Mar 302015
 

Classroom, campus and community: an interconnected sustainable environment. 

By Chancellor Don Straney

Hilo sealTwo important developments have put sustainability at the forefront of our thinking at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

First, the UH System has adopted an executive policy (EP 4.202) that sets expectations about incorporating sustainability into campus operations, curriculum, scholarship and community outreach.

Second, a joint collaboration of state and county government and the UH System, called the Aloha+ Challenge, was just launched to achieve six sustainability targets by 2030 in clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, smart growth and climate resilience, green jobs and education.

UH Hilo is already moving in this direction, and here are some examples:

  • Our Local First program is a big success — we are the only UH campus that serves 65 percent locally produced food in our dining rooms.
  • Our energy reduction program reduces plug load energy consumption, increases machine and electronic operational efficiency, and reduces peak-hour demand.
  • The electrical systems of the new Student Services Building were designed to ensure energy efficient operations with the goal to achieve LEED Silver.

Here are a few things we will be doing in key areas. To implement the new UH policy and the Aloha+ Challenge, our campus Sustainability Committee will play an important role.

Operations

Operations is a big area and we will need to pull together as a campus community to effectively reduce our negative environmental impact. This includes the way we run our buildings, climate control, food systems, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste and water.

The big goal here is to minimize greenhouse emissions to the point that we become carbon neutral by 2050. This means, for example, we will be reducing our use of fossil fuel for our energy needs and adopting more energy efficient building designs.

Further, we will adopt a Green Purchasing Policy for all supplies and equipment – think computers, cleaning products, paper.

Curriculum

We will be working the principles of sustainability into curriculum wherever possible. In tandem, we’ll increase the number of campus and community sites for applied learning related to sustainability, including student engagement in the university’s operational improvements. The integration of sustainability practices and learning into student life and other co-curricular activities will be the norm on our campus.

Research and scholarship

Our faculty will be looking at ways to develop applied research initiatives that advance the principles of sustainability, especially those that involve cross-campus collaborations that integrate teaching and research. This includes investigations into solutions at the campus, community and global levels.

Further, professional development and collaboration opportunities for faculty and students in sustainability scholarship will be routinely offered.

Community collaboration

Sustainability is really an island-wide goal. The classroom, campus and local community comprise an interconnected educational environment.

The university will be reaching out to engage the local community in prioritizing and implementing sustainable practices through mutually beneficial partnerships with community organizations, non-profit organizations, public schools, and the private sector.

Further, in striving to reach our overarching goals in sustainability for our campus and community, we will create sustainable living-learning environments that honor our host culture, our unique island environment, and the rich cultural diversity of our communities.

We will work closely with the local community to fully understand how UH Hilo can best answer community and business needs within the context of sustainability in order to help shape a strong economy, a vibrant workforce, and a better future for our island and state.

Aloha,

Don Straney

Mar 092015
 

The WASC commission noted the large number of new initiatives that strengthen the university in areas that have been problematic in the past.

WASCThe Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has renewed accreditation for the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo for seven years, noting in an announcement letter to Chancellor Don Straney, dated March 6, the large number of new initiatives that strengthen the university in areas that have been problematic in the past.

A review team from WASC’s Senior College and University Commissionvisited the Hilo campus last fall, and recommended to grant UH Hilo accreditation through 2022, with an interim report due in spring of 2017, a mid-cycle review in 2019, and a full review in 2021.

“The visiting WASC team was impressed by the level of commitment and passion exhibited by our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and they commended us on knowing our mission and vision well and in using both to inform what we do,” said Chancellor Straney.

During the review process, UH Hilo was part of a group of pilot institutions to test a new institutional review process in advance of the 2013 approval of the new Handbook of Accreditation. In the pilot, institutions were asked to focus on new areas that had not been previously required.

Noting that Hilo was forging new ground, the review team noted Hilo’s level of “candor, transparency, self-awareness, and commitment to continuous learning” that “demonstrated a high level of quality and rigor invested in the accreditation process.”

The commission highlighted several areas for special recognition, among them:

  • A sense of place, which conveys the importance Hilo feels about passing the culture of Hawai‘i Island to the current generation while at the same time focusing on the creation of new meanings for the future.
  • A mission rooted in Hawaiian traditions, notably in the area of applied learning experiences including community based projects, service learning, research internships, practica, creative activities and capstone projects.
  • Strong, well-respected leadership as well as committed staff and faculty—key elements in ensuring longer-term educational effectiveness and financial sustainability. The review team concluded, “UH-Hilo is a campus of resiliency in action.”

The commission also offered guidance in areas the university could strengthen, including the “remarkable” applied learning program, retention and graduation rates, review for academic programs, and distance education.

“I want to give a special mahalo to the people on UH Hilo’s WASC Accreditation Committee who worked hard preparing the institutional report that served as the basis for the visit,” said Chancellor Straney. “I also want to thank our alumni who met with the team. Their description of UH Hilo as a transformative educational experience greatly impressed the review team.”

-Media release

Feb 272015
 

Hilo seal

Testimony Presented Before the
Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 1:00pm
by
Donald O. Straney
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

SB 1248 SD1 – RELATING TO HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE

Chair Tokuda, Vice Chair Kouchi, and Members of the Committee:

My name is Donald Straney, Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and I am presenting the University’s testimony on SB1248 SD1.

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language provides essential support for the revitalization of the Hawaiian language and its increased use in our bilingual state. In addition to university degree programs, the college prepares teachers to instruct in schools throughout the state, provides in-service training for practicing teachers, and other important support activities to help the language thrive. The legislature created the college with a specific mandate to teach and revitalize the Hawaiian language. The revolving fund was created to support the work to achieve that mission. The college has expanded its programs to promote the Hawaiian language beyond the simple “materials” reference in the original legislation. If the language of this bill made it clear that the revenues to be deposited in the revolving fund were only those generated by college programs, activities, and materials that were language-related, the university could support the bill.

Section 2 should be adjusted to read, “There is established the Hawaiian language college revolving fund into which revenues generated by the Hawaiian language college from language related programs of the Hawaiian language support center, and indigenous outreach language and training programs through fee for service, and the sale of language related materials shall be deposited. Monies deposited into this fund shall be expended to support the Hawaiian language college at the University of Hawaii at Hilo established under section [304a-1301].”

Testimony Presented Before the
Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs
and
Senate Committee on Higher Education and the Arts
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 1:15pm
by
Donald O. Straney
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

SB 1248 – RELATING TO HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE

Chairs Shimabukuro and Taniguchi, Vice Chairs Galuteria and Inouye, and Members of the Committees:

My name is Donald Straney, Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and I am presenting the University’s testimony on SB1248.

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language provides essential support for the revitalization of the Hawaiian language and its increased use in our bilingual state. In addition to university degree programs, the college prepares teachers to instruct in schools throughout the state, provides in-service training for practicing teachers, and other important support activities to help the language thrive.

The legislature previously created the Hawaiian language revolving fund to receive revenues from the sale of Hawaiian language materials created by the college. This bill would increase the range of revenues that could be placed in this fund to include revenue “generated by the Hawaiian language college, Hawaiian language support center, and indigenous outreach program through fees for service, training, and the sale of all products.” There are existing ways by which the university currently receives revenues from fee for service, training and outreach programs of the college. The university believes this bill would duplicate these existing mechanisms. We are concerned that including revenue “from the sale of all products” is overly broad.

The bill would permit expenditures from the revolving fund “at the discretion of the Hawaiian language college.” This would create a unique situation where a University program could make expenditures outside the regular fiscal and procurement processes of the university or the state. This is neither consistent with University governance fiscal policy nor statutorily provided budget authority for the University in Section 304A-2004 to 2005, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The University believes the objective of this bill can already be accomplished through existing accounts and management structures. For these reasons, the university would request the Senate Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Higher Education and the Arts defer further action on this bill.

SB 1248 RELATING TO HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE February 18, 2015
SB 1248 SD1 February 26, 2015
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.

Aloha,

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.

Purpose

  • 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.

Schedule

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.
TOPICS:

  • 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.
TOPICS:

  • 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

Facilitator

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

Reservations can be done online.

Contact

For more info, contact Su-Mi Lee.

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