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August 2019 Board of Regents Meeting

More than 200 University of Hawai‘i executives and managers will take pay cuts starting Nov. 1 in an effort to close the university’s looming budget gap.

Kalbert Young, vice president of Budget and Finance, announced at the Board of Regents meeting on Oct. 1 that top-level managers making up to $200,000 will receive a 9.23% pay reduction, with an 11% cut to those whose salaries are over $200,000.

UH President David Lassner, whose current salary is $395,004, directed the 216 managers to take the cuts and volunteered to reduce his salary by 20%. 

The salary reductions would save the university $2.2 million this fiscal year and $3.4 million next fiscal year, Young said. 

“As an advocate for management, I’m going to point out the statement from the testifiers that this should convey a serious level of importance that management views in terms of financial conditions for the university,” Young said at the meeting. 

“Whereas all unionized members will be increasing in salaries, EM (Executive-Management) at the University of Hawai‘i and I believe only at the University of Hawai‘i will be taking actual pay reductions to contribute to the financial and fiscal condition to get through this fiscal year,” he continued.

While UH executives and managers will receive pay reductions, Gov. David Ige is negotiating with public labor unions this week about furloughs. If approved, there would be furloughs two days a month starting this year, according to Young.

Regent Simeon Acoba asked Young how the furloughs would affect the university. 

“Whatever the amount of furloughs that result from salary savings would be restricted or it would reduce the amount of general funds that we get from the state,” Young said.

The pay reductions come about two weeks after the UH administration announced cuts to over two dozen programs. 

Some campus governments like the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Mānoa Faculty Senate met with the administration this past week about the concerns of the program cuts and merges. Other campus organizations are waiting to respond.

Senior Staff Writer

Cassie Ordonio double majors in Journalism and Pacific Islands Studies. The former Bay Area native is a transfer student from City College of San Francisco where she previously served as Editor in Chief at The Guardsman.