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Month: December 2012

Green Days to be observed over winter break

Announcement from the Office of Administrative Affairs


The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is continuing efforts to conserve energy and to be responsible for the impact of our activities on the environment by operating in a sustainable manner.  Therefore the following days will be observed as green days with power reductions in campus buildings during:

  • Winter Break: Saturday, December 15, 2012 through Tuesday, January 1, 2013
  • Spring Break: Saturday, March 23, 2013 through 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 31, 2013

With classes not in session during the above referenced periods, UH Hilo will work to reduce power consumption in most buildings as part of our contribution to the Green Days Program.  While we continue to recognize that UH Hilo is a State agency providing public service and functions as an academic and research institution, we also recognize that classroom usage and employee work pattern change during the holidays and breaks in the academic calendar.

The negotiated collective bargaining memorandum of agreement and understandings (i.e. MOA and MOU) for employees in HGEA bargaining units (BU) 2, 3, 4 and 8 and their excluded counterparts at the University aligns with this initiative, as the agreements regarding supplemental time off further reduce the number of people working on campus during these designated non-peak use periods.  This makes the Green Days implementation prudent.  Copies of these agreements may be viewed at BU 8 MOU STO.

UH Hilo Green Days Details

Details of the Green Days Program (GDP) for the 2012-2013 academic year will be posted on the UH Hilo website (update: link no longer available). We will continue assessment of our efforts to collectively learn and further advance program efforts.

Buildings – Power Reduction Specifics

  1. We will reduce power consumption in buildings by minimizing the use of air conditioning systems;
  2. Building safety systems, elevators, lighting systems, and building power will continue to be operational;
  3. External building lighting will continue to operate normally; and
  4. Buildings with shut down or reduced central air-conditioning will be monitored.


Auxiliary Services:  Auxiliary Services staff will monitor buildings which have reduced or no air-conditioning for potential problem situations, to include classrooms and offices.  The exception to the above will be restricted research areas.

All Employees:   All employees are requested to ensure that lights, personal refrigerators, window air-conditioning units, etc., are turned off.   Because of restart issues with older computers, it has been recommended that those older than 3 years remain on power.  See the faculty staff checklist and the research checklist for specific information:

  • faculty staff checklist (update: link no longer available)
  • laboratory checklist

Deans/Directors/Vice Chancellors:   As the campus will be closed with limited services available, we ask that Deans, Directors and Vice Chancellors plan and communicate with their faculty and staff in advance to prepare for operational and staffing needs.  We ask that the hours of operation and emergency contact information for the upcoming Green Day periods be communicated to appropriate persons and offices.

Human Resources:  The UH Hilo Human Resource Office is responsible for answering all questions regarding staff and human resources issues.

Specific UH Hilo Employees:

HGEA (BU. 2, 3, 4 and 8 employees and the excluded counterparts) – These employees whose positions are fully or partially funded by appropriated funds (general funds, special & revolving funds, and appropriated federal funds) will be on leave with pay (supplemental time off “STO”) during the winter and spring break.

  • For winter and spring break periods, employees in these bargaining units whose positions are fully or partially funded by appropriated funds will be on leave with pay (STO).

Adjustments to individual work assignments, as approved by the Dean/Director/Vice Chancellor, may be authorized so long as work productivity, service requirements and accountability are clearly delineated.

Each Dean/Director/Vice Chancellor is delegated the authority to require an employee’s presence to perform critical functions during those days if deemed essential for operational purposes.  Please communicate such operational need with the employee as soon as possible. Each Dean/Director/Vice Chancellor is also delegated the authority to determine alternate leave with pay days should performing these critical duties prevent the BU 2, 3, 4 and 8 employees and the excluded counterparts from being on leave with pay during the foregoing prescribed periods.

UPW (BU 1) – Unit 1 employees are not subject to the negotiated STO days.  They are considered to be on-duty during the Green Days Program and are subject to the negotiated Directed Leave Without Pay Implementation Plan BU1 MOA DLWOP.

HGEA (BU 9) – Negotiations for Unit 9 are subject to interest arbitration.  When the decision is issued, information will be distributed.

For staff employees, adjustments to individual work assignments, as approved by the Dean/Director/Vice Chancellor, may be authorized, as long as work productivity, service requirements, and accountability are clearly delineated.  Please assist your employees with securing alternate work sites if needed.

UHPA – Article V, Duty Period, states “On the day after Thanksgiving, during the interval between semesters and during the spring recess, Faculty Members on 9-month appointments are provided with professional development days.  Faculty Members are not entitled to additional compensation to attend meetings or to carry out other University business during this period.”

With regard to faculty who are on 11 month contracts, such as specialists, librarians, agents or researchers, their work assignments and office locations should be identified and coordinated through the respective Dean/Director/Vice Chancellor office.  As the work requirements and expectations for faculty members are different from those of staff employees, some faculty members may take vacation, while others may work in other locations as appropriate.

Contact Information

For details of the UH Hilo Green Days program please check the program website at or contact Vice Chancellor Marcia Sakai,  974-7750.  Should you have specific questions or concerns regarding other aspects of this program, please call the following offices as appropriate:

Health and Safety: Ken Ikeda, 933-3300

Campus Security: Warren Ferreira, 933-3131

Electrical Management: Kolin Kettleson, 974-7369

Human Resources: (Faculty & Staff) Claire Shigeoka, 974-7449

We appreciate your continued consideration and efforts in saving resources and conserving power on our campus while balancing our public service responsibilities as a State agency.

UH Hilo College of Pharmacy is an economic engine; permanent building top funding priority

The permanent college of pharmacy building is UH Hilo’s top funding priority. Gov. Abercrombie is including funding in the executive budget, says John Pezzuto, dean of the college.

John Pezzuto

The College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has grown by leaps and bounds since it was founded in 2006.

“We’ve met every benchmark we have tried to over the past five years,” said dean John M. Pezzuto. “We are fully accredited. We started graduate programs, residencies. We are spread throughout the state on every neighbor island. And we really are Hawaiʻi’s only College of Pharmacy. I think we represent the state very well.”

Hawaiʻi’s College of Pharmacy

There are about 375 students enrolled in the college and about half of them are from Hawaiʻi, like Hilo’s Moani Hagiwara, who took part in the annual White Coat ceremony, a rite of passage for first year students.

“I kind of got a little chicken skin,” said Hagiwara after the ceremony. “A chill went through my body. I grew up here on this island too so it is a little bit of home pride as well. It’s exciting to have it here especially.”

Local students like Hagiwara can now stay home to pursue an education in pharmacy. It’s what attracted Davis Hanai, a second year pharmacy student, to the program.

“I would like to work in Hawaiʻi and I feel like if you want to train with the population you are going to work with, that’s a big deal to have the pharmacy school here in Hawaiʻi,” said Hanai.

The college and a lot of hard work is also a prescription for personal success. About 80 percent of the 2011 graduates found jobs or a paid residency. The average salary for graduates working full time $117,000 a year.

“You can go into retail, into hospital, you can go into industry, you can go into more policy making so there is a lot of choices and opportunities for students who want to make a difference,” said Hanai.

The college is also an economic engine according to an independent study by economist David Hammes, which has shown the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy contributes more than $50 million dollars a year to the economy of Hawaiʻi. There are faculty on Oʻahu, Maui and Kauaʻi, with students and residents placed in hospitals throughout the state. It was even named one of the top five new pharmacy schools in the nation by US News and World Report.

“Over the years, we have even exceeded even our own expectations,” said Pezzuto.

The school’s impact reaches far beyond Hawaiʻi. Besides being the only College of Pharmacy in the state, it’s the only one in the Pacific region. The College of Pharmacy extends its reach by sending students to conduct practical experience, called rotations, through a memo of understanding to Guam, Alaska and American Samoa. The agreement has encouraged students such as Francine Amoa to come to UH Hilo from American Samoa, which only has one pharmacist on the whole island.

“I personally think that having a college of pharmacy, and the only college of pharmacy in the Pacific rim, is a huge importance, just because there isn’t another institution for Pacific islanders like me to go and get an education and go back and serve our community,” said Amoa.

The college looks to the future

The school has always had one ambitious goal: to be a top-rated college. It is on its way, but there is one more big thing that has to be accomplished before that goal can be reached.

That’s one location for the entire college. Right now, the school is spread out over five different locations. Classrooms are in a temporary facility on the outskirts of campus. The administration is housed in a borrowed county building a few miles away that was built in 1920. The research labs are seven miles out of Hilo in antiquated buildings constructed in the ’60s.

“We really have to bring all of our people together,” said Pezzuto. “We have to ground our research programs. We have to strengthen our clinical programs. And there is no way we can really effectively accomplish that without a permanent building.”

UH Hilo Assistant Professor Dana Koomoa-Lange, a researcher at the college strongly agrees.

“To have that community together where we can really communicate on an everyday basis and have more research seminars and more interaction with the students as well,” said Koomoa-Lange. “I think that will be really instrumental in bringing the college of pharmacy forward into the future.”

The future is now. The building design is complete and the facility site has been selected. Now it is just a question of funding. The permanent college of pharmacy building is the University of Hawaiʻ’i’s top funding priority. Governor Abercrombie is including funding in the executive budget, according to Pezzuto.

“We have the site. It is shovel ready. It’s ready to go, so as soon as we secure the funding, we can have a groundbreaking and secure the future of the college, secure the future of pharmacy in the state and really help us do what we have the capability of doing,” said Pezzuto.

~UH System News

Retirement party for Gerald DeMello

(l-r) Chancellor Don Straney, retiring Director of University Relations Gerald DeMello, and his wife Claudette DeMello. Photo by Maggie Morris.

A party for retiring University Relations Director Gerald DeMello was held Nov. 30.  Attending the event were University of Hawai‘i at Hilo administrators, faculty, staff and students, and members of the local community. Dignitaries included Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Message from Chancellor Don Straney on Gerald DeMello’s retirement:

It is with a great deal of mixed emotions that I am announcing that Gerald DeMello has decided to retire, effective December 31, 2012.

Gerald has served as director of University Relations since January 1991. For the past 21 years, he has been an indispensable advocate for the university and a major reason for the growth and development UH Hilo has enjoyed during that period. His outreach to Big Island legislators, federal and county officials, business, labor and community leaders has created a highly effective partnership with the university that has resulted in some of the most significant capital improvements in UH Hilo’s history.

There is no question that Gerald’s big-picture vision for “the university that can be,” and his genuine enthusiasm for UH Hilo, are strong selling points. His personality and professionalism have also played a big role in opening doors and creating opportunities for the university that may not have been possible without him. His capacity for getting a meeting at just the right time with key decision makers has often been the key to UH Hilo’s success, and with Gerald on the team, UH Hilo has had many successes.

Although we will miss Gerald, he has worked tirelessly throughout his career and deserves the opportunity to spend more time with his family. I know all of you join me in wishing nothing but the very best for Gerald as he embarks on new adventures.

3rd Annual “Make It Better Day” and “World AIDS Day”

Chancellor Straney stands with Women’s Center staff and volunteers at the 3rd annual “Make It Better Day” and “World AIDS Day” combined events held on campus last week.
Chancellor Straney delivers remarks at the joint “Make It Better Day” and “World AIDS Day” events held on campus Nov. 30.

Chancellor Don Straney delivered remarks at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s 3rd Annual “Make It Better Day” and “World AIDS Day” combined events held on Nov. 30.

The goal of the annual “Make It Better Day” is to increase knowledge about bullying and suicide, which is especially problematic among those who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, bi-sexual, intersexed and questioning or queer (LGTBIQ). Participants have the opportunity to show their support, learn about state laws, religious views, suicide prevention and hear from panelists who will share stories about their lives.

The event was combined with “World AIDS Day” activities that included free HIV/Aids testing by the Hawai’i Island HIV/AIDS Foundation,  T-shirts for sale by Pride Hilo, and more.

The events were sponsored by the UH Hilo Women’s Center, Student Activities Council, Campus & Community Service, Lava Shoots, and University Radio Hilo.