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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, March 11, 2005

By design, campuses don't get equal bucks

 •  Clamor increases to spin off UH-Hilo

By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer

Equitable funding is one of the issues raised by UH-Hilo and its supporters on the Big Island who feel the campus should be receiving money based on its increasing enrollment.

However, the UH system doesn't allot money according to enrollment — nor does the state allot funds to the university based on enrollment.

Rather, the university allots state general funds much the way the California state system does — a certain amount for students at the more expensive research campus, a lesser amount at the comprehensive university and an even lesser amount at the community colleges.

In California, that allotment breaks down in per-student state funds to about $14,000 at a research campus, $8,000 at a comprehensive university and $4,500 at a community college.

At the University of Hawai'i, the breakdown for 2004-05 is: $12,800 per student at the Manoa research campus; $8,400 per student at the UH-Hilo comprehensive university campus; $6,700 per student at West O'ahu and about $5,700 per student at the community colleges.

This year's operating budget request also singles out Hilo for a 10- to 20-percent increase in operating funds, or $5.9 million above the $20 million UH-Hilo receives from state general funds.

Also, the UH capital improvements budget approved by the governor has singled out Hilo for the biggest single request — $20 million for a new Hawaiian language building.