UH Spending Millions On PR Efforts to Get Its Message Out

Amid surging tuition rates, a shrinking state budget and a failed concert fiasco that raised concerns over the institution’s internal structure, the University of Hawaii this past year spent roughly $4 million of its $1.4 billion operating budget on public relations, marketing and outreach, according to a Civil Beat review of records provided by the university.

That money covered a broad range of communications activities as well as the approximately 41 positions in charge of running them. Overall, the university spends about $65 per pupil on public relations and related services.

Data suggests that UH’s communications expenditures are on par with those at comparable public universities. But many of those institutions have swelling public relations budgets — a trend that has critics questioning whether universities are doing enough to keep costs in check and put students on track to success.

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