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HPU cuts administrators as enrollment drops

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 05:04 p.m. HST, Jun 28, 2013

Hawaii Pacific University has cut about 20 administrative positions to offset a drop in enrollment and amid a shift in priorities to raise the school’s profile to become one of the top 10 private universities serving the Western U.S., school officials said.

HPU President Geoffrey Bannister said in a memo emailed to staff Wednesday that the school was forced to make “difficult budgetary and personnel changes” this week because of “enrollment fluctuations” over the last five years.

He added that “going forward, we need to continue to make strategic investments in the future of the institution in line with HPU’s new strategic plan. These strategic investments in one area have to be funded by savings in another if HPU is to remain competitive.”

Enrollment at the state’s largest private university has dropped to about 7,500 students from 8,000 students in that time frame.

“It’s not an enormous drop. It’s been a small and steady drop,” said Todd Simmons, vice president for marketing and communications. “We are heavily tuition reliant as a private, not-for-profit university. If we experience a downturn in that area, it does create some challenges as we’re very market sensitive.”

Simmons declined to say specifically how many staff were laid off, but said the cuts affect less than 2 percent of HPU’s staff and numbered fewer than 25 employees. He said none of HPU’s more than 600 full- and part-time faculty were affected. The school’s website says it has more than 1,600 faculty and staff.

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allie wrote:
It is getting tougher out there. Lot of parents want to see a return on their dollar, grads getting good jobs, etc.
on June 28,2013 | 02:25PM
Nevadan wrote:
Tell that to UH administration.
on June 28,2013 | 04:23PM
Steve96785 wrote:
Maybe we can get public schools to follow suit. We have tripled our administrative staff in the DOE while enrollment has dropped. UH similar.
on June 28,2013 | 04:43PM
1local wrote:
unions are the problem when it comes to efficiency and best utilization of limited assets...
on June 28,2013 | 09:04PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Still moving ahead to convert Aloha Tower to dormitories, I see. Attendance down, staff cut, finances tougher but go ahead with the dorms? Hmmmm............
on June 28,2013 | 05:26PM
eros_et_logia wrote:
SOMEONE needs to further develop one of the most valuable yet under-utilized waterfronts in the country. I'm shocked that real estate developers haven't wanted to build right on top or next to the mall. That would be good for everybody.
on June 28,2013 | 05:49PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Absolutely. This is a prime piece of scarce waterfront. Anywhere else and this would be the crown jewel of a downtown renaissance. Here it gets peddled off for dorms rooms.
on June 28,2013 | 07:09PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Sounds weak. I don't see it either.
on June 28,2013 | 07:58PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I wonder if the folks responsible for not meeting their enrollment and retention goals were among those let go?
on June 28,2013 | 05:27PM
Bdpapa wrote:
You know how business is done, so the answer is probably not.
on June 28,2013 | 07:59PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
UH could learn a lot from HPU, cut the fat and live within your means.
on June 28,2013 | 05:59PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Where's the quality control. HPU is a corporation, eduction is just a bi product.
on June 28,2013 | 08:00PM
iwanaknow wrote:
I hear BYU-Hawaii in Laie is doing the same thing...........................do more with less.
on June 28,2013 | 07:18PM
lynnh wrote:
Enrollment is dropping because the tuition rates are outrageous.
on June 28,2013 | 10:51PM
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