UH President’s Package of Perks Includes $150,000 Expense Account

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University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood’s compensation package includes a number of benefits besides her $425,000 annual salary, including access to $150,000 per year in “protocol funds.”


Other perks of Greenwood’s job include a $5,000 monthly housing allowance, a free parking stall just outside her office and $326 per month to spend on the car she parks there.

Greenwood also received up to $35,000 to defray moving expenses incurred when she moved here from California 2009.

She is also eligible for lifetime tenure as a member of the UH faculty.

The protocol funding is supposed to be spent by Greenwood on expenses incurred for the betterment of the University, but how she has spent those moneys to date is unknown.

A formal request for an accounting of Greenwood’s protocol spending was submitted to the University by Hawaii Reporter January 21 under the state’s open records law.

No response has been received to date, although the law, called the Uniform Information Practices Act, requires that government agencies respond within 10 business days of receipt of a records request.

The protocol fund, financed by the University of Hawaii Foundation, was a source of embarrassment to the University when Evan Dobelle served as president of the institution.

The regents authorized Dobelle to spend up to $200,000 annually in protocol expenses, but Dobelle spent as much as $270,000, according to audit findings released by the UH Regents when they fired Dobelle in 2004.

Greenwood was initially hired at a salary of $475,008 per year but took a temporary cut to $425,000 because of the University’s financial difficulties.

She was supposed to reside in College Hill, the historic private residence owned by the University in Manoa Valley, but has stayed at a Waikiki condominium that costs $5,000 per month, paid by the University.

In an email sent to UH Board of Regents chairman Howard Karr last month, UH Prof. Noel Kent took issue with the housing allowance given to Greenwood.

“I am today requesting that the UH Board make $5,000 a month in grants available to any and all UH staff and faculty who are also in need of rental assistance,” Kent wrote Jan. 26.

“I know that you, as a bank CEO, appreciate the equity and fairness of this most reasonable proposal and will persuade the rest of the Board to comply.” Kent’s email said.

Kent, a professor of ethnic studies, also objected to the Board of Regents decision last month to renew Greenwood’s employment contract for another three years.

The renewal was accomplished “with an almost complete lack of input from the faculty and students of this university,” Kent wrote.



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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com


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