May 032017
Ken Hon

Ken Hon in the field.

University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Don Straney announced today Ken Hon, professor of geology, has accepted the offer to serve as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs effective July 1, 2017. He will be replacing Vice Chancellor Matt Platz, who previously announced his intention to return to the classroom in August, while a search is conducted for a permanent vice chancellor.

The appointment will be posted on the UH Board of Regents agenda later this month.

Hon has served as a faculty member at UH Hilo since 1997.

“His knowledge of the university and experience on the Research Council give him a campus-wide perspective, which is important for this position,” says Chancellor Straney today in an email announcement to the university community.

Vice Chancellor Platz will work with Professor Hon this summer to ensure the Office of Academic Affairs is prepared for the start of the new academic year.


May 032017

Professional development webinar will discuss a variety of summer bridge programs that have the purpose of getting students acclimated to college life and build their academic skills.

WEBINAR: Designing Summer Bridge Programs: Curriculum Development, Delivery and Results.
DATE: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017.
TIME: 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
PLACE: Student Services Center, room W-201.

All UH Hilo faculty and staff are invited.

This webinar will discuss a variety of summer bridge programs that have the purpose of getting students acclimated to college life and build their academic skills before starting college from one-week skills building and test prep programs to three-week programs that cluster a general education course, a developmental literacy course, and a student success course.

Participants will also learn how to identify the high-level goals of their institution’s leadership and strategy, and how to design (or redesign) summer bridge programs to achieve outcomes that support and advance an institution’s strategic priorities.

For anyone unable to attend, a recording will be available approximately one week after the live webinar.

The webinar is sponsored by the UH Hilo Professional Development Committee and the Office of the Chancellor.

Group photo

Students from the Kupa ‘Āina summer bridge program gather for a group shot before the hō‘ike ceremonies, 2015. Courtesy photo from Kamehameha Schools.

Learn more about UH Hilo summer bridge programs


Gail Makuakāne-Lundin.

May 012017

Thank you again for all you do to prepare our students to become tomorrow’s leaders.

As another academic year comes to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of you, our faculty and staff. These last few weeks are always a period of transition, but what makes UH Hilo so special is the hard work and dedication each of you put in throughout the entire year to help our students succeed.

In just a few days we will mark another successful year as we present our year-end awards, recognize years of service, and pass along our best wishes to our friends and colleagues who are retiring or moving on to other pursuits. Later, we will gather for spring commencement to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, which goes to the very heart of our mission, and recognize three faculty members for teaching excellence. These events are a timely reminder that our accomplishments are the product of an outstanding team effort. Thank you again for all you do to prepare our students to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Have a safe, happy and productive summer.

Don Straney

-via May issue of the Ka Lono Hanakahi, UH Hilo’s faculty/staff newsletter.

Apr 202017

This message is sent on behalf of the Chancellor’s Professional Development Committee:

Applications for the 2017-2018 Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund are now being accepted. The application form, rubric and guidelines are available online.

Applicants are asked to review the guidelines as instruction has changed from previous years.

The purpose of the Chancellor’s Professional Development Fund is to provide opportunities for continued professional growth and development for faculty and staff, with a special emphasis on development that will have far-reaching impacts on the UH Hilo campus.

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, May 5, 2017, at 4:00 pm.

Applications may be emailed to uhhilopd[at] or dropped off at Human Resources, Auxiliary Services Building, Rm 106, to the attention of Kalei Rapoza, PDC Co-Chair. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Questions regarding the Professional Development Fund and its events can be directed via email to uhhilopd[at]

Apr 142017

From the Chancellor, published in Their Views for April 13, Hawaii Tribune Herald.

I thought it was important to respond to Bart Wright’s column on Monday (Tribune-Herald, B1) about the University of Hawaii at Hilo Athletic Department that focused on recent staff turnover. Whenever there is a time of transition, it can lead to concern about change, and that is understandable.

The column notes that a number of individuals left the department for a variety of reasons. Three left for personal reasons, as happens with other organizations and entities in East Hawaii. Another three left to accept positions at Division I schools. This speaks positively about our athletics program: working here can help advance people’s careers. I am pleased these people succeeded as much as I regret losing them.

It is disappointing that the column speculated that UH-Hilo Athletic Director Pat Guillen’s mainland origin and management style are responsible for the staff changes. Pat has proven to be a tireless worker dedicated to our university, the athletic department and our community. I feel he has truly embraced Hawaii’s culture, values and people. His recent report to the Board of Regents was received very positively, along with the news that UH-Hilo athletics is in the black. He continues to have my full confidence — as do his staff and coaches.

Pat and his staff and coaches are working to improve UH-Hilo athletics. I thank everyone for the amazing support of our athletic department, and hope you can continue to support UH-Hilo athletics so it can be the very best for our student athletes and our community.

Go Vulcans!

Don Straney

Chancellor, UH-Hilo