UH president addresses joint session of legislature - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH president addresses joint session of legislature

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M.R.C. Greenwood M.R.C. Greenwood

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- For the first time in state history, a University of Hawaii president has addressed a joint session of the Legislature. M.R.C. Greenwood told lawmakers that the idea that public education benefits the entire state, not just the individual student, is more important now than ever.

Wearing the color that exudes power and confidence, University of Hawaii president M.R.C. Greenwood stepped up to the plate to deliver a historic address.

The head of the 10-campus system says UH, with its world-renowned research facilities, is vital to Hawaii's future and is part of the solution to our economic woes.

"With all we do for our students and our programs, we do much, much more," Greenwood said. "The University of Hawaii adds money, jobs and talented people to the state's economy."

Greenwood highlighted three objectives that, she says, will serve the state well into the future -- increasing the number of educated citizens in Hawaii, contributing to the workforce and the economy, and advancing the university's reputation for excellence.

"Hawaii has a unique integrated system of public higher education which is unlike any other state," she said. "This is an extraordinary asset and we have to tailor it for the 21st century."

She announced a new initiative to boost the number of college graduates by 25% by the year 2015.

"The Hawaii Graduation Initiative will focus on access, affordability and student success," Greenwood said. "Simply put, we want more local students to attend and graduate from the University of Hawaii."

Greenwood says one thing that's hindering the success is poor conditions at UH facilities. She says decades of inadequate investments have threatened the health and safety of students and staff, and that more state money will help the institution compete for outside funding and produce the research and opportunities one expects from a 21st century university.

"In conclusion, I hope our message has been clear," she said. "The University of Hawaii is an investment that yields superior returns in both financial and human capital."

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