Bley-Vroman says Advertiser is wrong on campus budget shortfall

The new Mānoa Chancellor disputes the Star-Advertiser's claim today that campus officials are projecting a $31 million budget deficit for next year.

Will Caron

On Tuesday, October 7, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa administration held a “Campus-wide Conversation” at Kuykendall Auditorium that focused on an informational briefing on the University budget, past, present and future. The meeting drew a packed house of students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the community. Vice Chancellor for Administration, Finance and Operations Kathy Cutshaw and newly appointed interim Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman fielded questions, took suggestions and listened as some voiced continuing concerns over the future of the system’s flagship campus.

The Chancellor sent out an email thanking all the participants for showing up or streaming the conversation live. In his email, the Chancellor also says that the front-page article in today’s Star-Advertiser “UH-Manoa to be $31M in the red,” is factually incorrect in its headline and second paragraph, which states, “Manoa officials are projecting a $31 million deficit for the fiscal year that ends June 30, despite efforts to curb spending.” 

“As we clearly pointed out in the presentation on Tuesday, we do not expect a negative bottom line in fiscal year 2015 and, in fact, are working very hard to deal with a shifting funding landscape in which public funding and other revenue sources are falling faster than tuition dollars,” said Bley-Vroman.

Click to view the budget PowerPoint.

Both Bley-Vroman and Cutshaw will visit the Mānoa Faculty Senate during its next meeting on Wednesday, October 15, according to the agenda, presumably to continue conversations about the budget situation and hiring freeze.