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Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: January 2014

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

January 2014

UH Hilo Athletics program makes a big impact on our campus and local community

HICCAloha and Happy New Year! For my first column of the year, I’d like to share a few things about our Athletics program.

Recruitment efforts were enriched last year by a policy approved by the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents that grants in-state tuition to a limited number of out-of-state students with special talents and/or unique skills that will make a contribution to campus life. These exemptions enrich the campus and community experience, but do not limit access for local students nor exceed two percent of the total student population.

Recruitment of UH Hilo students is strategic. Our primary mission is to serve the needs of Hawai‘i students, but recruiting the right mix of resident and out-of-state students enriches the experiences students have when they study with us. Both the campus and the local community benefit from the new ideas, new experiences, new colleagues and new friends the student visitors bring with them. And we equip them to take the best Hilo has to offer back home when they graduate.

UH Hilo Athletics was authorized to use six of the approximately 80 available exemptions. The six students are exceptional athletes and none of them would have been able to attend the university without the exemption. Joining the women’s volleyball program are two freshmen from Ohio and Sweden, and a junior from California. Joining men’s basketball are three juniors from Washington, California, and North Carolina.

header_logoIn addition to the enrichment and home team pride that our athletes bring to our campus and community, UH Hilo Vulcans sporting events make a hefty economic contribution to our island as well. For example, in FY2012, 105 of the total 240 UH Hilo games were played at home, with the visiting teams generating an estimated 428 interisland round trip flights; 1,275 visitor hotel room nights; and 685 rental transportation days. Including all 12 sports, the total economic impact of UH Hilo sporting events on the Big Island topped $1.2 million.

We have a change of leadership for Athletics this year. Our former athletic director, Dexter Irvin, has left UH Hilo for a position as athletic director with the College of Southern Nevada. Dexter contributed greatly to the progress of UH Hilo Athletics. He worked tirelessly to move our diverse athletics program forward, and his efforts are greatly appreciated by the university and local community. We wish him all the best in his new position.

Timothy Moore, founding director of the campus recreation department, will serve as interim athletic director, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Tim came to UH Hilo in 2008 from Southern Methodist University where he served as assistant director and later associate director of recreational sports. He holds a master of science in sports administration from the University of Louisville. A national search for a permanent director of intercollegiate athletics at UH Hilo is anticipated to be launched this year.

Tim says he is actively seeking community support and advice on improving our program. He says top priorities of the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics in 2014 will be to support student athlete success both in the classroom and on the playing field, and that we will remain resolute in maintaining a standard of excellence while continually seeking to operate more efficiently, explore revenue opportunities, and model fiscal responsibly in all decision making. And as we continue to develop and invest in our Athletics program, UH Hilo will continue to connect with the island community’s interest in sports.

All the best to you and yours in the coming year.


Don Straney