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UH Hilo Interim Chancellor's Blog Posts

Statement by the Chancellor on Japan earthquake and tsunami

Aloha,

Last 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

Call for nominations for 2010-2011 UH Hilo awards

Nominations are still being accepted for the following UH Hilo awards:

KOICHI AND TANIYO TANIGUCHI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION: Recognizes creativity in teaching, scholarship, and artistic production at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Any full-time UH Hilo faculty or staff member is eligible. Teams consisting of two or more faculty or staff may also be nominated. (Students may be part of teams led by faculty or staff).

AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCHOLARLY/CREATIVE ACTIVITIES: Presented to a member of the tenure track faculty or a full-time BOR-classified professional staff member for outstanding achievement in scholarly and/or creative endeavors, including publication of well-reviewed books, publication in refereed journals, or performances or exhibitions at the state or national levels

PROFESSIONAL STAFF AWARD: Presented to a professional staff member who has made major professional contributions to his/her unit and to the university as a whole, and has made a positive impact on the welfare of students and colleagues.

OUTSTANDING UNIVERSITY SUPPORT EMPLOYEE AWARD: Presented to a University support service employee who has made significant contributions to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Click here for nomination instructions and forms. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 11, 2011.

3/10 UPDATE: Deadline for nominations is extended to March 16.

Learn more about prior award recipients.

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

The 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.

February 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.

Part 1: Audio file (one minute excerpt) bisle_22.mp3

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. From Kona, Sherry Bracken tells us more.

Part 2: Audio file (one minute excerpt) bisle_23.mp3

UH Board of Regents approves two new degrees at UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

Pharmacy logoCollege of Pharmacy to offer BA in pharmacy studies and doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences

HONOLULU – At its monthly meeting held yesterday at Honolulu Community College, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved the bachelor of arts in pharmacy studies and the doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences as provisional programs to be administered by the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, effective fall 2011.

The UH Hilo College of Pharmacy currently offers a curriculum leading to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) with the first class of student pharmacists scheduled to graduate in May 2011. The addition of the bachelor of arts in pharmacy studies (BAPS) will give the College of Pharmacy an additional advantage over programs that do not offer such a degree and will make the program even more attractive to applicants. Implementation of the doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences will also give the College of Pharmacy a distinct competitive advantage through research excellence and prepare graduates to be scientists with extensive skills in research design, techniques and methodologies.

“Each of these programs expands our ability to offer students more options in a changing world landscape,” said College of Pharmacy Dean John M. Pezzuto. “The BAPS degree will enhance educational opportunities for our PharmD students and make them more competitive in the marketplace. The doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences complements the PharmD program by exposing students to career prospects beyond the practice of pharmacy. We’ve been building these degree options since the founding of the college.”

The BAPS degree is designed for students enrolled in the PharmD program at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. Students who enter the PharmD program at UH Hilo are required to have met pre-pharmacy requirements, but they are not required to have earned a bachelor’s degree. The PharmD curriculum is rigorous and requires four years of studies, surpassing the requirements of a bachelor’s level degree. By providing the BAPS degree option, students will have the opportunity to have their academic achievements properly recognized.

The program supports the Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative of the UH System, which aims to increase the number of UH graduates by 25 percent by 2015. The degree offering will also increase UH Hilo retention rates, as students who participate in the pre-pharmacy program will earn a bachelor’s degree.

The doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences will be the first program of this type to be offered by the University of Hawai‘i, and the only program of this nature to be offered in the state of Hawai‘i and the Pacific region. It will significantly elevate the culture of research, development and technology transfer in the pharmaceutical sciences, with an emphasis on natural products discovery and development and their importance in pharmacy and healthcare in general. This effort is consistent with the UH System’s focus on workforce development and research innovation in contribution to Hawai‘i’s overall economic future.

“Not only will residents of Hawai‘i be able to earn a doctorate in pharmaceutical science without leaving the state, but we will also be able to attract scholars from the mainland and abroad with unparalleled opportunities. The economic and intellectual benefits to the state reach far beyond our imagination at this point,” said Pezzuto.

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