000,000  
UH Maui College – Vocational Technology Center     $4,000,000
Makai Research Pier     $750,000
Waiakea Research Station     $6,900,000
UH Mānoa Athletics – New Facilites at Lower Campus     $750,000
Total $89,000,000 $86,500,000 $57,760,000


The University of Hawaiʻi is grateful and appreciative to the governor and the Legislature for the budget funding that will support the current level of operations and capital across the UH System. Sustained funding will always be a major issue for UH programs and facilities, but I believe this budget represents a big help in a number of areas.

Of last note, state support to increase the seating capacity at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex was NOT included in the budget. Without this support, the university will have to look at other alternatives to increase capacity to meet NCAA requirements for a Division I football program.

The governor has until July 12, 2022, to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature.

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