I love our university system, and there is no doubt in my mind that higher education is a critical component of creating a just society and a robust, 21st century democracy. But there are many issues that need addressing with the UH system, and I hope to be able to work with students, faculty, staff and the administration as a legislator to make smart reforms that benefit the core mission of the university: to democratize knowledge across our society.
Free Tuition: Everyone should have access to a college education. When access to the knowledge generated and discovered at universities is expanded to the greatest possible number of people, the lives of all our citizens are improved. A university education encourages creative problem solving and improves our economy. It exposes students to a spectrum of different viewpoints and allows them to utilize their critical thinking to come to their own conclusions, creating an informed and critical populace and a healthy democracy.
With tuition costs and student loan debt pushing our best and brightest out of the islands, the question is not whether or not we can afford to provide free college education to everyone; the question is can we afford not to?
Fiscal Accountability: We need to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely. The academic mission of the university must once again be the priority so that taxpayer money is funding the core mission of the university to the benefit of the public, not special interests.
Adequate Funding: That being said, the university cannot function properly and achieve its mission without adequate funding and support from the public and the government. I will strive to make sure that the university receives the funding it needs to continue improving the quality of research conducted and the quality of education provided there.
Legislative Overreach: The legislature should not involve itself in curriculum decisions, and should instead work to assist students and faculty in providing high quality research and education.