HONOLULU -- The University of Hawaii athletic department
plans to cut spending and hire a financial officer as part of its
effort to stop a trend of three straight years of budget deficits
exceeding $1.4 million, officials said.
The plan was outlined Wednesday to the university's Board of
It comes as the department is projected to finish with a deficit
of about $1.47 million for the fiscal year that ends in two weeks.
The department reported losses of $2.47 million in 2002-03 and
$1.43 million in 2001-02.
"Let us make this work," athletic director Herman Frazier said
in outlining his five-year plan. "While this may seem bleak, we
have a way to get us there."
The first phase of the plan is to cut expenses, reducing the
next budget for the coming fiscal year to $18 million. The 19-sport
program is expected to spend $18.4 million this fiscal year.
Some of the immediate fixes include a reduction by two in the
number of football road games in 2004 -- which Frazier claimed would
reduce travel expenses by $200,000 -- as well as the reduction in
Frazier said he has completely "rebuilt" the budgeting process
to put athletics on track to be in the black next year by up to $1
million, with expectations of netting $2.4 million annually by the
2006-07 fiscal year.
He predicts revenues to rise from $16.9 million in the current
fiscal year to $22.7 million in 2009.
Meanwhile, Frazier said the university administration has
authorized him to look beyond the university for a new chief
financial officer for the department as early as mid-July -- a move
supported by Jim Hasselman, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers,
which handles the department's accounts.
"This operation needs a strong financial person," Hasselman
told the board. "Someone who's used to troubled situations."
Frazier said a salary level for the new post has not yet been