An informal hoʻokipa welcome ceremony for Matt Platz as the new vice chancellor for academic affairs was held Jan. 3 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Dr. Platz previously served as Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Ohio State University and director of the Division of Chemistry at the National Science Foundation.
The welcome took place in the hale at Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center. The ceremonies were facilitated by the UH Hilo Native Hawaiian Hanakahi Council. All UH Hilo vice chancellors were in attendance as well administrators and faculty who have been working with Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center to develop UH Hilo into a model indigenous-serving institution.
Participants included Don Straney, chancellor; Kenny Simmons, who has been serving as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs; Luoluo Hong, VC for student affairs; Marcia Sakai, VC for administrative affairs; and Dan Brown, VC for research and economic development. Also attending were Randy Hirokawa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Forrest Batz, assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy; Todd Belt, chair and associate professor of political science; Cam Muir, associate professor of biology and coordinator of sustainability program; Misaki Takabayashi, chair and associate professor of marine science; Kerri Inglis, associate professor of history; Drew Kapp, department of geography and environmental studies; and Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, executive assistant to the chancellor; and Kaleo Pilago, student development specialist at Kīpuka.