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Aloha kākou:

By now, you may have heard from the news media the Governor’s proposal of 20% in pay cuts for all state workers. I cannot confirm this news as we have not heard anything directly or official from the Governor or President Lassner. However, what we were briefed about is the difficulties that lie ahead due to this pandemic.  They include the official memo from the Governor, President Lassner and just last night from VPCC Erika Lacro.

In this memo, we are directed to generate savings this fiscal period for the upcoming year(s) by freezing positions, travel and other major expenditures. We are informed of the magnitude of reductions while the availability of other sources like a federal stimulus and the impact of COVID-19 will have on enrollment is still unknown.  

In response, VPCC Lacro is meeting with each campus to learn about our staffing plan. We are now tasked with developing exemption requests to present to the president, which we will be doing this week. As we progress, we are committed to keeping you informed.  

These are unprecedented times. The difficulties that lie ahead for us as we face budget reductions will not be easy. There will be much information and misinformation regarding possible scenarios and how gloomy decisions would play out, some of which could cause fear and anxiety. My dear Kauhale, I have faith and trust in you. I believe in your tenacity, innovation and creativity. Recent changes in response to COVID-19 alone have shown how resilient and steadfast we continue to be on behalf of our students and their success. We are a resilient kauhale and we will come out of this storm thriving and stronger than ever. 

Mahalo nui.

Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas

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