Feb 232015

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is partnering with leading educational and state government groups to start an innovative collaboration aimed at improving the quality of life for  youth and young adults.

By Chancellor Don Straney

Hilo sealIn an effort to improve the future of West Hawai‘i youth and young adults, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is partnering with leading educational and state government groups to start an innovative collaboration aimed at improving the quality of life for 11- to 25-year-olds.

Coordinating the project is Kei-Lin Cerf, UH Hilo’s new director of strategic community development for West Hawai‘i.

Joining the effort are the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (DOE), Kamehameha Schools, the County of Hawai‘i, Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, and several other West Hawai‘i organizations.

The group, called Hōkūpa‘a (the North Star or literally, the immovable star), held its first meeting in January to discuss the West Hawai‘i Complex Area’s ongoing need to align the work of programs, organizations, and the community for better outcomes among youth and young adults.

Also collaborating on the project is Hawai‘i Community College, the Hawai‘i County Council, the Prosecutor’s Office, the nonprofit Learning Coalition, and the Hawai‘i State Office of Youth Services.

The group is motivated by some sobering statistics.

While nine percent of the overall working age population in the state of Hawai‘i has less than a high school diploma, a full 19 percent of the population in West Hawai‘i has less than a high school education, the highest percentage in the state (U.S. Census, 2006-2010 survey).

Further, of the students who do finish high school, too few students are pursuing post-secondary education. While almost 26 percent of high school graduates in the state attend one of the UH community colleges, the lowest “go rate” in the state is in West Hawai‘i at 15.8 percent.

Further still, 28 percent of 16-19 years olds are neither employed nor enrolled in school.

National research shows this puts these young people at greater risk for young adult poverty, unhealthy lifestyles, lower lifetime earning potential, and increased reliance on social services.

The new group’s first task is to build on currently successful programs and make stronger connections between agencies, programs, and most importantly, people who are already seeing positive results such as parenting groups and āina-based (land-based) STEM education specialists.

Part of the mission of Hōkūpa‘a is to gather data to help make better decisions. This will help all youth and young adult programs and services connect with each other to find ways to learn from each other.

Ultimately, the goal is to help more students graduate from high school, when they will be better prepared to make smart choices about college or employment. This in turn improves the quality of life for the students, their families, and the community as a whole.

The high number of students in West Hawai‘i without a high school diploma is a big challenge for postsecondary education because these students are very likely not college ready. UH hopes to change that with the opening of Palamanui. But students must be prepared for that option through support and intervention starting many years earlier.

Art Souza, West Hawai‘i Complex Area superintendent, sums up the work ahead well when he says, “The work of educating a child is the work of an entire community. Schools participating in trusting partnerships with our broader communities is crucial to caring for the social, emotional and academic wellness of all our children.”

Hōkūpa‘a will host a Youth Support Forum in the near future. For information, contact Kei-Lin Cerf by email at klcerf at hawaii dot edu or (808) 896-6110. Learn more about the project at the UH Hilo Stories website.


Don Straney

Feb 172015

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Hawai‘i Community College, and Hawai‘i Island communities are invited to a Conflict Management Workshop, Feb. 27 (for public) or Feb. 28 (for UH community).

Su-Mi Lee

Su-Mi Lee

In order to address the UH Hilo Strategic Plan Goals 4, 5, and 6, Su-Mi Lee, assistant professor of political science, has been granted funds from the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund to hold a work shop on conflict management. This workshop will help create a productive and pleasant working environment where individuals can reach their full potential and collaborate to achieve organizational excellence.

The workshop is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund and is in collaboration with the County of Hawai‘i Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Kuikahi Mediation Center, UH Manoa, and the West Hawai‘i Mediation Center.


  • Help individuals become aware of cross-cultural differences
  • Equip individuals with tools that are useful to identify sources of conflict, ease tension, and resolve conflict
  • Train individuals in the skills of communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, and mediation.


Light refreshments will be provided at both workshops, although participants may bring their own meals if desired.

DATE: Friday, Feb. 27
TIME: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: University Classroom Building, rm 100, UH Hilo campus
This workshop is open to the general public and free of charge.

  • The Neurophysiology of Conflict: Bringing Oxytocin into the Room
  • Transformational Techniques: From Settlement to Resolution, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation

DATE: Saturday, Feb. 28
TIME: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
PLACE: University Classroom Building, rm 100, UH Hilo campus
This workshop is for UH Hilo and Hawai‘i CC members and is free of charge.

  • The Neurophysiology of Conflict: Bringing Oxytocin into the Room
  • Resolving Conflicts at Work: 10 Strategies for Resolution
  • How to Design, Organize and Conduct “Dangerous and Difficult Dialogues
  • Using Conflict Resolution Techniques to Reduce Stereotyping, Bias, and Prejudice


Kenneth Cloke

Kenneth Cloke

Both workshops will be led by Kenneth Cloke, director of the Center for Dispute Resolution. Cloke is an internationally renowned mediator, speaker, and author of numerous books on mediation and conflict resolution. He has carried out mediation in twenty major countries including China, Cuba, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Ukraine, the former USSR, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe and taught mediation and conflict studies at a number of universities including Southern Methodist University, Pepperdine University’s School of Law, the University of Southern California, the University of California-Los Angeles, Harvard Law School, and the University of Amsterdam ADR Institute.


Reservations can be done online.


For more info, contact Su-Mi Lee.

Feb 092015

Hilo seal

Testimony Presented Before the
House Committee on Higher Education
February 5, 2015 at 2:00pm
Donald O. Straney, Ph.D. Chancellor, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo


Chair Choy, Vice Chair Ichiyama, and Members of the Committee:

My name is Donald Straney, Chancellor of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and I am presenting the University’s testimony on HB 548.

This Bill establishes a Board of Governors for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and a special fund to receive all revenues to the College. It assigns to Board of Governors an advisory role as well as the power and duties of managing expenditures of the College, among other duties. This would appear to replace functions currently exercised by the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi, the Chancellor of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, the Dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, and the College’s existing advisory group.

Considering the recent review of special and revolving funds administered by the University of Hawaiʻi by the State Auditor, the University is conservative in its support of establishing new special funds – especially, to ensure the requirements of Chapter 37- 52.3(4), HRS, which requires special funds to demonstrate the capacity to be financially self-sustaining. Furthermore, the University believes that the objective of the special fund – to ensure financial sustainability and success of the college of pharmacy – can already be accomplished through the College’s current funding and management structure.

For the reasons above, the University of Hawaiʻi requests that the House Committee on Higher Education defer further action on this measure.

Feb 022015

Requests for fee waivers are now being accepted for the February class on Microsoft Publisher.

Hilo sealThe University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service is conducting two one-day workshops on Introduction to Microsoft Publisher.

Microsoft Publisher is an easy to use desktop publishing tool that is included with Microsoft Office for Windows. Improve your communication effectiveness by producing your own in house marketing material while establishing a more professional image. In this workshop, learn to create simple business materials like brochures, business cards, newsletters, letterheads, posters, and more.

Cost $55
Location: 891 Ululani St, 2nd Floor (SeniorNet Lab)
Workshop dates:

  • Section 1: Feb. 19, 2015, Thurs., 9:oo a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Section 2: Feb. 26, 2015, Thurs., 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

To register call: 974-7664 or sign up online.

Professional Development Tuition Waivers Available!

University Staff & Faculty

University of Hawaii employees may qualify for a 100% tuition waiver through the Chancellors Professional Development fund. Only 3 seats are available per session. For more information: Call College of Continuing Education and Community Service  at 974-7664 for more information.

Private Businesses

Private and non-government employees/businesses may qualify for a 50% tuition waiver through the state’s Employee Training Fund (ETF). Learn more.

State Employees

State of Hawaii Employees* may qualify for a 100% tuition waiver through the State Department of Human Resources and Development training program. For more information please consult your department supervisor and review the registration process.

*Department of Education, Judiciary, and Health Systems employees are exempt from this program.

Feb 022015

Invitation from the Chancellor to discuss the WASC team’s recommendations.


WASCI’m following up on my message regarding the accreditation report issued by the WASC Accreditation Review team based on their on-campus review conducted in Oct. 2014.

Overall, the report is very complimentary of the progress the campus has made. It also contains recommendations for actions we should take for further improvement.

I am now inviting you to participate in a Town Hall meeting on our campus on how the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo can proceed to address the team’s recommendations to:

  1. Develop clear criteria for applied learning and assess its effectiveness.
  2. Adhere to the published program review schedule and ensure it yields constructive feedback.
  3. Give immediate attention should be given to review barriers to articulation relating to the general education program.
  4. Extend assessment of core competencies outside of the general education program.
  5. Improve significantly the resources and capacity for institutional research.
  6. Continue efforts to enhance retention of continuing and transfer students.
  7. Develop more effective lines of communication on campus.
  8. Articulate a clear strategy for distance-learning programs and provide adequate resources to support instructors and learners.

Town Hall Meeting

Wed, Feb. 4, from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Wed, Feb. 11, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

Location: UCB 127 ( Ho‘oulu Terrace )

You are welcome to either or both of the meetings as your input is appreciated and valued.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Don Straney