Lawmaker says eliminating degrees would save UH money

Lawmaker says eliminating degrees would save UH money

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the past three years, 24 students graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelors degree in French. An average of 8 per year.

Twenty-two undergraduate programs averaged fewer than 10 graduates annually during that period.

"I think the administration should be looking at these particular programs," Rep. Isaac Choy said. To cut UH costs, he wants to cut UH programs that average low graduation rates. Choy's bill sets the cutoff at fewer than 10 graduates a year.

"When you look at stuff like outcome based funding, it's all based on graduation rates and how many graduates you have. So that graduation number is very, very important, not only for costs but other matrix," he said.

"Under this proposed bill, French, Classics, Russian and German would all be cut," professor Joy Logan said. She teaches Spanish in the Languages and Literature department. She said HB555 only counts program majors, not thousands of other students who take the classes for a certificate or as a core requirement."Most of our classes are filled to capacity," she said Since 2012,

UH has eliminated six associate, masters and bachelors programs that had low enrollment.

"This has been on UH's radar for quite some time now. It's our goal to operate as efficiently as possible. And one of those ways is to identify programs that are perhaps under-performing and moving those resources to other programs that there might be more interest in," UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said.

"There are many places where money can be saved, where your first point of impact is not students and not education and not what is the core mission of this university," French professor Kathryn Hoffman said.

"The students shouldn't worry because this is not a hurt-student type of bill," Choy said The bill applies to programs at UH Manoa, UH Hilo, and UH West Oahu. It will heard by the House Higher Education Committee on Wednesday.

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