University of Hawaii regents approved a tentative $1.3 billion dollar biennium budget to submit to the governor for consideration.
But there was much discussion by some members that the funding plan didn't include enough to support the hiring of indigenous faculty, or more professors at the new UH West Oahu campus.
"If you support the increase in Native Hawaiian faculty, as well as other minority faculty, there is no doubt you increase our graduation rate, our support for our community,” said UH regent Jeffrey Tangonan Acido.
"We had had to hire lecturers and pay a million dollars in fringe benefits because we have had no position lines for faculty and transition positions like custodians. So, I am a bit surprised that there isn’t additional support,” said UH West Oahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni.
He told the board, you only open a campus once.
UH West Oahu is in the throes of a cash flow problem, and is awaiting some $15 million in federal funding that is needed to pay off some of the construction costs of the new campus.
That loan is expected by the end of the month.
In the meantime, a bridge loan advanced by the regents last month has been used to pay off some $9 million in change orders to local venders.
The remaining bills are currently being scrutinized.
The campus is the only one in the UH system that has the authorization to sell or lease lands in order to make money to offset its operational costs.