Testimony Presented Before the
House Committee on Higher Education
March 24, 2011 at 2:00pm
Donald O. Straney
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
HCR 291/HR 256 – REQUESTING THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I AT HILO TO SEARCH FOR A SITE IN LOWER PUNA TO HOUSE A LEARNING CENTER
Chair Nishimoto, Vice Chair Nakashima and Members of the Committee:
From their main location in Hilo, Hawai‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have served the higher education needs of the island of Hawai‘i for almost 70 years. We have established learning centers in Honoka‘a (serving Hamakua and Kohala) and in Kealakekua (serving Kona and South Kohala). These centers offer individual courses, 2- and 4-year degree programs, and student support services to students in these communities. The new campus being constructed at Palamanui will expand our capacity to offer higher education in West Hawai‘i.
We welcome the suggestion to plan a similar learning center in Puna. This area is undeserved by higher education and we would look for community partners to help us establish a center that is responsive to local needs.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.