Think About It: UH- Heal Thyself - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

March 2, 2015

Think About It: UH- Heal Thyself

The state senate deferred on a proposed bill last week that would have given voters an option to decide yet again whether or not the University of Hawaii should be a semi-autonomous entity, with a heavy emphasis on the word "semi". With fingers already too involved in UH's cake, it's a wonder things get done, or get done well, by the hired caretakers. UH runs in self-preservation mode, no rocking of boats, keep your jobs, and if legislators are unhappy with the spending or other aspects of how UH is run, then it should suggest replacing the non-performers or saviors should quit the Senate or House and opt to be a UH regent.

But any thought that our state legislative body, which is in session for a whopping 60-days a year, is in a solid position to make rational, well-thought out spending, management, and operational decisions for UH would be a large step backwards. It's tough enough to get a bounty of qualified people applying for a UH Board of Regents position now after the full disclosure law went into effect, well just wait and see how many people would be altruistically willing to volunteer their time and energy to help oversee UH if the legislature had a heavier hand and greater say in institutional matters.

The state constitution already allows the legislature "exclusive jurisdiction" on university issues deemed to be of major concern, but those are surely rare and subjective matters, and isn't that what we hire the top UH administrators to do in the first place- make the tough decisions? One can question whether legislators here can fairly give the appropriate amount of time to study and argue about hundreds of proposed bills and hundreds of budget measures and changes without adding more UH oversight to their part-time, filled plates. Yes, elected officials, please do hold UH management accountable, and regents, please make necessary personnel changes, but legislators, please stay out of any further manipulation of the state university as the voters emphatically decided by vote 15-years ago. Think about it…

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