POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 6, 2011
The University of Hawaii's Peace Corps training program in Hilo will be cut back because of reduced numbers of trainees, university President Thomas H. Hamilton said today.
He said the cutback, which will require the layoff of about 30 staff members, came only because fewer volunteers are arriving.
But sources in Washington said that Peace Corps headquarters in Washington had complaints about administration of the program, and that changes in staffing were to take place as a result.
Hamilton denied that any shakeup in administration of the training program is under way.
"We've been negotiating various things with the Peace Corps, but that's not it," he said.
University officials met with Peace Corps administrators in Hilo last month, reportedly to negotiate a long-range training contract.
The University of Hawaii last week lost its contract to train on Molokai volunteers bound for the Trust Territory. The next contingent of Trust Territory volunteers will be trained in Truk, in the Trust Territory.
Dr. John Stalker, director of international programs for the University, said after the loss of the Molokai project that there had been some disagreements with the Peace Corps about the operation of the Molokai program.
Hamilton said negotiations for a long-range training contract with the Peace Corps may take some time, but that no shift in personnel other than the reduction in force at Hilo is contemplated.
He said 65 volunteers arrived at Hilo last week for training for Thailand. Another group of 65 is expected March 1 for training for Malaysia.