Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: Remarks & Writings

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column: Sustainability is a top priority at UH Hilo

 UH Hilo to host Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit.

By Marcia Sakai

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.University of Hawaiʻi students, faculty and staff will gather for the 6th Annual Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit Feb. 8–10 on Hawaiʻi Island. This year’s theme is on the “Meeting of Wisdoms,” with focus on indigenous ways of knowing and western empirical science. Delegations from all 10 UH campuses will learn together from local practitioners, national experts on sustainability, and each other.

Understanding indigenous ways of knowing is critical to UH’s success in being a model of sustainability in our state. The university’s geographic location puts it in a unique position to serve as a leader and model in how institutions steward finite resources of for the benefit of all.

The university recognizes that an important knowledge base in sustainable island systems resides in the indigenous people of Hawai‘i and all those for whom Hawai‘i is home. We are committed to learning from local cultural practitioners and sustainability experts on best practices in sustainable resource allocation and use for the well-being of our communities and state.

Summit activities will take place in Kona on Thursday, Feb. 8, and on the UH Hilo campus on Friday, the 9th.

Part of Friday’s program includes a “Meeting of Wisdoms” panel where I will welcome Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, president of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation and director of Hawaiian Traditional Knowledge Research at Hawai‘i Community College; research ecologist Christian Giardina of the USDA Forest Service; Luka Kanaka‘ole Mossman, a fishpond manager; Kealaka‘i Kanaka‘ole, a natural resource land operations manager with Kamehameha Schools; and Ulumauahi Keali‘ikanaka‘oleohaililani, lead ‘ōlapa/dancer with Hālau O Kekuhi and a UH Hilo senior majoring in geography. Moderator is John DeFries, president of Native Sun Business Group.

The Student Sustainability Summit will take place Feb. 10 in Volcano, where students will learn how to work with campus leadership on zero-waste campaigns on each campus.

For the first time, this year’s summit will include a Virtual Symposium, where sessions and activities will be livestreamed to the internet with capacity for remote interaction.

Sustainability is a top priority at UH Hilo 

UH Hilo is proud to be a leader in sustainability efforts ranging from academic courses and degrees, to energy use, food purchasing and composting. Some highlights of what’s happening on campus follow.

Academics

  • A Certificate in Sustainability is under development. So far 29 courses have been designated as focusing on sustainability in agriculture, anthropology, engineering, geography, Hawaiian studies, and business management.
  • New Data Science program is also under development to help produce a generation of big data scientists. First area of study: water resources. This program is funded through the National Science Foundation as a part of a statewide water sustainability research project.

Energy Savings

  • We are a leader in the UH System on sub-metering and baseline data recording, bi-level lighting, energy requirements in design contracts, a reinvestment account, and Hawai‘i Energy Rebates.
  • We are implementing full energy metering and monitoring of campus buildings. Currently, 100 meters record and report photovoltaic array data for all PV installations on campus. The data helps us assess and calculate savings.
  • To date, LED lighting conversion has been completed in 20 buildings, saving a calculated 217,524 kWh annually, and power savings continue to increase.

Food

  • Over 65 percent of food served in our campus dining rooms is locally produced. On the first Wednesday of every month, 100 percent of the food served in the main Campus Dining Room is locally produced food.
  • UH Hilo students have launched a food waste collection program, adding another component to building a sustainable food system on campus.
Students at the composting site on campus.
Students at the composting site on campus located behind the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management. The photo was taken on a volunteer day to build new temporary compost bins.

Solar powered recharging stations

  • We just opened a new gathering place on campus with food service and four picnic tables with solar powered stations for students to recharge electronic devices, helping to make our campus more sustainable in its energy use.

Many of these projects respond to action steps identified in the UH Strategic Directions Plan to “improve the sustainability and resource conservation of the built environment including facilities and grounds by reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas production, water use and waste production.” Kudos to our students, faculty and staff for their hard work to implements these initiatives—well done! The UH Hilo campus can be a model for businesses across the island.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

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.

###

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

css.php