Lee Putnam

University of Hawai'i Board of Regents Chair Lee Putnam addresses the tuition freeze during the meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Windward Community College.

The Board of Regents approved the University of Hawai‘i administration’s proposal to freeze undergraduate and reduce graduate tuition rates during the May 16 meeting at Windward Community College.

Donald Straney, vice president for academic planning and policy, said that the proposal will address concerns regarding the cost of college for Hawai‘i residents. 

The proposal indicates a freeze to undergraduate tuition at current rates, and a reduction of resident graduate tuition at UH Mānoa by 2% in 2020-2021. After that, it will remain constant until 2023. Non-resident graduate tuition at UH Mānoa is proposed to reduce by 10% in 2020-2021 and remain constant for the next two years.

Regents Jeffrey Portnoy and Michael McEnerney voted against the proposal.

Portnoy expressed concerns that it is not fiscally responsible to make a three-year commitment to the freeze. He said that he would have supported a one-year tuition freeze.

The BOR approved the proposal 13-2 with the "subject to annual evaluation and adjustment to prevent significant negative economic or enrollment impact to the university."

Under the current tuition schedule, undergraduate tuition rates are expected to increase by 2% at UH Mānoa and for lower division courses at the community colleges, and 1% at other campuses such at UH Hilo and UH West O’ahu for the next academic school year.

Pick up Ka Leo's May 20 issue to read more on the proposal.