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Month: September 2010

Column by the Chancellor in Hawaii Tribune-Herald: Sept. 2010

Column by UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
UH Hilo Today
Hawaii Tribune-Herald
Sept 2010

Logo with the words Hawaii Tribune Herald.

UH Hilo seeks public input for next strategic plan

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is proud of the role we play in educating students and supporting economic development on Hawai‘i island. We have the potential to do more, however, and since becoming chancellor last July, I’ve been asking community members to tell me their thoughts about how UH Hilo could increase its contributions to the island and state.

The responses I’ve been hearing clearly show that the public expects UH Hilo to continue evolving, improving and extending its reach throughout the island in order to deliver a solid return on investment into the future.

It’s fortunate therefore that UH Hilo’s strategic plan expires this year. UH Hilo has a timely opportunity to revisit our mission, re-envision our future, and perhaps adjust our course. We’ve begun a new round of strategic planning and hope to have a completed plan by May 2011.

In the planning process, UH Hilo will take stock of our current situation and commit to our best guess for what our university could become and accomplish in the next five years. We will make sure our mission statement clearly conveys the unique benefits we offer to students and the community within the UH system, and we will publish clear goals toward which we can strive together.

Last April, the university started its “pre-planning” initiative to gather information from faculty, staff and students to use in developing the plan. Their views were solicited through a survey and a “listening tour.”  Results are being made available at the strategic planning website.

We want to hear more from community members so that we can take into account your thoughts and opinions about UH Hilo. We would particularly value your feedback on what you think we currently do well, where you think we need to improve, and what our major priorities should be for the next five to ten years.

You can provide input by visiting, by emailing, or by writing to Siân Millard, Strategic Planning Coordinator, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720-4091.

Work on developing the strategic plan begins this fall. We will ensure that the community has the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on the draft plan once it’s available.

I very much look forward to hearing your views as we work together on this important initiative.

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Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: Sept. 2010

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce
Sept. 2010

UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics

Logo with the words Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce.One of the ways the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo meets the needs of Hawai‘i island is by preparing future members of the business community. More than ever, our fragile economy demands that knowledge of business practices and economics be widely distributed throughout the island. In addition, we need to prepare students for the workforce–not just for jobs (though these are critical) but also for careers.

UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics (CoBE) seeks to meet these needs through its programs of study and, by meeting the rigorous standards set by its accrediting association, the college can assure the public that its programs are of the highest quality.

Quality Assurance through Special Accreditation

CoBE is able to document the high quality of its BBA programs through its maintenance of accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International). The college earned initial accreditation in 2005.

Within the state only UH Hilo and UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business have attained this internationally recognized accreditation. Accredited colleges undergo a lengthy process of self evaluation and extensive scrutiny, including onsite visits, by teams of experts.

Some established business programs at other universities have had to struggle to achieve and maintain accreditation from AACSB International.

This accreditation certifies that CoBE meets 21 rigorous standards assuring a challenging, up-to-date curriculum and a commitment to continuous improvement. Faculty must be active in their field and remain current in their knowledge. A degree from an AACSB-accredited school is widely recognized as excellent preparation for the workplace or graduate study.

Continuous Improvement

CoBE practices continuous improvement through assessment activities, which include measuring student progress in achieving learning goals and assessing student satisfaction.

Assessment practices led CoBE to create an upper division, writing-intensive course to improve writing skills. Assessment also prompted CoBE to offer its College Fair, directly linking our students with community businesses and organizations for internship and job placement as well as career planning.


CoBE offers majors in general management, accounting and economics. The general management program is UH Hilo’s largest major. The accounting major started in Fall 2008 and already has 60 student majors. Taken together, general management and accounting enroll approximately 10% of all UH Hilo undergraduates.

For those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in an area other than business, CoBE also offers a certificate program in business administration. Comprised of seven courses in such areas as accounting and marketing, the certificate provides a well balanced, up-to-date foundation of business knowledge.

In addition, UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College have established a Degree Pathways Partnership, allowing students who began their business education at the community college to make a seamless transition to CoBE’s business administration program.
CoBE also provides informal learning opportunities through its speaker series, which is free and open to the public. Speakers have included local entrepreneur Allan Ikawa of Big Island Candies on entrepreneurship, Darren Kimura on solar energy technology, and UH Mānoa Professor Emeritus Seiji Naya on income distribution and poverty alleviation for the Native Hawaiian community. Mayor Billy Kenoi will be the next speaker in the series September 16 at 3:30 pm in the Ho‘oulu Terrace (UCB 127).

Future Growth

CoBE is discussing its future direction for growth and new programs. We plan to extend the bachelor of business administration degree to one or more sites on the island. There may also be potential to develop programmatically in partnership with UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy. CoBE welcomes input from the business community about how best to meet future needs.

In addition, the college is looking forward to moving into prime space on campus. Because a new building for the Division of Student Affairs will be constructed this year, CoBE will be able to move into the existing Student Services Building. Ever mindful of the need to use the learning environment to enhance students’ career skills, the college is making plans to assign space in the new building for students to work in groups and for state-of-the-art technology.

Donald Straney
Chancellor, UH Hilo

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