Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce
Update on UH Hilo’s Strategic Plan, Part 2
Aloha and Happy New Year!
The new year brings two new people to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s management team. We welcome Matt Platz as our new vice chancellor for academic affairs. 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. We will soon be welcoming our new director of University Relations later this month; a formal announcement will follow UH Board of Regent’s Jan. 24 meeting.
Strategic Plan Update
For this month’s column, I’d like to continue last month’s topic on our progress toward UH Hilo’s new Strategic Plan. In December, I highlighted the first three goals that administrators, faculty, and staff have been working to implement. This month, I’ll highlight some of the steps taken to implement the other three goals.
Goal 4 is about cultivating, sustaining and reflecting a diverse, multicultural university that is rooted in the indigenous history of Hawai‘i. One of the projects we’re working on related to this goal is a UH systemwide initiative called “Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao,” which translates to “Hawai‘i Foundations of Enlightenment/Knowledge,” the goal of which is for UH to become the model indigenous-serving institution in the state and nation. Each UH campus was tasked with developing its own individual campus plan, and I have appointed a task force of individuals who represent a breadth of experience to develop Hilo’s plan. With community-wide input, the committee will gather information on Native Hawaiian programs, staffing, students and the Native Hawaiian community to develop our plan.
Goal 5 is about strengthening UH Hilo’s impact on the community, island and state of Hawai‘i through responsive higher education, community partnerships, and knowledge and technology transfer. On this goal, we’re moving on several fronts. Here are a few examples:
- We’re partnering with key community and government stakeholders supporting a new undergraduate certificate in agriculture, “Veterans to Farmers.”
- The College of Pharmacy has begun a grant-funded program called Pharm2Pharm designed to reduce medication-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits by establishing teamwork between hospital and community pharmacists on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui and Kauaʻi.
- We’re increasing community-based internships, service learning, and research projects that give our students real world learning experiences while strengthening our island businesses and communities.
- We’ve initiated a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in West Hawai‘i and will be expanding it and adding other bachelor’s degree programs.
- I have formed a Leadership and Development Council made up of business and community leaders to assist me on campus strategy and resource development. Our first meeting was in November where we discussed ways to attract qualified employees, encourage career opportunities for graduates, target growth in research, enhance programs, and develop a “college town” and “college island.”
Goal 6 is about facilitating organizational excellence through continuous innovation, responsible resource development, and effective communication. An example of this goal is the work of the UH Hilo Professional Development Committee, which I formed in 2012 to allocate funds for the professional development needs of faculty and staff. Events for the 2012-2013 academic year have been funded totaling more than $57,000 covering workplace violence training, a clerical workshop, advisor training sessions, financial aid staff training, a health and wellness program on the Hawaiian-style approach to well-being, among about 10 other events.
To learn more about the progress made toward UH Hilo’s new Strategic Plan, visit my blog.
Have a happy, healthy, and productive New Year!
Don StraneyComments closed