Downturn affects UH fund
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks apparently have struck the University of Hawai'i athletic department's bank account.
The value of the Honolulu Stadium Endowment Fund has dropped significantly because of an unstable stock market, and UH officials have been told their coming dividend will be $600,000 less than what they received last year.
"We're expected to take quite a hit," UH associate athletic director Jim Donovan said.
Last year, the UH athletic department received a dividend of $925,000 from the endowment fund. In setting this year's $16 million operating budget, athletic department officials were told to expect a decrease in the amount because of the slumping economy.
In what Donovan termed a "conservative projection," the athletic department estimated the dividend to be $750,000 this year.
The athletic department recently was told the dividend would be $300,000. A final report will be submitted Monday, UH business manager Michael Nagafuchi said, and UH will receive its dividend check in mid-November.
But in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, UH officials do not expect their share to grow, and widespread cutbacks have been ordered in the athletic department. The dividend helps pay for scholarships for student-athletes, Donovan said.
In a memo circulated to coaches this week, each UH sports program was asked to reduce spending on recruiting, travel and supplies. Donovan or athletic director Hugh Yoshida now must approve all trips.
The endowment was created from the sale of the Honolulu Stadium property in Mo'ili'ili. Honolulu Stadium was closed in 1975 following the completion of Aloha Stadium.
Dividends are based on projections for the fiscal year that ends June 30, although the money is distributed during the fiscal year.
Several university departments benefit from the endowment fund. The athletic department's dividend last year amounted to 6 percent of its overall revenue.