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Category: Announcements

Chancellor’s Message on changes to Nā Pua Noʻeau program

No longer a statewide organization based at UH Hilo, the mission and vision of Nā Pua Noʻeau will now be integrated into campus programs at UH Hilo, UH Mānoa, UH Maui College, Kaua‘i Community College and UH West O‘ahu.

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

Green leaf logo with the words UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Nā Pua Noʻeau Center for Gifted and Talent Native Hawaiian ChildrenI would like to acknowledge and thank all Nā Pua Noʻeau employees for their years of service to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Last week, the University of Hawai‘i System announced the integration of the Nā Pua Noʻeau Center for Gifted and Talent Native Hawaiian Children mission and vision into campus programs at UH Hilo, UH Mānoa, UH Maui College, Kaua‘i Community College and UH West O‘ahu:

Employees of will now report directly to the campuses where they are located.

We are pleased to have Nina Segawa, Administrative/Fiscal Officer transitioning to Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center , and Raymond Busniewski, Information Technology Specialist, transitioning to Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language after closeout activities are completed.

Please direct any questions regarding Na Pua Noeau to Farrah-Marie Gomes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.


Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

UH asking for public input on Maunakea rules for public and commercial activities; hearings scheduled

The public is strongly encouraged to participate in the process as the testimony will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized.

The University of Hawaiʻi invites the public to provide input on the proposed draft of the administrative rules that will govern public and commercial activities on UH-managed lands on Maunakea—Chapter 20–26, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules. Testimony may be submitted in four ways up until the end of the last noticed hearing:

  1.  Online at the UH Government Relations website;
  2. Via email at;
  3. In writing to UH Government Relations Office, 2442 Campus Road, Administrative Services Building 1-101, Honolulu, HI, 96822; and/or
  4. In person at one of four public hearings:
  • September 24, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Sullivan Conference Center, UH Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo Street, Honolulu
  • September 25, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, 600 ʻImiloa Place, Hilo
  • September 26, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School, 68-1730 Hoʻoko Street, Waikoloa
  • September 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., ʻIke Leʻa—Room 144, UH Maui College, 310 West Kaʻahumanu Avenue, Kahului

The public is strongly encouraged to participate in the process as the testimony will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized. The rules will then go to the UH Board of Regents for a publicly noticed decision making meeting that will also accept public testimony. If approved at that point, the rules will proceed thru the Administrative Rules process to the governor for final review and approval.

“The administrative rules provide the university with an important stewardship tool to more effectively protect the cultural, natural and scientific resources on Maunakea and provide measures to better ensure public health and safety,“ says UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai.

The draft rules were developed after extensive community outreach that included several publicly noticed meetings, open houses and consultation with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Small Business Regulatory Review Board. The draft rules as required by statute are consistent with rules currently in place for similar lands managed by DLNR, including forest and natural area reserves.

The UH Board of Regents approved the draft rules for public hearings on June 7, and Governor David Ige gave his approval to move ahead with public hearings in July 2018.

See UH System News release for more information and FAQs.

Interim Chancellor’s Message to Faculty & Staff: Welcome to Fall 2018 Semester

UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.Aloha and welcome back to returning faculty and staff. On behalf of the university, I send a special welcome to new faculty and staff joining our UH Hilo ‘ohana.

We have an exciting semester ahead with many opportunities for you to engage with the university community. We are planning an invited speaker series, fairs, exhibits, performances, and presentations on the extraordinary work of UH Hilo faculty and staff. Professional development events will challenge you to expand your knowledge and skills.

The volcanic eruption event that began in early May has touched all our lives. Please reach out for support if you have been directly affected. Visit our informational website for FAQs, information on housing, safety, wellness resources, contact information, and more.

I also encourage you to be especially sensitive to the needs of our students whose lives have been disrupted from the flow. The spirit of aloha will go a long way to help keep us all on track and moving forward with our work, our studies, and our lives.

Please welcome our new students and their families who are here to engage in the many Fall Orientation activities planned for them this week. I hope you’ll join us for Convocation on August 15 at 12:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. Let’s also be ready to welcome back our returning students and the new academic year.

Have a great semester!

Marcia Sakai

Message from the Chancellors on Hurricane Hector

Aloha University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Photo of hurricane blown palms, with the word "Ready" and a check mark in the left top cornerPlease be advised that as of 8:00 a.m. today, Aug. 7, 2018, the center of Hurricane Hector was located approximately 540 miles east-southeast of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per  hour with occasional higher gusts. Forecasters note that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.

The storm is expected to pass approximately 165 miles south of Hawai‘i Island on Wednesday, Aug. 8. However, only a small deviation to the north of the forecast track could bring tropical storm force winds to Hawai‘i Island later tonight or tomorrow.

Possible impacts include:

  • Surf: Swells generated by Hector are forecast to reach southeast and east shores late today. A high surf warning has been issued for east-facing shores of Hawai‘i Island. This is in effect from noon today through 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Wind: Tropical storm force winds are possible across Hawai‘i Island late today and tomorrow.

As conditions warrant, we will send out announcements or alerts via email. To receive alerts on mobile phones, you may sign up online for UH Alert Notifications.

Additionally, information on hurricane preparedness can be found at the national public service website on Hurricanes.

We continue to monitor Hurricane Hector and are working closely with Hawai‘i County Civil Defense as well as other county and state agencies to remain prepared and informed.

Mahalo, and stay safe.

Marcia Sakai, Interim Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
Rachel Solemsaas, Chancellor, Hawai‘i Community College

Former UH Hilo Chancellor Edward Kormondy dies at 91; contributions made lasting impact on UH Hilo

Ed Kormondy led UH Hilo from 1986 to 1993; his seven-year tenure at the time marked the longest term for any chancellor since UH Hilo became a four-year university in 1970.

Edward J. Kormondy
Edward J. Kormondy

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai announced today the passing of former Chancellor Edward J. Kormondy, who died April 28, 2018, at his home in Los Angeles, Calif. He was 91.

“Chancellor Kormondy’s contributions have had a lasting impact on UH Hilo,” Sakai says. “Much of what he accomplished set the stage for future growth and development that took place years after his retirement.”

Kormondy led UH Hilo from 1986 to 1993 after serving the previous four years as vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. His seven-year tenure at UH Hilo at the time marked the longest term for any chancellor since UH Hilo became a four-year university in 1970.


As chancellor, Kormondy compiled a lengthy list of accomplishments, including a large increase in enrollment, which grew from 1,594 in fall 1986 to 2,953 in fall 1993. Major outreach centers were established in Hawaiian language, the study of volcanoes, native Hawaiian childhood development and small business, and the first college course was conducted via interisland television transmission.

He oversaw construction of the Hale Kehau dormitory and dining complex, which opened in 1989, and the opening of the UH Hilo University Park of Science and Technology the following year.

He also presided over the separation of UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College in 1991.


Kormondy became a regular donor to the UH System in 1987 and created an endowed fund to support professional development of faculty and staff at UH Hilo. He also helped to endow the Frank T. Inouye Endowed Scholarship Fund established in 2003 in honor of the university’s first director and was a trailblazer in helping to raise funds for the scholarship, which supports UH Hilo students pursuing a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.


A celebrated author, Kormondy teamed with Inouye to write The University of Hawai‘i-Hilo: A College in the Making. The book chronicles the history of the institution, spanning a period in excess of 40 years beginning in 1952 when Inouye became director, and concluding with the end of Kormondy’s term in 1993. He has also written and contributed to more than 70 other publications, including books on academia, biology and ecology.


In addition to UH Hilo and Cal State LA, Kormondy served in administrative and/or academic roles at UH-West O‘ahu, University of Michigan, Oberlin College, the University of Pittsburgh, Evergreen State College, the University of Southern Maine, and Tusculum College in Tennessee, where he was a trustee and acting president. He most recently served as president at the University of West Los Angeles.


Kormondy received a baccalaureate degree in biology from Tusculum College, and master and doctoral degrees in the same discipline from the University of Michigan.


Kormondy is survived by his partner Noriaki Nakano, his children Lynn Kormondy, Eric Kormondy (Janet), and Mark Kormondy (Susan), his grand and great grandchildren, and sister-in-law Shirley Kormondy.

Based on his wishes, no memorial service is planned and the family gathered privately to scatter his ashes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to carry on his education legacy in the Kormondy-Hedrick Scholarship in the Life Sciences at Tusculum University, Alumni Office, P.O. Box 5040, Greeneville, TN 37743, or in another scholastic charity.


Media release