Where Does Money for Higher Education Go?

State funding for public higher education in Hawaii always seems to boil down to a philosophical question: What exactly is the role and mission of the University of Hawaii system and is the return worth supporting with tax payer dollars?

Funding for higher education wasn’t always an uphill battle. Institutions of higher learning go back at least two millennia. The first university in the current sense dates back a mere thousand years, but the models of education have evolved over the years.

 The Morrill Act of 1862 and the GI Bill of 1944 transformed America.

The Morrill Act set up land grant universities that taught “liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.” The GI Bill put World War II veterans through college basically free of cost. It produced 14 Nobel Prize winners, three Supreme Court justices, three presidents, a dozen senators, two dozen Pulitzer Prize winners, and many others who have contributed back to society.

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Love Makes a Family: Marriage Equality Community Gathering on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at the State Capitol

With the special session opening this Monday, October 28, Pride At Work Hawai’i celebrates the many unions – collectively representing over 30,000 working people in Hawai’i – who have stepped forward (so far) to proclaim their support for marriage equality, including Local 5, HSTA, UFCW, UHPA, Machinists 1998, HNA, Musicians, SAG-AFTRA, USW 12-591, and HSTSO. 

With the repeal of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in June, same-sex couples who marry in a state where it is recognized will have access to over 1,000 rights and benefits under federal law, including paying their federal taxes as a couple, taking guaranteed family medical leave to care for their spouse, and collecting spousal Social Security benefits.  Here in Hawai’i, every day that goes by without marriage equality is a day that same-sex couples and their families lack key protections and benefits.  This inequality is unfair, unjust, discriminatory and anti-union.

Support for Marriage Equality

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly representing the faculty of the University of Hawaii has a long and distinguished history of standing up for the rights of our members. We worked for passage of the right of our members to enter into civil unions. The bill that comes before the Legislature simply attempts to extend federal benefits to couples that are in civil unions, benefits that are already available to same sex couples already married.
 
We respect the diversity of opinions on this issue. We believe that the religious beliefs of those opposed to same sex marriage can be reasonably accommodated through the legislative process. We ask that everyone respect this process.
 

Special UHPA Rate for Honolulu Club Members

The UHPA Member Benefits Committee is currently negotiating reduced rates for UHPA members at the Honolulu Club. The new monthly fees will be based on the number of overall participants and will probably be as low as $121.50 a month. This reduced rate may even be introduced as early as your November 5 statement if we can provide the Honolulu Club with the exact numbers (and, of course, names) as soon as possible.

Please contact Richard Nettell (nettell@hawaii.edu) directly if you are already a Honolulu Club member.

Confusion About Changes in the ERS

More information on this issue can be found on the ERS web site.