REPORT FROM HPU — July 11, 2012) Gov. Neil Abercrombie this week signed a bond issue passed by the state legislature earlier this spring that will help Hawai‘i Pacific University raise as much as $120 million for critical capital projects at its three locations around O‘ahu.
Hawai‘i’s largest independent university serves more than 8,000 students, the majority of them Hawai‘i residents. HPU has campuses in downtown Honolulu and in Kaneohe (the Hawai‘i Loa Campus) on the windward side of the island. Its marine sciences research affiliate, the Oceanic Institute, is also located on the windward side of O‘ahu, a 56-acre site at Waimanalo’s Makapu‘u Point.
All three locations have existing capital needs, and university leaders are interested in expanding student housing to increase the residential potential of its downtown and Hawai‘i Loa campuses. The special purpose revenue bonds — to be issued in successive public sales, according to the timetable of HPU’s strategic plan — will make funding available for those uses, as well as for classroom space, information technology infrastructure, facility renovation and other education-related projects, university leaders say.
“Hawai‘i Pacific takes seriously its responsibility to provide educational opportunity to the students of Hawai‘i, so we’re particularly grateful to Gov. Abercrombie and to legislative leaders for ensuring that we’re able to do our best to ensure the achievement and success of our students,” said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister. “With the expected finalization this summer of a new university strategic plan, we will have well-defined uses for the bond proceeds that will serve the university well for generations to come. On behalf of the university and our Board of Trustees, I offer our thanks.”
Bannister added that the projects to be funded by the bonds build on the 35-year presidency of Chatt G. Wright, whom he succeeded in 2011. “We certainly wouldn’t be in a position to do the things we’re planning now had it not been for Chatt’s leadership, and for that, I’m especially grateful.”
Founded in 1965, as a small, business-oriented college in downtown Honolulu, the university has grown steadily over the years, adding master’s degree programs in the 1980s, the Hawai‘i Loa Campus in 1992 and the affiliation with the Oceanic Institute in 2003. University leaders and faculty envision HPU as among the western United States’ top 10 comprehensive, independent universities, delivering academic programs of distinction in a Pacific Rim context.
The university has built a growing reputation in recent years for research and scholarship in marine sciences, communication, sustainability, nursing and health sciences, and business, among other academic areas. The bond revenue will help further enhance those programs, building faculty capacity to address challenges of special importance to Hawai‘i and to educate the workforce of tomorrow.
“These special purpose revenue bonds will fund projects that will transform Hawai‘i Pacific University, and we look forward to the dividends they will pay for our students and for the people of our state,” said HPU Board of Trustees Chairman Michael J. Chun.
Hawai‘i Pacific University is the state’s largest private university with more than 8,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. HPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council on Social Work Education, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.