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Month: September 2016

Fee waivers offered for Basic Grant Writing Workshop

The UH Hilo Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund is funding tuition waivers for workshop on grant writing.

Hilo sealUH Hilo Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund – Fall 2016.

Basic Grant Writing Tuition Waiver Application

Basic Grant Writing

Participants will learn all about the grant writing process, how to write a compelling statement of need, and learn what funders are looking for in grant proposals. This course is focused on grant-writing tools and resources for non-profit organizations, charitable, public organizations, and other community-minded groups.


  • HILO: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., University Classroom Building, room 331, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
  • KONA: Nov. 12, 2016, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Palamanui Campus, 73-1025 Kaiminani Dr, Kona, room B-125.



Message from the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs: Proposal for academic reorganization at UH Hilo

Chancellor Don Straney and Vice Chancellor Matt Platz: The proposed reorganization creates two new college units.

Hilo sealBackground

Faculty members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have raised ideas for reorganizing our colleges over the past several years. The Division of Natural Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences, for example, has long sought to be a standalone college.

On November 23, 2015, the Faculty Congress passed Motion 8 calling for “the Creation of a Campus-wide Task Force to Study the Reorganization of Academic Units at UH Hilo.” The Task Force worked during the 2015-16 academic year and talked with many individuals to understand their opinions about possible college structures. They published a report in spring 2016 and invited the campus to a town hall meeting to discuss their report.

At the end of spring semester, Chancellor Don Straney and Vice Chancellor Matt Platz agreed to consider input from all sources and to produce a formal recommendation for reorganization at the beginning of fall 2016. We outline here our proposal, which we are also sending to the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly, and the Hawaii Government Employee Association, per Administrative Procedure No. A3.101.6 (PDF).


UH Hilo has experienced enrollment losses, as has most of the rest of the UH System. Given that the majority of our funding now comes from tuition, stabilizing and rebuilding enrollments is essential to maintaining the comprehensive university we have labored to build over the decades. Reorganization must be viewed as a tactic for rebuilding enrollments and preserving programs and services.

Our proposed reorganization creates two new college units that will be expected to manage retention and graduation of their students in a more effective manner than at present. This will be accomplished by eliminating administrative layers between deans and the departments, fostering better management of resources, while being minimally disruptive.


A. College of Business and Economics (COBE); College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM); Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (KHUOK); and the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) will remain as they are currently configured.

B. Effective August, 2017, restructure the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS):

1. Eliminate the positions of Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the three Division Chair positions in that college.

2. Create two new college units based largely on the previous divisions in CAS: one for the humanities and the social sciences, and one for the natural and health sciences (Nursing and Kinesiology). Two new Dean positions will be created, one for each of these units utilizing the former Dean and Associate Dean positions in the College. Searches will be conducted to select permanent Deans of the new colleges.

The College of Natural and Health Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will each receive a new position for a budget specialist. The resources for these positions will come from reallocation from Divisions outside of Academic Affairs.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be comprised of the Office of the Dean and retain its current division makeup: Humanities and Social Sciences. The Dean will be supported by a Secretary III position. Each division will have a faculty lead, and the division will be supported by a Secretary II and an Office Assistant.

The College of Natural and Health Sciences will be led by a Dean and assisted by a faculty lead. The Dean will be supported by a Secretary III position and Office Assistant III, and the faculty lead position will be supported by a Secretary II and Office Assistant III.

It is our intent that the aforementioned faculty lead positions in each college remain unfilled to permit a closer relationship between the Departments and the Dean. Clerical positions within the new colleges will be expected to service their assigned units as well as perform other duties as assigned within the College itself.

This plan will reduce the number of 11-month administrative appointments (CAS currently has five leadership positions with 11-month appointments, this drops to two EM positions and three unfilled nine-month faculty appointments in the reorganized structure), and eliminates a level of bureaucracy between faculty and dean. The plan minimizes disruption by retaining mostly familiar groupings of departments. Importantly the new colleges will retain their FY17 base budgets and position numbers, by sub-unit (Natural vs. Health Sciences; Humanities vs. Social Sciences) again minimizing disruption.

Completion date: August, 2017


  1. Each of the resulting colleges will have college-specific retention and enrollment goals they will be responsible for achieving.
  2. Faculty and staff members in each department will remain in their departments.
  3. Newly created colleges will be developing governance documents during this academic year in a manner that will allow them to be applied beginning Fall 2017.

Concluding Thoughts

We have taken the summer to consider the campus input before generating this reorganization plan. The plan is being sent to the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly and Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association as part of the consultation required by the Collective Bargaining process. We thank the Faculty Congress Task force and every individual who has contributed to the campus dialogue on reorganization.

We will organize meetings with the affected units in September to hear your thoughts on implementing this plan and to answer questions. We believe this plan achieves the goal of streamlining administration and creating structures best able to manage resources to promote student success.

We understand that the subject of reorganization has been a source of uncertainty and concern, and appreciate your patience with the process. We thank all of you for your commitment to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and its community.

Pokémon GO: Catch ’em on campus!

The popular location-based game offers many Pokémon Spawns and Poké Stops on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus.

Don and Ellen
Team Mystic member Chancellor Don Straney shows off his Pokémon GO captures to Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano during a Week  of Welcome event last month. The popular location-based game offers many Pokémon Spawns and Poké Stops on campus, including around the Administration Building, shown below.


Via Ka Lono Hanakahi, pg.6.

Chancellor’s Message: Private donors play an important role in higher education

By Don Straney.

Margaret Ushijima
Margaret Ushijima

A general student support fund is being established at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to honor the late Margaret Ushijima and her legacy of service at UH. The fund will be used to assist UH Hilo students, especially those who are first generation college students and those in financial need.

The Margaret Ushijima Fund for Student Assistance and Support is a fund in perpetuity—continuing Margaret’s work “forever”—and will be administered by the vice chancellor for student affairs.

Margaret’s legacy of service to UH lives on through her gift, bestowed to the Richardson Law School at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo, a lasting reminder of a woman who had a profound impact on so many people in Hawai‘i and beyond.

Margaret Ushijima had been counseling students on the importance of higher education for many years as UH Hilo’s dean of students before retiring in 1980. But she didn’t actually retire—she decided to live out her belief in higher education and go to law school, at age 51.

Her dear friend Janet Fujioka says Margaret was a person of great conviction who always supported education and so it was a remarkable decision that when she “retired,” she went back to school.

Margaret received her bachelor of arts in social science and her master of arts in social work before beginning her career at UH Hilo. But along with her belief in the importance of higher education was a strong sense of social justice and equality, which eventually led her to the UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law.

After obtaining her juris doctor degree, Margaret joined her husband to form the family law firm, Ushijima & Ushijima. In the 1970s, Margaret and Janet were involved in a movement that pushed for the ratification of the equal rights amendment in Hawai‘i. The two embarked on an extensive campaign throughout the islands, speaking at numerous engagements on the importance of equality. Hawai‘i later became the first state to ratify the amendment.

Margaret’s life is inspirational in so many ways. Raised on a plantation on Hawai‘i Island, her parents were born in Hawai‘i in the 1890s and did not have the chance to complete high school and attend college. Yet they supported her to pursue her own dreams and aspirations. Jumpstarted with this parental support and dedication, Margaret embodied the “gambare spirit” and values passed down to her from her parents.

As we see with Margaret’s generosity in her gift to UH, behind every support fund or scholarship at UH Hilo is an individual or a company that has a connection to the university and a desire to help our students. People share their estate with UH Hilo because they may see it as an investment in the future or they may realize the importance of an education and want to pay forward the opportunities given them while at UH Hilo as a student, staff or faculty member.

It’s clear what a vitally important role private donors can play in opening up access to higher education, supporting students while they complete their education and contribute to their communities.

On behalf of our students, I’d like to take this opportunity to express gratitude to our donors. I hope members of our university and local communities, business people, alumni, and others are inspired by Margaret Ushijima’s example of making an investment in the future of our island by funding student support services and scholarships.

Don Straney

Chancellor’s Professional Development Committee accepting applications

Announcement from the Chancellor’s Professional Development Committee:

Hilo sealThe Chancellor’s Professional Development Committee is opening up a second round of applications to award funds for professional development opportunities for the academic year 2016-2017.

Applications are now being accepted. The application form, rubric and guidelines are available online.

The purpose of the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund is to provide opportunities for continued professional growth and development for faculty and staff, with a special emphasis on development that will have far-reaching impacts on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus.

The deadline for submission of applications is Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, at 4:00 p.m.  Applications may be emailed to uhhilopd[at] or dropped off at the Office Human Resources, Auxiliary Services Building, Suite 106, to the attention of Kalei Rapoza, PDC co-chair.

Questions regarding the Professional Development Fund and its events can be emailed to uhhilopd[at]