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Category: Remarks & Writings

Legislative Testimony by the Chancellor on HRC 180 urging reauthorization of the Native Hawaiian Education Act

Testimony Presented Before the
House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs
March 23, 2011 at 8:30am
by
Donald Straney
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

HCR 180 – URGING HAWAII’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO SUPPORT THE
REAUTHORIZATION OF THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN EDUCATION ACT

Chair Hanohano, Vice Chair Lee and Members of the Committee:

The University of Hawai‘i System, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo in particular, have benefited from the Native Hawaiian Education Act. Under this program, our faculty have developed programs that benefit Native Hawaiian students throughout the state. Programs such as Na Pua No‘eau and the indigenous teacher preparation programs have been very effective.

There remains, however, considerable work to do to ensure that Native Hawaiian children have access to an effective and responsive educational system. Continuation of the native Hawaiian Education Act will ensure that we are able to develop and provide the education that our citizens require.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this measure.

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Statement by the Chancellor on supporting Japan disaster recovery efforts

Red UH Hilo log with the words UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT HILO UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor disaster. Our concerns deepen each day as we learn more about the breadth of the triple disaster and the ensuing humanitarian crisis. This crisis is close to home for us because many members of our university ‘ohana have family, friends and colleagues in Japan, and many of us know the UH Hilo students currently studying in Japan. We also have students from Japan studying here with us in Hilo this semester.

Given the close and historic connection between Hawaii and Japan, many people and organizations in our state are already working together collaboratively to support the Japanese people in their time of need. On behalf of the university community, I encourage you to please support Japan disaster recovery efforts.

Here are some ways you can help:

Event

To convey our aloha and in keeping with Japanese tradition, you can help fold and personalize origami cranes at the UH Hilo Center for Global Exchange, PB9 Rm6, March 18, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All donations made at the event will go to the Japan Red Cross.

Donations

Aloha for Japan, a local organization convened by Hawaii business leaders, members of the Japanese American community, Lt. Governor Brian Schatz and Japan Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo to coordinate statewide efforts to collect donations for victims. Aloha for Japan T-shirts can be purchased from several retail outlets. Contact for t-shirts: grphomehi@gmail.com. Donation checks can be mailed to: Aloha for Japan, 2454 South Beretania Street, Suite 201, Honolulu, HI 96826.

American Red Cross

Red Cross Hawaii Chapter

Donald Straney
Chancellor

Statement by the Chancellor on Japan earthquake and tsunami

Aloha,

UH Hilo red logo with the words UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT HILO US MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONOLast night was an anxious time for us all and today brings an opportunity to give thanks that the UH Hilo ‘ohana has come through this latest challenge in good shape.

On behalf of the entire campus, I’d like to thank the staff, students and faculty who worked throughout the night to meet the needs of people on campus, plan for every eventuality, secure our facilities and coordinate with Civil Defense. It was work most people didn’t see, but it was done with professionalism and care. Mahalo for your efforts. A special thanks to those who helped our students from Japan contact family and who checked that our students studying in Japan were safe.

In our gratitude for the outcome in Hilo, though, we must not forget the people on this island, in other parts of the Pacific and especially in Japan who suffered much more from this earthquake and tsunami. The wave connects us and makes their plight part of our concern. The victims and their families are in our thoughts and prayers. They should have our support however we can give it.

Donald Straney
Chancellor

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Please support Japan disaster relief efforts:
Aloha for Japan
American Red Cross
Red Cross Hawaii Chapter

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: March 2011

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce
March 2011

Growing our campus strengthens our island’s economy

Logo with the words Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Since 1898The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is more than an institution of higher education, it has a major impact on the island’s economy. A recent estimate is that UH Hilo contributes about $240 million to the economic activity of the state. Here at home, the university employs 610 people and stimulates an additional 3,900 jobs in our local communities. UH Hilo’s University Park of Science and Technology has $900 million in investments and creates 400 jobs.

In these challenging economic times, an effective way to address both job growth and higher education needs is through capital improvement projects on our campus, and we have some exciting projects in the works.

Our new Science and Technology Building is nearing completion. The physics, astronomy, and chemistry departments will move into the $28 million structure that will feature new classrooms, laboratories, and research space. The top-notch facilities and technology will provide UH Hilo students and faculty with state-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities rivaling any in the country, bringing our university’s science disciplines into the 21st century and enabling our graduates to be highly competitive at the graduate school level and in the work force.

We broke ground on our new Student Services Building in January. The three-story structure will house programs to support student success: admissions, registration, financial aid, advising, career development, disability services, counseling, women’s center, and health promotion. Capital improvements like this bring UH Hilo in line with national trends in student services and allow staff to meet the needs of our diverse student population from initial admission to graduation and beyond.

In February, we celebrated the groundbreaking of our award-winning College of Hawaiian Language building. Our island is the best place in the world to study indigenous language and culture revitalization, and we are committed to strengthening and growing the college. The beautiful building already is earning accolades: the Honolulu chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave WCIT Architects the design award for this building in the “Commissioned Work to be Built” category. Both the building and landscape will reflect the Hawaiian culture and our island’s natural resources.

Plans are underway for a permanent building for our College of Pharmacy to be located at the entrance to the University Park of Science and Technology. Now awaiting legislative approval for construction, the facility will give UH Hilo pharmacy students access to state-of-the-art technology in the classroom, affording them an exceptional educational experience that will prepare them well for the job market. With this building, the College of Pharmacy will meet its full potential to educate the health care work force of tomorrow, serve the health care needs of our citizens, and stimulate the economy through grants and research.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on a new UH Hilo College Campus Store, which will be an addition to the Campus Center building. We’re excited about this new store because, not only will it be a place for students to buy books, but it will also be a welcoming place to shop, eat, hang out and just enjoy. Serving both UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College, the store’s ultra-modern design will contribute greatly to a lively and inviting sense of community for our students.

Radio interview with the Chancellor

Chancellor Donald Straney of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo says it’s the attitude of Hawai‘i’s university system that attracted him.

Logo with the words Hawaii Public Radio, ocean in backgroundFebruary 22, 2011: Hawai‘i Island reporter Sherry Bracken from Hawaii Public Radio spoke with Chancellor Donald Straney about why he made the move from California.

February 23, 2011: University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s new Chancellor, Donald Straney, has been at the helm for nearly nine months. He says the UH Hilo campus is very different from the 20,000-student UH Mānoa campus.

(Update: Interviews no longer available online.)