Feb 212017
 

Dear Colleagues,

Attached is the updated proposal and related files for the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences. I appreciate your patience with the process.

Vice Chancellor Platz and I have scheduled three Town Hall meetings where we invite you to come to discuss this proposal. Schedule of meetings:

  • Friday, Feb. 24, 3:00 p.m., University Classroom Building, room 127.
  • Wednesday, March 1, 9:00 a.m., University Classroom Building, room 127.
  • Thursday, March 2, 11:30 a.m.,  University Classroom Building, room 111.

We welcome your feedback.

We look forward to further conversation.

Sincerely,

Don Straney

Dec 022016
 

The agreement is a natural partnership to work collaboratively in a wide range of fields: business, pharmacy, traditional medicine, disaster resilience, technology, and sustainability.

By Don Straney.

The University of Hawai‘i System has entered into a formal agreement with the Tsuzuki Education Group to advance collaborative education and research with several universities in Japan. Last month I traveled with UH President David Lassner to Fukuoka, Japan, where the group is based, to sign the agreement. Dean of the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy Carolyn Ma joined us on the trip.

yokohama-school-of-pharmacy-group

Seated with Carolyn Ma, dean of UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, in front of group from the Yokohama University of Pharmacy. Location: Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Courtesy photo, click to enlarge.

The Tsuzuki Education Group includes more than 20 private universities and colleges, as well as high school and middle schools, in multiple locations across Japan.

The agreement is a continuation of a 35-year relationship between Hawaiʻi and Fukuoka, established by former Governor George Ariyoshi, whose father came from Fukuoka Prefecture.

The agreement under Gov. Ariyoshi was Hawaiʻi’s first sister-state international relationship, and it was a perfect choice given that we are island communities with deep familial, cultural and economic connections between us.

Fukuoka City is now designated as an Innovation Hub for Japan, which parallels nicely to the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative where UH is working with the private sector and government to build an innovation, research, education and training enterprise in Hawai‘i.

It’s within this context that the new agreement with the Tsuzuki Education Group is a natural partnership, building on the longstanding relationship between Fukuoka and Hawai‘i  to work collaboratively on common, modern challenges in a wide range of fields: business, pharmacy, traditional medicine, disaster resilience, technology, and sustainability.

This new system-to-system partnership builds on already existing agreements between UH Hilo and Tsuzuki including exchange programs with the Yokohama University of Pharmacy and Japan University of Economics.

UH Hilo’s Conference Center is already arranging study trips for Japanese students. Representatives from Yokohama University of Pharmacy came to visit us here and we put together a series of short visits for students—Japan students can see how we do things and vice versa for our students. We hope now to expand these types of exchange opportunities for students both ways.

The trip to Japan

The following video highlighting the research and academic strengths of the UH System was presented at the celebration of Tsuzuki Educational Group’s 60th anniversary during our trip. This is the English version:

During our trip, Carolyn Ma and I visited the different campuses and pharmacy facilities to look at ways we could establish and expand research exchanges and collaborations.

The pharmacy schools in Japan are researching traditional medicines, which dovetails nicely with the research being done on natural products at our pharmacy college.

Three campuses in Japan are working on business and economic issues—faculty there are very interested in the impact of Japanese tourism and are doing innovative work on economic development. Our new dean of the College of Business and Economics, Drew Martin, will be traveling to Japan to discuss different opportunities to collaborate on programs of benefit to both Japan and Hawai‘i.

Another area of shared interest is with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for data collection—we can share strategies for approaching challenges such as natural disaster response, collecting geographic data, and mapping areas such as agricultural lands and conservation areas.

I’m excited about the education and research opportunities this partnership will bring as we work together through collaborations with faculty and students to create a better future of mutual benefit for both the people of Japan and Hawai‘i.

For photos from the trip and more information, visit the post on my blog: Chancellor Straney visits universities in Japan.

Aloha,

Don Straney

Nov 022016
 

UH and the Tsuzuki Education Group entered a formal agreement on Nov. 1 to advance collaborative education and research.

UH President David Lassner participates in part of the signing ceremony.

UH President David Lassner participates in part of the signing ceremony.

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, and more than 800 invited guests including educational leaders from Japan and Europe, Japanese government officials and representatives from Japanese industries, attended ceremonies in Japan for a formal collaborative agreement yesterday.

UH and the Tsuzuki Education Group entered a formal agreement on Nov. 1 to advance collaborative education and research. The Tsuzuki Education Group includes more than 20 private universities and colleges in multiple locations across Japan.

Through the agreement, any part of the UH System may build on the initial relationships developed by UH Hilo to expand Hawaiʻi-Japan student exchange programs with Tsuzuki campuses and explore compelling initiatives across a wide range of interests such as business, pharmacy, traditional medicine, disaster resilience, technology, volcanology and sustainability.

President Lassner signed the memorandum of understanding with Tsuzuki Chancellor Kimiko Tsuzuki at a ceremony in Fukuoka, Japan. The signing ceremony was a highlight of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Tsuzuki Educational Group’s founding.

“Besides our deep cultural and economic connections, both Hawaiʻi and Japan are island communities,” says Lassner. “We share many common challenges and opportunities to create a better future that we can address together through collaborations with our faculty and students.”

This new system-to-system partnership builds on agreements between UH Hilo and Tsuzuki including exchange programs with the Yokohama University of Pharmacy and Japan University of Economics.

Chancellor Straney is continuing to meet with Tsuzuki officials and campuses to explore further opportunities for collaboration for UH Hilo and other UH campuses.

The partnership is also a new chapter in the relationship between Hawaiʻi and Fukuoka, where the Tsuzuki Educational Group is based. Spearheaded by former Governor George Ariyoshi, whose father came from Fukuoka prefecture, the Hawaiʻi-Fukuoka partnership was established 35 years ago as Hawaiʻi’s first sister-state international relationship.

 

-Adapted from UH System News

Oct 032016
 

We are preparing students for careers in conservation, a new growth sector in Hawai‘i’s economy.

By Chancellor Don Straney

One of the top responsibilities of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is to provide stewardship for the natural and cultural environment. Our campus emphasizes respect for the ‘āina, or land, and we work in partnership with the local community and government agencies to study, protect, preserve and sustain the unique natural and cultural environment of Hawai‘i Island.

We approach this work on many fronts. We provide our students myriad opportunities to create careers in conservation. Our researchers are studying the island’s flora and fauna resulting in groundbreaking findings with potential to save vulnerable species from extinction.

Hawai‘i and the Pacific islands are at the leading edge of conservation challenges because of the highly unique endemic species, with the many threats to the species and environments from invasive species, diseases and habitat change, and now with the increasing climate changes.

Let me share with you some of the things we’ve done recently to meet these challenges.

Internships

PIPES

PIPES cohort. Click to enlarge.

The Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Science immerses students in applied learning internships for 10 weeks each summer, where the students’ work can immediately impact and help solve emerging problems. The program’s 24th annual Student Symposium was held in August, where 42 students presented their projects ranging from monitoring erosion on Maunakea to engaging the community in little fire ant control.

Pacific Climate Boot Camp

UH Hilo hosted the first Climate Change Boot Camp in August. The event showcased recent collaborative research efforts driven by local natural resource managers across Hawaiʻi Island in a new program entitled the UH Hilo Manager Climate Corps. Local managers have teamed up with UH Hilo faculty across a diversity of disciplines to address complex needs resulting from climate change and other natural resource challenges. The goal is to support communities as they tackle climate change, invasive species, land-use, and culture.

World Conservation Congress

Becky

UH Hilo Professor of Biology Becky Ostertag attended the World Conservation Congress and gave a presentation at the Species Pavilion. Photo by Katia Chikasuye, click to enlarge.

UH Hilo participated in the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress held last month in Honolulu. Held every four years, this conference brings together scientists and experts, policy makers, educators, politicians, non-governmental organizations, business interests, and community organizations from around the world to discuss conservation issues.

This was the first time this prestigious congress was held in the U.S., and UH Hilo played an important role highlighting our island as a model in environmental and cultural conservation. In addition to UH Hilo being a member of the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance—a group that was a driving force behind getting the IUCN to the U.S. and Hawai‘i and was involved with planning the event—UH Hilo researchers and students were engaged in many different activities across the diverse event.

Marty presents her research, standing with group listening.

UH Hilo researcher Marty Kawasaki (at right in floral dress) presents her work at the World Conservation Congress. Courtesy photo. Click to enlarge.

Researchers from the UH Hilo Hawai‘i Cooperative Studies Unit presented studies on the impacts of climate change in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, waterbird studies, and digital storymap techniques. Much of this work was done collaboratively with the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center, located at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and the USGS Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, located at UH Hilo.

Partnerships such as these can be fast, responsive and have become a well-respected and trusted source of information by conservation managers. Findings from one collaborative study resulted in a resolution at the IUCN calling for the conservation of one of Hawai‘i’s highly endangered birds, the ‘i‘iwi.

Many of our faculty and students also attended the World Conservation Congress.

A biology professor and researcher presented a talk on a computer program developed in collaboration with UH Hilo computer science students. The project is entitled Restoring Ecosystems Services Tool (REST) and uses principal component analysis graphs to identify plants that are functionally similar to one another for the purposes of ecosystem restoration. (The students presented their project last year at the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition in California.)

kuulaiucnkanaloa-for-web

Students and faculty from the Kūʻula Integrated Science Program performed at the IUCN Marine World Heritage Reception. Click to enlarge.

And students and faculty from our Kūʻula Integrated Science Program performed at the IUCN Marine World Heritage Reception. The Kūʻula students presented two chants and hula describing human relationships with the ocean and coral reefs.

Graduate Program

A core program in our efforts to meet the conservation challenges of our island is our Tropical Conservation Biology and Environment Science graduate program, now in its 12th year with 143 graduates to date. We are proud of our graduates, entering doctoral programs or going straight to work on local wildlife management, watershed projects, fisheries, integrated pest management and more, contributing greatly to conservation measures throughout our island and state.

We are preparing students for careers in conservation, a new growth sector in Hawai‘i’s economy. Having local people engaged in solving the problems of our precious local environment is vital to success.

Aloha,

Don Straney

Sep 062016
 

Chancellor Don Straney and Vice Chancellor Matt Platz: The proposed reorganization creates two new college units.

Hilo sealBackground

Faculty members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have raised ideas for reorganizing our colleges over the past several years. The Division of Natural Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences, for example, has long sought to be a standalone college.

On November 23, 2015, the Faculty Congress passed Motion 8 calling for “the Creation of a Campus-wide Task Force to Study the Reorganization of Academic Units at UH Hilo.” The Task Force worked during the 2015-16 academic year and talked with many individuals to understand their opinions about possible college structures. They published a report in spring 2016 and invited the campus to a town hall meeting to discuss their report.

At the end of spring semester, Chancellor Don Straney and Vice Chancellor Matt Platz agreed to consider input from all sources and to produce a formal recommendation for reorganization at the beginning of fall 2016. We outline here our proposal, which we are also sending to the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly, and the Hawaii Government Employee Association, per Administrative Procedure No. A3.101.6 (PDF).

Purpose

UH Hilo has experienced enrollment losses, as has most of the rest of the UH System. Given that the majority of our funding now comes from tuition, stabilizing and rebuilding enrollments is essential to maintaining the comprehensive university we have labored to build over the decades. Reorganization must be viewed as a tactic for rebuilding enrollments and preserving programs and services.

Our proposed reorganization creates two new college units that will be expected to manage retention and graduation of their students in a more effective manner than at present. This will be accomplished by eliminating administrative layers between deans and the departments, fostering better management of resources, while being minimally disruptive.

Proposal

A. College of Business and Economics (COBE); College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM); Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (KHUOK); and the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) will remain as they are currently configured.

B. Effective August, 2017, restructure the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS):

1. Eliminate the positions of Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the three Division Chair positions in that college.

2. Create two new college units based largely on the previous divisions in CAS: one for the humanities and the social sciences, and one for the natural and health sciences (Nursing and Kinesiology). Two new Dean positions will be created, one for each of these units utilizing the former Dean and Associate Dean positions in the College. Searches will be conducted to select permanent Deans of the new colleges.

The College of Natural and Health Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will each receive a new position for a budget specialist. The resources for these positions will come from reallocation from Divisions outside of Academic Affairs.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be comprised of the Office of the Dean and retain its current division makeup: Humanities and Social Sciences. The Dean will be supported by a Secretary III position. Each division will have a faculty lead, and the division will be supported by a Secretary II and an Office Assistant.

The College of Natural and Health Sciences will be led by a Dean and assisted by a faculty lead. The Dean will be supported by a Secretary III position and Office Assistant III, and the faculty lead position will be supported by a Secretary II and Office Assistant III.

It is our intent that the aforementioned faculty lead positions in each college remain unfilled to permit a closer relationship between the Departments and the Dean. Clerical positions within the new colleges will be expected to service their assigned units as well as perform other duties as assigned within the College itself.

This plan will reduce the number of 11-month administrative appointments (CAS currently has five leadership positions with 11-month appointments, this drops to two EM positions and three unfilled nine-month faculty appointments in the reorganized structure), and eliminates a level of bureaucracy between faculty and dean. The plan minimizes disruption by retaining mostly familiar groupings of departments. Importantly the new colleges will retain their FY17 base budgets and position numbers, by sub-unit (Natural vs. Health Sciences; Humanities vs. Social Sciences) again minimizing disruption.

Completion date: August, 2017

Implications

  1. Each of the resulting colleges will have college-specific retention and enrollment goals they will be responsible for achieving.
  2. Faculty and staff members in each department will remain in their departments.
  3. Newly created colleges will be developing governance documents during this academic year in a manner that will allow them to be applied beginning Fall 2017.

Concluding Thoughts

We have taken the summer to consider the campus input before generating this reorganization plan. The plan is being sent to the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly and Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association as part of the consultation required by the Collective Bargaining process. We thank the Faculty Congress Task force and every individual who has contributed to the campus dialogue on reorganization.

We will organize meetings with the affected units in September to hear your thoughts on implementing this plan and to answer questions. We believe this plan achieves the goal of streamlining administration and creating structures best able to manage resources to promote student success.

We understand that the subject of reorganization has been a source of uncertainty and concern, and appreciate your patience with the process. We thank all of you for your commitment to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and its community.

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