UH System Finances Better Than They Look

The University of Hawaii System's financial picture is far better than it may have been portrayed, a university finance analyst announced at a UH faculty workshop Friday morning.

"Contrary to what you may have heard, the University of Hawaii System isn't anywhere close to broke, which is one of the things we're going to show you later on," promised Howard J. Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University who is nationally recognized for his expertise in evaluating university budgets.

University budgets can be misleading because they often omit certain revenue and expense items while overstating and understating others, a group of about 50 faculty and administrators were told on Friday. (Another 50 or so participated in the workshop from home.)

The two-day workshop is sponsored by the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and presented by the All Campus Council of the Faculty Senate Chairs. The workshop goes through Saturday and is being led by two professors respected for their analysis of university budgets: Bunsis and Rudy Fichtenbaum, professor of economics with the Raj Soin College of Business at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

The goal of the workshop is to ensure UH faculty members and staff are appropriately versed in university finances. A basic understanding of university finances and a healthy skepticism about what they're told are necessary if the faculty is going to be involved in setting priorities and holding administrators accountable, Bunsis said.

Have feedback? Suggestions?