More than 200 executive managers at the University of Hawaii will have their full pay restored after taking temporary cuts that began in November.

UH President David Lassner told the UH Board of Regents Thursday morning that the decision to restore those salaries came because of the state’s improving budget situation.

In November, managers making up to $200,000 a year took a 9.2% pay cut while those making more than that amount took an additional 11% pay cut on their salaries over $200,000.

Last year, the Legislature approved pay raises for thousands of state workers including slight pay bumps for UH faculty.

“It does not seem reasonable to me to ask one group of employees to bear reduced salaries while all of our other employees are enjoying raises they’ve received and earned in this current fiscal year,” Lassner said.

UH President David Lassner, pictured in 2018, restored pay for more than 200 executives in the UH system. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2018

Lassner, who earns about $375,000 as university president, took a 20% cut. At the time Lassner ordered the pay cuts, the UH executives were some of the only employees in the state to be taking cuts.

Lassner has authority to adjust pay for almost all of the 250 executive managers in the UH system. Their pay was restored retroactive to Jan. 1.

The pay cuts were expected to save about $3 million if left in place for a year.

While Lassner can adjust pay for most of the managers, the UH Board of Regents still controls salary levels for the board’s executive assistant, the UH internal auditor and the UH president.

The board voted on Thursday morning to restore the salaries for all three of those positions with Jan Sullivan, a UH regent, casting the only “no” vote.

Lassner told the board earlier in the meeting that he would still like to take a 20% pay cut.

We’re here to help Hawaii vote.

Our staff has spent months preparing for this election season. Now it’s your turn to vote on the leaders who will impact our community for years to come.

If you’ve relied on our daily analysis and reporting, Candidate Q&As, free events and online resources, please consider making a donation to your local nonprofit newsroom.

Every contribution, however big or small, powers our journalism.

About the Author