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UH Officials Short on Answers About Executive Salaries and Perks

Senators on the Ways and Means and Higher Education committees at an info briefing this morning grilled University of Hawaii officials about the perks and escalating salaries given to high-level university executives.

The lawmakers, including Sens. Will Espero and  Michelle Kidani, urged the university to do a better job of constraining those salaries and ensuring that the executives don’t abuse their privileges.

Seventy-two university employees make over $200,000 a year, according to information provided at the briefing. UH officials emphasized that the high salaries were necessary to attract competitive faculty.

Also discussed were the large number of event tickets given for free to UH execs. UH regents said that they were unaware of any board members receiving more tickets than allowed. 

The frustrated Senators, including Senate President Donna Mercado Kim,  also pointed to several instances in which employment decisions violated UH salary policies. Officials acknowledged that exceptions had been made.

— Alia Wong

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