UH to place hold on new hires - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH to place hold on new hires

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii Manoa plans to place a hold on new hires.

Chancellor Tom Apple said 50 to 70 positions will go unfilled this year as the university looks to reduce spending by $10 million.

He said the move will help avoid further tuition hikes. But critics say it will hurt students.

"When you look at the data, it's clear that we have to do this. We probably should have done it earlier," said Apple.

"Having a budget cut and a hiring freeze are not going to be popular with deans and directors."

It's also unpopular with faculty.

Bob Cooney, an associate professor in the Office of Public Health Studies, said students in heavily impacted departments will be hurt most by the freeze as student-teacher ratios rise.

"The students are getting the short end of the deal," he said.

"I think it will continue to erode a less than stellar experience up to this point."

Apple said the cuts are necessary to avoid future tuition increases. UH tuition increased by about 7.5 percent this year.

"This is really … to make sure we remain affordable," he said.

According to Apple, the state reduced funding to the UH by about $75 million in recent years and money from the state tobacco settlement has dropped by about $5 million a year.

Another big problem: the UH Cancer Center. Apple said the center has been operating a $10 million a year deficit and that deficit could grow.

Critics worry that students are subsidizing the center.

"The money to support the Cancer Center is coming out of undergraduate tuition and yeah, (students) are paying for the mistakes others have made," said Cooney.

We reached out to Cancer Center officials and they had no comment.

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