University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu
1. Why are plans moving forward to build the new University of Hawai‘i -- West O'ahu (UHWO) campus during these challenging economic times?
- Demand for a four-year, accessible baccalaureate education in West O'ahu continues to climb, as evidenced by the nearly 40% increase in enrollments at UHWO over the past two years.
- Building the campus now is exactly what our economy and University System need, by creating hundreds of new jobs and expanding our educational reach. Locking in construction contracts now, while prices are low, is smart and prudent.
- Covenants of the Campbell Estate agreement, that provides lands to the University of Hawai‘i to build the new university, require that construction on the campus be underway by Dec. 31, 2011, or 200 acres revert back to Campbell ownership.
- Work has already begun on infrastructure supporting the new campus, from water to electrical to sewer system. The main water system that will service the new campus, the last of the required off-site infrastructure, will be completed in November 2010. With design drawings done and construction documents almost complete, this project is shovel-ready.
- Construction of the new UHWO campus will create one of the most sustainable schools in the nation. This campus will make best use of the new rail system that will provide students and faculty access to other parts of O‘ahu without adding traffic to our highways. Rail stations in East Kapolei will serve as major hubs and will be located within a 5-minute walk of the new campus.
- The UHWO campus in Kapolei is a cornerstone for other projects being developed in the area, in a manner that benefits the campus and all of West O‘ahu. These projects include:
- The $130 million Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center, which recently broke ground, is situated very close to the new campus;
- The new North/South Road, set for completion in January 2010 though already in partial operation, was designed partly to serve as the main entry to UHWO while reducing overall traffic on the ‘Ewa Plain; and
- The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ hundreds of new homes and communities were designed in part to provide access to the new UHWO campus.
- The savings, if any, would barely be noticeable to the overall UH System budget. UHWO’s total operating budget is $10 million, compared to the $925 million (FY10-11) UH budget. Six and a half million dollars of the budget are General Funds.
- Closing UHWO to save $6.5 million is shortsighted. The UH System has an opportunity to fill a void in higher education for central and West O'ahu, for generations to come.
- In the future, it is projected that UHWO will fund its growth in faculty and staff using revenue generated primarily from tuition and fees. As of today, 69% of UHWO’s budget depends on General Funds; by 2015, only 38% of its budget is expected to come from General Funds.
- The terms of the Campbell Trust agreement designated that the lands can only be used for the UHWO campus. Construction of the new campus must begin no later than Dec. 31, 2011. Should this window be missed, UH will have lost one of the greatest opportunities to expand its resource base and educational reach. Sale and/or leasing of the lands will, in large part, fund the build out of Phase 1 of the new campus.
- The missions of the two institutions are distinctly different. LCC’s mission is to broaden access to postsecondary education by providing open-door opportunities for students. It also specializes in remedial/developmental education, pre-professional and general education courses. Last, its mission is to provide opportunities for workforce development training. The mission of UHWO is to provide baccalaureate opportunities for students who are prepared to start at the college level. UHWO’s programs also prepare students to enter related professions or to continue education at the graduate or professional school level.
- Accreditation would be difficult as WASC has different standards and expectations for four-year institutions and community colleges.
- UHM is primarily a research institution with programs that include master’s and doctoral programs in many disciplines. In addition, UHM has many specialized programs such as law school, medical school, architecture school, nursing, and more. UHWO fulfills its mandate as a regional comprehensive institution at the baccalaureate level, offering small class sizes, with academic programs that meet the professional and workforce needs of the fast-growing West O‘ahu community. Many of UHWO’s students comment that they are attracted to UHWO because of frequent faculty interaction and small classes. Students attracted to UHWO may not find the larger class sizes and UHM learning experience as desirable.
- The UH System Second Decade Report stated that the Leeward side of the Island of O'ahu (‘Ewa and Wai‘anae) ranked the highest in relative need of education/training based on:
- largest population growth
- highest projected increase of high school graduates
- lowest average income
- lowest in high school diploma and bachelor’s degree attainments
- lowest in college-going rates to two-year and four-year institutions
- The overall costs in time and money commuting daily from West O‘ahu is prohibitive for potentially thousands of current and future UHWO students.
- The college-going rates to the UH System of students from the Leeward District of the Department of Education schools is on average 21.7% versus 37.8% statewide.
- Some students desire applied degrees than the types of programs offered at UHM, a research institution. For example, UHWO offers Health Care Administration, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and Culinary Management concentrations. All of these are not offered at UHM.
- Students have family and work issues that make attending UHM logistically difficult. UHWO is located centrally for a large percentage of the O‘ahu population. Plus, UHWO offers close to 35% of its classes online each semester, thereby making the school’s programs very accessible for the working adult population in West O‘ahu.
- UHWO has worked hard not to duplicate programs offered at UHM. For example, UHWO offers a BA in Humanities and Social Sciences. Additionally, the following degrees and areas of concentration are offered at UHWO but not at UHM: Justice Administration, Health Care Administration, Bachelor of Applied Science in areas of Respiratory Care, Culinary Management, and Computer, Electronics, and Networking Technology.