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Category: News

Chancellor Straney visits students at the UH Foundation call center

The annual UH Foundation Fall Calling Campaign began this month.

UHF
Chancellor Straney visits with students at the UH Foundation call center on O‘ahu.

Chancellor Don Straney recently visited the UH Foundation call center on O‘ahu to visit with student fundraisers and share information about the various programs and activities at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The annual UH Foundation Fall Calling Campaign began this month.

Chancellor Straney encourages the UH community to donate and support UH Hilo.

For more information, contact Dale Hagadone at the UH Foundation.

UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC awarded $3.9 million for cooperative Native Hawaiian program

The purpose of the project is to promote and sustain a Hawaiian worldview on the UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College campuses.

Campuses across the University of Hawaiʻi System will receive grants for the Native Hawaiian Serving Insitutions Program totaling about $6 million a year from the U.S. Department of Education for an anticipated five years. The five year total for the eight grants is more than $31 million.

These funds will be used for priority projects that fit within the University of Hawaiʻi’s Strategic Directions and individual campus mission goals. Federal legislation mandates that these federal grants must be specific to campuses.

David Lassner
David Lassner

“These awards are a credit to our hard working, dedicated faculty and staff across the UH system who are working collaboratively to advance the University of Hawaiʻi’s goal of becoming a model indigenous serving institution. We also thank our congressional delegation for their critical support of Native Hawaiian education,” says UH President David Lassner.

UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC cooperative award

Donald Straney
Donald Straney

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, in a cooperative award with Hawaiʻi Community College, will receive $3,984,894 over five years for UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant.

Donald Straney, chancellor at UH Hilo, is principal investigator. Co-investigator is Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, an assistant professor and coordinator at Hawaiʻi CC.

The purpose of the project is to promote and sustain a Hawaiian worldview in the UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC campuses’ environments, programs, services and leadership to increase the success of Native Hawaiian students. Faculty will be the focus of this cooperative arrangement development grant.

Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani
Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleo- haililani

The three grant activities proposed are building capacity through leadership development, strengthening campus and community engagement, and facilitating Hawaiian language, culture and knowledge learning pathways.

To learn about other grants awarded throughout the UH System, see story at UH System News.

New Bike Share Program starts this fall

Borrow a bike! All current UH Hilo students, faculty, and staff can now borrow a bicycle from the University Concierge to run errands around town.

Jake Picus (l), associate director New Student Programs, and Don Straney (r), chancellor, stand with two of the red Bike Share Program bicycles.
Jake Picus (l), associate director New Student Programs, and Don Straney (r), chancellor, stand with two of the Bike Share Program bicycles. Photo provided by New Student Programs.

Chancellor Don Straney recently visited with Jake Picus, director of New Student Programs, to check out the new Bike Share Program. The program gives all current students, faculty, and staff at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo the opportunity to borrow a bicycle to run errands around town. The program is sponsored by the University Concierge and New Student Programs.

Learn more at UH Hilo Stories, Sept. 2, 2015: New Bike Share Program launched at UH Hilo.

Update: See Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Sept. 10, 2015: UH-Hilo aims to improve transportation for students.

UH Hilo accreditation renewed for seven years

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

Governor’s Office releases $33M to build permanent facilities for UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

In the new building, the first floor will have areas for student services and activities and the second floor will have research laboratories.

Rendering of lab space in the future facilities of the College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo.
Rendering of lab space in the future facilities of the College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo.

The Office of the Governor has released $33 million for construction of a permanent building for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. The State Legislature approved the funding earlier this year.

“A permanent home is absolutely crucial in order for the College of Pharmacy to maintain the full accreditation they have worked so hard to achieve in 2011,” says Chancellor Don Straney. “We are grateful to the legislature and to the governor for recognizing the dire need for pharmacists who will provide an even greater service as our population ages and we experience healthcare reform.”

In the new building, the first floor will have areas for student services and activities and the second floor will have research laboratories. The complete structure will occupy around 40,000 sq. ft. of space. The current modular buildings will continue to serve as classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, and offices.

John Pezzuto, dean of the college, says the timing of the release of the funds couldn’t have come at a better time. The college has been required to undergo site visits from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education accreditation teams since before admitting students, and passed every one of the 30 strict standards until last year when they faced possible probation for not having suitable facilities.  The council is sending an evaluation team on Oct. 15-16 for a focused site visit to decide the future of the college’s accreditation. The college is waiting for their decision, which should come in Jan. 2015.

“We never stopped believing in our future,” said Pezzuto. “I am personally grateful to the legislature and to the governor for recognizing the need for upgrading the quality of the environment students need to succeed, and for demonstrating to the community that Hawaiʻi Island contributes to the well-being of the entire state. With a permanent building, the college is well positioned to continue the quest of achieving a high national ranking.”

UH Hilo press release

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