Manoa Chancellor and student leaders agree: legislative session outcomes "great for students"

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
UH Manoa Chancellor's Office
Posted: May 23, 2006

The Hawaiʻi State Legislature earlier this month approved new funding for UH Manoa programs, including $6.2 million dollars in new general fund support — marking the first time in several years that the Manoa budget has seen significant budget increases.

"Many programs for student services and added faculty positions to meet heavier enrollment demands are included in the budget approved by the legislature," said Manoa Chancellor Denise Konan. "This was a great year for students at the Capitol, and we look forward to moving ahead on much needed program enhancements to improve the student experience.

"I think we need to give a lot of credit to ASUH for getting the attention of legislators and staying focused on the items they identified as priorities," Konan added. "Their presence was very evident at hearings held both at the Capitol and here on the Manoa campus."

UH Manoa student government president Grant Teichman said, "This year‘s success at the legislature is thanks to strong leadership from the Chancellor and her office and the students who took the time to provide first hand feedback to lawmakers. By making a strong effort to work together," he added, "Chancellor Konan and students alike have brought success and resources to a campus that is in certain need of renovation and rejuvenation."

Funding is for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2006. Among the items that will directly benefit students is funding for six additional positions in the financial aid office and for eight additional advising positions in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences in which the majority of UH Manoa students are enrolled. Arts & Sciences programs also saw restoration of faculty positions that had previously been cut.

In addition to lobbying for more financial aid and advising positions, students asked the legislature to support ʻround-the-clock hours for Hamilton Library with funds to cover additional staff, security and other expenses. The request was only partially funded, but library administrators are determined to find ways to implement an expanded-hour schedule to begin in the fall semester.

The KOKUA Program, which facilitates equal access to the Manoa experience for students with disabilities, has had two additional staff positions funded.

"It was clear that in this Year of the Student, the priority items of concern from our undergraduates and graduate students were added resources for Manoa‘s academic programs and support services," Chancellor Konan said. "We are grateful to the legislature for the way in which they responded, and can assure them that their investments in higher education are valuable contributions to Hawaiʻi‘s future."

Lawmakers also supported enhanced safety and security for the campus by adding funds to hire 8 additional security personnel — increasing staffing by more than 25 percent.

The School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene received approval and support for 13 additional faculty and four staff positions to help meet strong demand in their areas at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Additional positions were also approved for the School of Social Work, the Kamakakuʻokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, the Academy for Creative Media and the College of Engineering.

The construction budget approved for the coming year includes allocations for design work for major renovations at Campus Center, Gartley Hall in the "old quad" area of the campus, and at the Richardson School of Law. Also approved was funding for design of a major new general classroom building for the Manoa Campus, as well as funding for repairs and upgrades to air conditioning systems in several buildings.