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Category: Remarks & Writings

Update on UH Hilo College of Arts and Sciences reorganization

The new College of Natural and Health Sciences will be established, effective July 1, 2018.

Marcia Sakai
UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai speaks to faculty and staff at a meeting about the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences. Jan. 19, 2018.

Marcia Sakai, interim chancellor at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, gave an update today to faculty and staff on the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences. The meeting was held at 12:00 noon at the Sciences and Technology Building, room 108.

In the PowerPoint presentation at the meeting, the following points were made:

College of Natural & Health Sciences

  • The new College of Natural and Health Sciences will be established, effective July 1, 2018.
  • It will be composed of the current Division of Natural Sciences, School of Nursing, and Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences.

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Effective July 1, 2018, the College of Arts and Sciences will continue forward with its remaining departments in the current division structure, retaining the Division of Humanities and the Division of Social Sciences.
  • Departments and faculty positions within these divisions will remain status quo, with the exception of the two departments joining the new College of Natural and Health Sciences.
Kalei Rapoza
Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Kalei Rapoza answers questions at the meeting.

Clerical Staff

  • Clerical support staff within the current Division of Natural Sciences will become support staff for the new College of Natural and Health Sciences.
  • Clerical support staff remaining with the College of Arts and Sciences will be maintained in their current structure.
  • Specific details will be shared, as appropriate, as discussions advance with HGEA and affected employees.

APT Staff

  • Consistent with messaging for the last 12 months, APT and other support staff contained within departments will be retained with those departments with no changes to their positions or assignments.

Administrative Officers

  • In addition, we will be adding two APT Administrative Officer positions, one per college, to provide administrative and budget support for the deans and departments.

Transition Work

  • This Spring, the transition team with the College of Natural and Health Sciences should finalize its tasks, which include working on a department and college tenure and promotion process, voting procedures, and other department processes.
  • In addition, we are in the process to appoint an Interim Dean for CNHS.
  • In the College of Arts and Sciences, the transition team should consider whether college, division and department policies and processes, such as promotion and tenure, require revision in order for revisions to be finalized by July 1, 2018.

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Attendees at the meeting listening and asking questions, click to enlarge:

Interim Chancellor’s Message: Welcome to Spring 2018

The new year brings with it excitement and aspirations, and I hope that you will find much to engage with your university in the coming semester.

Aloha University of Hawai‘i at Hilo ‘Ohana,

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.Welcome back to UH Hilo for the spring 2018 semester, and welcome to all the new faces on campus!

The new year brings with it excitement and aspirations, and I hope that you will find much to engage with your university in the coming semester. There will be many opportunities through invited speaker series, exhibits, performances, and presentations on the amazing work by UH Hilo faculty. There will be professional development events that will stretch all of us to learn.

Our students are why we are here. We are carefully managing classes so that students have the classes they need to graduate. We are working with our legislators and board to bring resources for important initiatives on campus, including funding for students to build leadership skills, community engagement and workforce skills, as well as initial funding for the development of the Kalakaua Marine Science Center at Puako in West Hawai‘i

And there will be events for fun.  The annual UH Hilo Ho‘olaulea is upcoming on January 13, 2018, with entertainment, food and crafts, exhibits in the Performing Arts Center parking lot.  We will be recognizing science and exploration with our community with the Ellison Onizuka Science Day and the Science Olympiad as well as sustainability as the co-host of the UH System Sustainability Summit in February.  In April we will be welcoming Hōkūleʻa into our own Hilo Bay.

Have a great semester!

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column: The history of UH Hilo is one of progress

Growth and progress demand persistence—and we are continuing our momentum this year.

By Marcia Sakai

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.Aloha and Happy New Year!

I’m looking forward to the coming year as the momentum of progress and growth continues at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. During our day-to-day life on campus, when progress is often challenging, it’s easy to lose sight of just how far we’ve come over the years in serving the higher education needs of our island.

In 2017, UH Hilo celebrated its 70th year providing access to higher education for the people on Hawai‘i Island. We began our journey in 1947 as the Hilo Program, a UH Extension Division program where courses were taught at the old Hilo Boarding School. In 1951, the University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo Branch was founded with an enrollment of 100 students. After several transformations, the four-year Hilo College began in 1969, and by the following year merged with Hawaiʻi Community College, becoming the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

More recently, in 1991, UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College separated, but continue to share many of the same resources. Over the years since, Hawai‘i CC and UH Hilo have worked together closely on many initiatives, most notably on the seamless transition of students into the university and on developing Native Hawaiian protocols in our teaching, research, and outreach activities.

Over the years, the university established five colleges, most recently the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy with its inaugural class ten years ago in 2007. It is the only accredited pharmacy college in the region, with a presence not only on Hawai‘i Island but also on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Maui and in the South Pacific in Guam, American Sāmoa and Saipan.

In 2018, we will celebrate several more noteworthy milestones.

Mookini Library and Edith Kanaka‘ole Hall opened 35 years ago. The names remind us of people who helped build this university. The library is named after former Chancellor Edwin H. Mookini who served from 1976 to 1979. Edith Kanaka‘ole was a beloved Hawaiian practitioner, kumu hula, composer, and founder of the Hawaiian studies program at UH Hilo.

Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language will be 30 years old. The college is named in honor of Ruth Keʻelikōlani Keanolani Kanāhoahoa, the 19th century high chiefess known for her strong advocacy of Hawaiian language and culture. Internationally recognized for successful cultural and language revitalization curriculum, the college’s staff and students honor the chiefess’s legacy as they do their work and study for the benefit of all Hawaii’s people.

The University Classroom Building is 15 years old—when it was built, it was the first construction of a major building at UH Hilo in over 20 years. It’s now our signature building at the entrance of campus, housing classrooms, offices and gathering places for our university community and the general public.

And five years ago, the Hale ʻAlahonua residence hall opened, the first new student housing project since 1989.

In my 26-plus years at UH Hilo, I have learned that growth and progress demand persistence—and we are continuing our momentum this year. We are building a new home for the pharmacy college, moving forward with forming the new College of Natural and Health Sciences, and we just launched the search for our new chancellor.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor, UH Hilo

Message from the Interim Chancellor to UH Hilo Community: Many wonderful accomplishments this semster

These are just a few of the exciting things all of you are doing to provide positive learning experiences and support to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead.

Aloha to the UH Hilo Community,

I know that there are concerns on our campus that we are working to address but as we complete the last week of fall classes and begin to prepare for the evaluation period of finals, I would like to make note of the many wonderful things that I am learning about our programs and accomplishments of our people.

We are well on our way to initiatives aligned with focus on programs that take advantage of the unique physical and social characteristics of the island, attracting and serving Hawai‘i students who seek opportunities for highly engaging and experiential learning.

New programs

Planning for future workforce needs, the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management launched a new Certificate in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, a first step in the university’s long planned aeronautical science program. The certificate program focuses on training in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Faculty are also working to adapt sensors with agricultural and natural resource applications for use with UAS.

Rose Hart holding UAV,.
Rose Hart. Click to enlarge.

Students are also adapting UAS within their studies and research projects. Rose Hart, a second-year graduate student in our Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) program received an Excellent Award for her poster presentation, “Using small unmanned aerial systems to map shoreline change at Hapuna State Beach Park” at the 2017 Forum Math-for-Industry conference at UH Mānoa. The award includes a fully paid two-week research trip to the Institute of Mathematics for Industry at Kyushu University, Japan.

Data science and data visualization emerged as we welcomed our second EPSCoR-funded data science faculty member (Travis Mandel). ‘Ike Wai grant funds are enabling UH Hilo to build capacity in a new data science program initiative through the hiring of a four-member cross-disciplinary team, including math, computer science, a life science, a social science. Data science presents an opportunity for our students to learn about studying and analyzing large sets of data from seemingly unrelated areas to solve complex problems.

A data visualization course offered by the computer science department will provide an interdisciplinary framework for students to learn cutting-edge data visualization techniques. Projects utilize data from the natural sciences to create interactive and immersive data visualization experiences to promote public awareness of environmental issues facing Hawaiian ecosystems. This capability is supported by CyberCANOE visual display technology, funded through the UH Mānoa Academy for Creative Media. UH Hilo technology sites are located in computer science (department), the library learning resource center, and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i.

Student accomplishments

Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and U‘ilani Dasalla with Colosseum in background.
(Left tp right) Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and U‘ilani Dasalla at the Colosseum, Rome.

The College of Business and Economics has been part of a business plan competition to stimulate the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem on Hawai‘i Island, in partnership with Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA) and the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce. The Hawai‘i Island Business Plan competition provides $25,000 of seed money for individuals or groups to develop and refine their business plans. This year, senior business administration major Juvette Kahawai‘i submitted a plan to launch a family business that will provide tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll administration for small businesses and was awarded a one year UH Hilo tuition scholarship.

Four English majors presented their research paper at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences conference in Rome, Italy. U‘ilani Dasalla, Tynsl Kailimai, Ciarra-Lynn Parinas, and Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld attended the conference, which featured over 100 international scholars. The students expanded on their research from their English course, Graphic Novels and Comics, to collaborate on a literary analysis that will be submitted for publication. The students’ travel and conference attendance were made possible by the Howard and Yoneko Droste Endowment of the UH Hilo Department of English. The Drostes served as UH Hilo faculty in art and English.

Connections

Faculty discussions to promote transfers to UH Hilo from UH community colleges are bearing fruit with the award of performance based funding from the UH system. The award will support a system-wide convening of faculty members in Administration of Justice programs, linking UH community colleges on all islands with UH Hilo.

Culture

The International Astronomical Union announced that the first interstellar object seen passing through our solar system, observed first by the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Maui was named ‘Oumuamua. The name which means “a messenger from afar arriving first /”a messenger that reaches out from the distant past” was chosen in consultation with Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language Associate Professor Larry Kimura and his niece Ka‘iu Kimura, executive director of ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i. ‘Oumuamua reflects the way this object is like a scout or messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to the solar system.

Hilo is now home to the third mural of a statewide campaign to install ten Living Legacy Murals inspired by the mo‘olelo (story) of Kalapana. The project’s goal is to use art as a medium to invigorate Native Hawaiian identity and perpetuate Hawaiian values, language and culture, while celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ka Papahana Kaiapuni, Hawaiian immersion schools in Hawai‘i. The Hilo mural is sponsored by Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, Kamehameha Schools, and the state Department of Education Office of Hawaiian Education.

Infrastructure

Mural with figures.
The Hilo mural depicts Kalapana and his skills. Courtesy photo, click to enlarge

The $31.3 million Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy building is rising up from its building site on Nowelo Street. When it is completed in July 2018, the facility will finally provide a home for the college’s faculty and staff currently located at several sites in Hilo. Dean Carolyn Ma is actively working across the state to develop private major gift support for the college’s programs and maintenance, refurbishment and equipment of the space.

These are just a few of the exciting things all of you are doing to provide positive learning experiences and support to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead. I look forward to sharing more exciting news in the coming year. Wishing you all a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

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