HONOLULU (AP) - The outgoing chancellor of the University of Hawaii's flagship Manoa campus will be paid nearly $300,000 for a 10-month sabbatical.
Virginia Hinshaw announced last year she'll be stepping down from the position as of June 30. She earns $344,880, which reflects a 5 percent pay cut administrators took last year and other reductions in previous years.
Starting July 1, the university will pay her $287,400 for her sabbatical, Hawaii News Now reported. She has also landed a job at the university's medical school, where she will earn $292,188 a year.
University President M.R.C. Greenwood defended the paid leave amount, saying it follows university policy and industry standards for departing administrators. Some students said that money could be better spent on offering more courses, improving aging facilities or adding operating hours to the main library.
"When we have to make the choices of making the courses available, we've been doing a pretty good job of that, I think," Greenwood said. "And to say, 'Well, I have a better idea of how to spend the money of the university than the chancellor, the president or the Board of Regents does.' I just don't think it's a particularly useful comparison."
Hinshaw declined to comment.
University spokeswoman Lynne Waters said Tuesday that the "professional improvement leave salary" was approved by the Board of Regents in January.
"It is standard practice in the academic world to provide executives at colleges and universities paid professional improvement leaves after their leadership service," she said. "It's a tool for universities to recruit and retain outstanding academic leaders."
A nationwide search brought Hinshaw to Manoa in 2007, from the University of California, Davis, where she was provost and executive chancellor. According to her biography on the UH website, prior to joining UC Davis in 2001, Hinshaw served as dean of the Graduate School and vice chancellor for research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hinshaw is a microbiologist who has conducted research on the influenza virus. At Hawaii, she holds appointments as a full professor in both the College of Natural Sciences and the John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Hinshaw will spend her leave on projects relating to her experience as a research virologist, Waters said. "A professional improvement leave is not a vacation," she said. "It's is an assignment that is very much a part of academic life."
The Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on Hinshaw's successor Thursday. Greenwood has recommended hiring University of Delaware Provost Tom Apple. He is expected to earn nearly $100,000 more than Hinshaw's current salary.