By Wendy Osher
The University of Hawai‘i is proposing a tuition increase to help meet future financial needs at the 10-campus system.
Tuition increases being considered include a $132 per semester increase at UH Mānoa in the first year. Regents are also considering increases of $120 per semester at UH Hilo, and $60 per semester at the community colleges, including the UH Maui College campus. UH officials say UH West O‘ahu faces start-up costs that more established campuses do not, and will consider a $228 per semester increase in the first year.
The item was among the topics discussed at a meeting of the Board of Regents held at UHMC on Maui yesterday. UH President M.R.C. Greenwood briefed members on the university’s ongoing fiscal challenges, state budget constraints, the plans for the new tuition schedule, and the University’s anticipated requests of the 2012 legislative session.
The recommended dates for the tuition increase take effect is Fall 2012 through Spring 2017.
Greenwood said the University sustained more than $86 million in cuts to its core operating budget over the last two years.
“I am very proud of the way our faculty, staff and students have responded to the call to tighten our belts and watch every penny,” she told Regents. “But we must continue to meet our obligation of making an affordable, high-quality college degree within the reach of Hawai‘i’s people,” said Greenwood.
Greenwood called the increases “modest” saying, the proposed increases, “are prudent, within the reach of our students, and absolutely critical to our long-term survival.”
She said the top priority will be putting more money and resources into financial aid. The funds are also proposed to be used for to start addressing a maintenance backlog, upgrade business systems to better manage enrollment, and expand degree offerings.
“It’s an investment we absolutely have to make in our only public institution of higher learning in Hawai‘i,” said Greenwood.
The proposed tuition schedules will be presented to the community at a series of upcoming presentations at each campus. Dates and times are subject to change, and the exact location will be announced at a later date.
The Maui session is slated for 3 p.m., October 7, at UHMC. There will also be a session via HITS telecast at 11:30 a.m. on October 21, 2011.
For those who prefer to provide written comment, can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The review process is expected to take several weeks, with the final recommendation to be presented to the Board of Regents for action at a meeting in mid-Fall.
***REVISED: The University of Hawaii issued a revised statement today to correct a previous announcement on the proposed first year per-semester dollar figures. The story below has been update to reflect the revisions made by the University.***