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.
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.
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.
The event is the official beginning to students’ academic journey.
Fall 2017 Convocation was held last Wednesday at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. As part of New Student Orientation, the convocation event was presided over by new Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai, the vice chancellors and deans of the colleges, all dressed in full regalia. The event is the official beginning to students’ academic journey.
Each student was presented with lei lāʻi made by faculty, staff and students a couple of weeks ago. The leis along with 200 more that were made this summer by students and staff of the Kupa ʻĀina Summer Bridge Program were presented to all new students attending the convocation on Wednesday. Earlier this month, Interim Chancellor Sakai thanked those who participated in the lei making.
“Mahalo to all of you who participated in this lei-making activity—what a wonderful way to connect with our incoming students by giving them something made with our own spirit and hands!” Sakai expressed in an email to the university community.
Kalei Rapoza has been serving as director for the Office of Human Resources since 2016 where he has worked collaboratively with leadership across the UH Hilo campus in a range of human resources matters.
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai announced today the appointment of Kalei Rapoza to serve as acting vice chancellor for administrative affairs starting immediately.
Rapoza has been serving as director for the Office of Human Resources since 2016 where he has worked collaboratively with leadership across the UH Hilo campus in a range of human resources matters. He joined UH Hilo as associate director of HR in 2013, moving from the Department of Education. He has a juris doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa and is a graduate of the UH President’s Emerging Leaders Program.
Rapoza will serve in an acting capacity until the appointment of an interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs.
I’m writing this column as I prepare to become interim chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Aug. 1. For those of you who don’t know me, I joined the UH Hilo faculty in 1991 in the field of economics becoming tenured and promoted to the top professor ranks over the years. I was the founding dean of UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics in 2005, and have been vice chancellor for administrative affairs since 2011.
I begin my new work as interim chancellor during a time of much change at the university. Not only is there change in the Office of the Chancellor with former Chancellor Don Straney being reassigned to his new UH System leadership role as vice president of academic planning and policy, but there are also changes in other leadership positions at UH Hilo.
Professor of Geology Ken Hon is new interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, and we will soon have an interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs when I take leave from my current position. Professor of History Michael Bitter is now interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics Tam Vu is interim dean of the College of Business and Economics.
And there is even more change underway.
The university is developing a new Enrollment Management Plan that takes an integrated, strategic and holistic approach to student success.
We have a goal of returning our enrollment to 2010 levels by the year 2020 and are redeploying resources into a number of initiatives, such as strengthening and developing new student and residence life programming and creating pathways for transfer students from Hawai‘i.
This is part of a UH system-wide initiative to focus on our core education function and grow enrollment, even while the general national trend is for continued higher education enrollment decline. Each of the 10 campuses are developing their own enrollment management plans with specific goals.
And we are reorganizing the College of Arts and Sciences—our largest of five colleges—into two new college units. This will remove an administrative layer between the dean and the faculty to facilitate communication and active faculty engagement in retention activities. This year we will undertake process modifications for the two new colleges to make them fully functional. The overall goal is to foster student success and better use of resources.
This is a lot of change for any university community, but we have good people doing amazing things at UH Hilo (think teaching, research, community outreach). From this strong base, we can regain balance and shift our focus to getting our work done.
My role at this point in time is to be a steward of the process, and I embrace the responsibility—the kuleana—to create stability for our university community while we move forward together. Change creates opportunities and it creates challenges. My goal is to help our students, faculty, staff and other administrators see the opportunities and know they can continue to be productive and successful in their work.
UH Hilo is my home. And what I’ve grown to value most are people—our students, our university ‘ohana, and our greatest supporters, the people of our island. It is an honor and privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility to serve as UH Hilo’s steward and leader. I look forward to working with both the university community and our island community to create a more responsive and more accessible university for the people of our island and state.