Proposed UH budget that eliminates key executive positions seen as ‘punitive’

UH is accusing some lawmakers of pushing “punitive” legislation that forces them to fire some executives in the aftermath of the hiring of a new football coach.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 9:20 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 21, 2022 at 2:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - UH is accusing some lawmakers of pushing “punitive” legislation that forces them to fire executives in the aftermath of the hiring of a new football coach.

The state Senate is proposing a whopping $275 million increase in the UH system budget — with strings attached.

The proposal calls for the elimination of dozens of positions, three of which are currently filled.

Those positions include Communications Director Dan Meisenzahl, who publicly criticized former UH football Coach June Jones for aggressively seeking to be rehired.

“There’s three employees right now that probably should be concerned and worried,” said UH Budget Director Kalbert Young.

“And, you know, in years past, there have been a list of other employees that have had similar treatment. So, I think it would be wrong to see that it doesn’t affect morale.”

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said there are concerns that UH is not operating “in the best interests of students. “The university seems to be more heavily dictated by the faculty and what’s convenient for them instead of what is for the students,” she said.

Kim, who chairs the Senate Committee on Higher Education, said it’s still up to the Finance and Ways and Means Committees to agree to the bill.

UH said the senate also added millions of dollars for studies and other programs that the school did not ask for.

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