Updated at 12:04 p.m., Tuesday, February 6, 2007
State auditor criticizes UH's management of dorms
Advertiser StaffState auditor Marion Higa has released a management audit of Student Housing Services at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa that criticizes the conditions of student housing facilities, safety and security, and plans for new housing on campus.
The auditor found that the conditions of the dormitories and on-campus housing are "not conducive to student academic achievement." The university spends "far less than the recommended amounts" on repairs to the dorms, which has contributed to an estimated $45 million backlog in maintenance projects, according to the auditor's report.
Student housing does not generate sufficient revenues from rental income, partly due to low occupancy rates, the report said.
"We also found that the university's desire to expand student housing by about 2,000 beds was not based on demonstrated need," the report said.
The auditor criticized the bid process for the construction of the 814-bed Frear Hall replacement.
The report also recommends that work be done to improve safety and security in student housing.
In a written statement, Manoa Interim Chancellor Denise Konan said: "Since my appointment as UH-Manoa Chancellor in August of 2005, we have made it a top priority to improve our campus, including overcoming the past decade of neglect in addressing our student housing needs. In many cases, our work duplicates the recommendation of the Auditor's report; in a few instances we disagree."
Konan said that more student housing is needed and that the university is working to improve both dorm conditions and campus safety.