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The University was originally founded by Warren Walker as Golden State University in California, United States, and later moved to Hawaii, where it was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in February 1987.
Accreditation and affiliation
Until 2005 the University was a full institutional member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), which only admits institutions in good standing but is not an accreditation body. In its advertising Honolulu University at one time claimed accreditation by "Akademie für Internationale Kultur- und Wissenschaftsförderung", which was not a generally recognized accrediting body in Europe and apparently also is defunct, if it ever existed.
Degrees obtained from Honolulu University would be illegal to use in the State of Texasif it were not for the constitutional right of freedom of speech, as affirmed by Strang v. Satz 884 F.Supp. 504 (1995). In Strang v. Satz, federal court ruled a similar Florida law unconstitutional. 
The institution received media attention because of lawsuits resulting from irregularities related to school agents in Asia who failed to properly disclose the unaccredited status of the school to prospective students. The school lost in court and the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection was at one time processing requests for tuition refunds. Honolulu University in turn sued their Singaporean agent, who in the meantime had died.
- Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection, certificate of good standing for 2009
- International Management Association website, accessed April 22, 2010
- "Membership Criteria". International Council for Open and Distance Education.
- "Institutions Whose Degrees are Illegal to Use in Texas". Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
- Honolulu University sues dead Singapore agent, October 15, 2006
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