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UH Hilo Interim Chancellor's Blog Posts

Kīpaepae ceremony to be held for former Chancellor Don Straney and Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai

The following message is sent on behalf of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College Kīpaepae Committee and the Ha‘akūmalae Protocols Program:

Aloha mai kākou,

Don Straney
Don Straney

We warmly invite you to participate in a Kīpaepae Ho‘oku‘u (Releasing Ceremony) and Kīpaepae Ho‘onoho (Appointment Ceremony) on Thursday, September 14, 2017, for former UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney and new UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai.

Dr. Straney was recently appointed as the UH System Vice President of Academic Planning and Policy.

Please join us as we provide an opportunity to honor both Dr. Straney and Dr. Sakai in their new positions.

The details of this kīpaepae are as follows:

Marcia Sakai
Marcia Sakai
  • What: Kīpaepae Ho‘oku‘u & Kīpaepae Ho‘onoho.
  • Where: UCB 127 (Ho‘oulu Terrace), UH Hilo campus (campus map).
  • Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017.
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. (8:45 a.m. Orientation).

Kihei and lei are highly encouraged but not required.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

The UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College Kīpaepae Committee and Ha‘akūmalae Protocols Program

Interim Chancellor’s Message: Update on enrollment management

We continue our enrollment management work with an integrated, strategic and holistic approach to student success that will reverse the decline and begin to rebuild enrollment.

By Marcia Sakai.

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.As part of a University of Hawai‘i systemwide initiative, UH Hilo is currently developing new ways to be more effective at recruitment, retention, and graduation. Each of the 10 campuses in the statewide UH system is developing their own five-year enrollment management plan specifically designed with appropriate goals for the individual campus.

The good news is that each year we are meeting our ever growing graduation performance targets (set by the UH System). Last year our goal was to graduate 926 students and we exceeded that with 955 students receiving degrees and/or certificates. But this success, while we are absolutely doing what we need to do, has a negative effect on enrollment.

While we at UH Hilo predict enrollment will continue to decline for fiscal year 2018 (on par with national trends), the drop should be smaller for the university than in previous years. Meanwhile we continue our enrollment management work with an integrated, strategic and holistic approach to student success that will reverse the decline and begin to rebuild enrollment.

Through careful planning and constant review and reevaluation of our progress, the campus is moving forward on several actions over the next year.

  • Place new admissions counselors for West Hawai‘i and transfer students as part of our redesigned marketing strategy and expanded recruitment on Hawai‘i Island. Expand counselor visits and open houses on neighbor islands, O‘ahu, and U.S. mainland.
  • Establish a Transfer Success Center as a one-stop service for advising, credit evaluation and engagement for incoming students.
  • Hire a First-Year Experience Director to expand our integrated programs aimed at increasing freshman retention from 71 percent to 75 percent by 2020. Our highly successful residential Living Learning Communities for first year students, with peer tutoring and residential programming, will be made a permanent part of offerings to incoming freshman.
  • Expand our successful peer mentoring programs to Marine Science with future programs in Biology and Health Sciences. These proven programs engage entering freshmen and transfer students in their first year, giving them a good academic start, especially in English and Mathematics.
  • Start the Starfish student success platform in spring 2018. Starfish is designed to identify students beginning to have academic difficulty through an early alert system, pinpointing areas of concern and connecting the students with appropriate services to stay on track to persist and graduate.

These actions illustrate a strategy in correcting declining enrollment through transitioning New Student Programs into First-Year Experience Programs. For example, by having upperclassmen in the majors serve as peer mentors, our campus goals are supported by 1) providing student employment income to upperclassmen, 2) providing peer support to underclassmen, 3) increasing retention and 4) increasing timely graduation.

Further, it’s important to note that despite decreased enrollment, our Orientation Program and Housing Program both have experienced increases this semester in their respective areas.

More students and their parents participated in this fall semester’s Orientation than last year. Orienting and engaging students early in their college experience contributes to first-year retention so we are very pleased to see this increase.

In Housing, 743 students are housed on campus so far this semester (as of Aug. 22) compared to 672 last year. Of those, 206 are housed in our new Hale ‘Alahonua residence hall compared to 148 last semester. In addition, there is a search in progress for an Associate Director for Residence Life position which will help to increase engagement of resident students.

At its core, all this activity in enrollment management is based on the foundational needs of Hawai‘i Island’s high school students and others to have options in accessing higher education on our island and to then to be successful in their academic endeavors—these are the guiding needs we are answering in these new directions in enrollment management.

We all need to work together—our internal university community and our local community at large—to plan for and implement these new directions in improving recruitment, retention and graduation. Together, we can work toward reversing the decline in enrollment and build a stronger, more accessible university for the people of our island, state and region.

For more information, visit our Enrollment Management website.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

Message from the vice chancellor for academic affairs: Support for students affected by Hurricane Harvey

Vice Chancellor Farrah-Marie Gomes: Let’s do our part by being supportive of students who may need assistance in coping with this natural disaster.

Farrah-Marie Gomes

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

Among our student population this semester are several students from Texas and many other students who have family or friends from the Lone Star state. As Texas residents deal with Hurricane Harvey, I encourage us to do our part by being supportive of students who may need assistance in coping with this natural disaster.

Housing, New Student Programs, and Pharmacy have made contact with almost all of our registered students with a permanent address in Texas. If you encounter a student in need of support to cope with Hurricane Harvey or any other situation, please feel free to reach out or make referrals to the available campus services below:

Counseling Services

Campus Care Team

For extremely urgent situations or after hour calls, the Crisis Line of Hawai‘i is available at 1-800-753-6879.

Mahalo for continued care and concern for our students.

Farrah-Marie Gomes
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

Kalei Rapoza named interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs; Annette Sugimoto to serve as acting director of human resources

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

Kalei Rapoza
Kalei Rapoza

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Office of the Chancellor is pleased to announce that Kalei Rapoza will be the interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs, effective September 1, 2017.

Most of you know Kalei as director of human resources. He oversees all human resources for the UH Hilo campus, assists in development of system human resources policies and procedures, develops campus policy and procedures, conducts investigations and provides advice and counsel to executives in all matters related to personnel.

He also serves as deputy Title IX coordinator, chair of the Chancellor’s Professional Development Committee, chair of the Campus Crisis Management Team, member of the UH Hilo Diversity Committee, member of the System Conflicts of Interest Committee, and is on the negotiating team for Bargaining Units 7 and 8.

Kalei came to UH Hilo in 2013 when he was appointed as associate director of human resources. Before joining UH Hilo, he was employed at the State of Hawai‘i Department of Education as a personnel specialist serving in the areas of labor relations and classified personnel on both O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Islands.

Kalei is a graduate of the 2014 President’s Emerging Leaders Program, and currently serves as an employee member on the State of Hawai‘i Deferred Compensation Plan Board of Trustees.

He received his undergraduate degree from UH Mānoa, and his juris doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Annette Sugimoto
Annette Sugimoto

During the interim appointment, Annette Sugimoto will serve as acting director of human resources. Annette has been an integral member of the UH Hilo human resources team for nearly twenty years. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the position along with a history of exceptional customer service.

Join me in welcoming Kalei and Annette into their new roles and functions.

Regards,

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

Open Forum scheduled with UH President David Lassner, Aug. 30

Aloha,

David Lassner

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo community is invited to meet with UH President David Lassner in an Open Forum with faculty, staff, and students to discuss the upcoming UH Hilo Chancellor search and any other issues of importance with impacted groups within UH Hilo and the Hilo community.

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017.
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Place: Ho‘oulu Terrace, University Classroom Building, room 127.

Hope you can make it and participate in a stimulating conversation with President Lassner.

Marcia Sakai

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