Dean's Office Thought for the Day

UH Hilo Home > Academics > College of Arts and Sciences

Many universities and colleges today have forgotten the inseparable connection between “space” and the events that occur within them.  We set up our campuses as spaces where students pass through on their way to receiving a degree, rather than spaces that invite them to experience the richness and diversity of college life.   In the words of Robert M. Persig, in his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, students who pass through space “are passive observers and everything they see is no different from watching it on TV.”  But when students are in space, they are now “in the scene, not just watching it anymore . . . the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.”

Our challenge as university administrators is to create and cultivate positive spaces for our students – spaces characterized by positive energy; spaces that engage students  rather than allowing them to just pass through;  and most importantly, spaces that facilitate and ensure student learning and success. 

Randy Y. Hirokawa
20th International Conference on the First-Year Experience
Waikoloa, Hawaii