The University of Hawaii athletic department has cut its annual deficit by more than $1 million from fiscal year 2009 to 2010 and projects to be in the black by 2012, a Board of Regents’ committee was told yesterday.
An independent auditor’s report listed a $1,612,417 deficit on spending of $29.6 million for fiscal year 2010, which closed June 30, down from $2,632,408 in 2009.
Athletic director Jim Donovan projected an approximate $800,000 deficit for the 2011 fiscal year, which concludes June 30, 2011, and said, "We believe we can be in the black for (fiscal year 2012) short of any major shock and what happens with the conference situation."
The accumulated net deficit, built up over nine years, is $9,584,181, which Donovan pledged to begin paying down when the department gets in the black.
UH has operated at a deficit for eight of the past nine years through three athletic administrations. The lone year in the black, fiscal year 2008, was due to a $4.4 million Sugar Bowl payout and resulted in a $295,243 surplus.
A report by Accuity LLP said, "Management is making progress in the areas of cost containment and revenue enhancement in order to reduce the department’s dependence on fiscal support from other university units."
The report noted, "However, as the goal of the department is to run a quality program in compliance with Title IX, cost containment will continue to be a challenge."
Donovan said the trimming of the deficit was accomplished "without cutting services directly tied to our student-athletes such as trainers, academic counselors, coaches etc."
Cuts, he said, instead came in areas of, "administration, sports information, ticket office and others, which will leave us in a much better competitive situation over the next five years than if we had cut (from) sports directly."