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Tag: Strategic Plan

End-of-Year Message to UH Hilo ‘Ohana from Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai

Aloha UH Hilo ‘Ohana,

As we start finals week and look forward to commencement on Saturday, I’d like to share with you a few highlights of the past semester.

Students

Graduate and undergraduate women students planned and organized the inaugural Women in STEM Conference held in February. The all-day event brought together women leaders, scientists, students, and members of the campus community to discuss the current state of affairs for women in the STEM fields. Topics covered social history of women in STEM, the importance of mentorship, the issues of sexual harassment, mental health, the wage gap, work-family-life balance, retaining women STEM students, and creating a supportive climate for underrepresented minorities in STEM.

The concept of a campus food pantry for students in need was developed by business student Jordan Kamimura. Hale Pa‘i ‘Ai, a one-year pilot project that launched a soft opening in April, is officially opening this fall to provide services to students in need of reliable access to food. The Administrative Affairs project is to help students who may experience limited access to food at different times of the year due to lack of money and other resources. Jordan’s business concept includes pop-up concessions on campus to provide funding support.

Marcia Sakai, Jordan Kamimura, and Kalei Rapoza standing in front of the Teapresso concession.
Left to right, Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai, business student Jordan Kamimura, and Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Kalei Rapoza at the rollout event of the Teapresso Bar concession March 13, UH Hilo. The concession will support the new food pantry program on campus; Kamimura created the business plan for the pop-up and food pantry. Photo by Raiatea Arcuri, click to enlarge.

Our Marine Option Program students once again made a big splash at the annual statewide MOP Symposium. Bryant Grady’s project on reef ecology won Best Research Presentation, which has been won by UH Hilo Marine Option Program students for 26 of the past 31 years. Alexa Runyan won the Pacon Award for the best use of technology.

Three UH Hilo students presented their research projects at the annual meeting of the worldwide Society for Applied Anthropology held in Oregon where 2,000 academics and consultants attended the event. UH Hilo undergraduate Alexis Cabrera, with the mentorship of anthropology professor Lynn Morrison, won 3rd prize out of 90 student submissions (mostly master’s and doctoral projects) for her poster presentation.

Senior Rebekah Loving, from Hāmākua and double majoring in computer science and mathematics, is researching RNA sequencing and her work has gained the attention of a “who’s who” of top research universities across the country. Rebekah has received acceptance letters with offers of full funding to doctoral programs in biostatistics, computational biology, and computer science from Harvard, Columbia University, University of California Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology.

Faculty

The extraordinary work of our faculty was noticed throughout the world.

The Jan. 23 airing of PBS’s NOVA, about the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, prominently featured UH Hilo scientists Cheryl Gansecki and Ryan Perroy and their work on chemistry analysis and aerial monitoring of the flow respectively. Cheryl, a geologist, provided real-time chemistry analysis of lava samples that helped determine how the lava would behave and how fast it would move, crucial information for Civil Defense and other responders. A group of undergraduate and graduate students led by Ryan, a geographer, piloted drones day and night capturing thermo and regular imagery of the lava flows, gathering critical information for the government agencies overseeing the eruption response.

UH Hilo biologist Rebecca Ostertag and geologist Jené Michaud were part of a team awarded an international medal for their paper questioning a fundamental assumption in the field of restoration ecology—the researchers suggest that nonnative, noninvasive plant species can be an important part of Hawaiian forest restoration. The Bradshaw Medal is given by the Society for Ecological Restoration in recognition of a scientific paper published in the Society’s major journal, Restoration Ecology.

Making international news was the story about Maunakea astronomers collaborating with our very own Larry Kimura, renowned Hawaiian language professor and cultural practitioner, for the Hawaiian naming of the black hole recently discovered. Pōwehi, meaning embellished dark source of unending creation, is a name sourced from the Kumulipo, the primordial chant describing the creation of the Hawaiian universe. The name awaits official confirmation, but it has already made the world take notice of the deeply meaningful Native Hawaiian connection to the discovery.

Campus

Early in the semester, we hosted a two-day Islands of Opportunity Alliance conference. UH Hilo administers the alliance, a collaborative group of 10 partner institutions in American Sāmoa, Guam, Hawai‘i, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The partners all share the common goal of increasing underrepresented professionals in STEM fields and together we are working toward more diversity in the quest for and understanding of scientific knowledge.

Roundtable group seated in discussion.
The Islands of Opportunity conference was attended by approximately 30 participants from across the Pacific region, including campus coordinators and administrators from each of the 11 alliance institutions, as well as the governing board, two external advisory boards, and an external NSF evaluator from Washington D.C. Jan. 11, 2019, UH Hilo campus. Photo by Raiatea Arcuri, click to enlarge.

A 40-session listening tour is underway in preparation for UH Hilo’s new strategic plan. The inclusive planning process is creating a strong foundation for a living strategic plan for our campus. Among the members of the UH Hilo ‘ohana, listeners of the tour outcomes will include our new UH Hilo chancellor and a Strategic Planning Committee that will be formed once the permanent chancellor is in place.

Bonnie Irwin
Bonnie Irwin

This leads me to the long-awaited news we received of the unanimous approval from the UH Board of Regents in naming our new chancellor Bonnie Irwin. Chancellor-Designate Irwin is looking forward to working with students, faculty, staff, alumni, island leaders and community members to build on the decades of great work to move UH Hilo and the community forward. We will be welcoming her to our university ‘ohana on July 1.

Mahalo

Thank you to everyone for all your hard work and dedication toward making UH Hilo a remarkable place of knowledge and learning. May you all have a successful end of the academic year. I send my congratulations to our spring graduates—you do us proud and I look forward to seeing you make a difference in the world. I wish you all a safe and wonderful summer.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column, April 2019: Working toward organizational excellence

Together, the UH Hilo ‘ohana and our collaborative community partners are continuously working toward organizational excellence and moving our university successfully into the future.

By Marcia Sakai.

UH Hilo seal, red lettering University of Hawaii and the state motto.One of the top goals at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is to facilitate organizational excellence through continuous innovation, responsible resource development, and effective communication. We are continuously working to improve our planning, financial and human resource management, and accountability, demonstrating our commitment to the state of Hawaiʻi. An important part of this goal is for our employees to experience a collegial and enjoyable working environment that is exemplified by effective communication, clear processes, and procedures.

One good example of striving to meet this goal is the planning process of our new strategic plan, now underway. Currently, our strategic planning project manager Kathleen Baumgardner is conducting a listening tour across 40 campus units and elsewhere to seek input about historical progress and future needs from faculty, staff, students and the local community.

The sessions are organized around a series of questions rooted in “Appreciative Inquiry,” a model that seeks to engage all stakeholders in self-determined change. When people talk and communicate with one another through this collaborative process, they can co-construct the structures, strategies, and processes needed to move forward. Participants create the future they want by building on the best of the past. Problems are identified and participants consider how weaknesses might be overcome by strengths.

Members of the UH Hilo and local communities are encouraged to participate in this process. In addition to planning sessions, one way to contribute is by answering the “Question of the Month” found on the UH Hilo Strategic Planning website. Everyone is invited to participate.

Among the members of the UH Hilo ‘ohana, listeners of the tour outcomes will include our new UH Hilo chancellor (Bonnie Irwin arrives July 1) and a Strategic Planning Committee that will be formed once the permanent chancellor is in place. The committee will review the notes of all meetings as well as a summary report that will help inform the development of the next UH Hilo Strategic Plan.

Ultimately, the planning process will help create a foundation for an inclusive and living strategic plan for our campus. The new plan will be collaboratively developed and implemented, then monitored and revised on an ongoing basis to be effective and to guide us for years to come.

Effective communication

An example of facilitating organizational excellence through effective communication is found in our constant push to improve internal and external communication.

Internally, a new weekly email communication to the UH Hilo ‘ohana called Haʻilono has replaced the monthly Ka Lono Hanakahi faculty newsletter. In addition to being ADA compliant, this new “e-blast” allows us to share information with the university community in a much timelier manner. Brief information and links to more in-depth coverage are provided on a wide range of topics: academics, administration, awards, campus security, operations and services, faculty accomplishments, research, athletics, and upcoming events.

An overall and large undertaking is underway to bring our entire university website into ADA compliance. As a matter of equity and diversity, we are committed to ensuring that campus computing and information resources are accessible to disabled students, faculty, and staff. This is a longstanding requirement under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Web accessibility standards are newer, but part of our accessibility obligations and commitment. UH Hilo is well on the way to meeting its mandatory compliance.

In local media, this year’s special University Town insert in the March 24 edition of the Hawai‘i Tribune-Herald features our academic programs that were most asked about by Hawai‘i Island students attending college fairs and presentations. Topics covered are the new aeronautical science, computer science, and language revitalization programs. Our living-learning residential communities are also highlighted.

Also being published in the Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald is Ka Nūpepa, that features UH Hilo six times throughout the course of this year, in full-page, full-color editorial and advertisement combinations. Topics include colleges and programs, all focused on student and faculty excellence.

And, I am enjoying our quarterly “talk story” coffees with the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce members. I’ve been bringing along a faculty expert to share with our business leaders the latest news from different academic units, i.e., lava flow research, business theory, and community health care.

Leadership    

Before I close, I’d like to add that we are also working to strengthen university leadership, a crucial key to organizational excellence. Progress on this front is indicated by the identification of a permanent chancellor, the beginning of a review committee for the job of vice chancellor for academic affairs, and further plans for filling interim dean positions.

Together, the UH Hilo ‘ohana and our collaborative community partners are continuously working toward organizational excellence and moving our university successfully into the future. Mahalo to all who are engaged in the process.

Aloha,

Marcia Sakai

Interim Chancellor’s Monthly Column, Jan. 2019: Helping our island and state grow into the future

We at UH Hilo take seriously our kuleana to help provide the workforce for new growth sectors in our economy, the scientific experts to help conserve the precious environment of our island and state, and the technological resources necessary for our communities to meet unexpected crises.

By Marcia Sakai

Aloha and Happy New Year!

I look forward to the coming year as progress and growth continues at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. I’d like to focus this month’s column on a major goal of the university: to strengthen UH Hilo’s impact on the community, island, and state through responsive higher education, community partnerships, and knowledge and technology transfer.

Responsive higher education

The new building to house the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is well on its way to completion in July. The modern classrooms, offices, student services, and laboratories will answer the great need for state-of-the-art facilities to train the pharmacists who will serve communities in our state and region.

New building to house the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, under construction, Dec. 11, 2018. Photo by Tracy Niimi.

Last month, our new bachelor of science in aeronautical sciences program was approved by the UH Board of Regents. There are two tracks: one in commercial professional pilot training and the other in commercial aerial information technology (drones)—both are projected workforce needs in the state. The pilot training track is cost effective compared to mainland programs. The drone track trains students for growing career opportunities in agriculture, natural resource management, search and rescue, security services, and expected air transport services.

UH Hilo launched its long-planned data science program this past fall by offering a certificate in the fast-growing field. The program is filling a need in the state because almost every branch of science collects massive amounts of data, but there are not a lot of trained people able to analyze that data and make conclusions—for example, here on our island, there is a great need in conservation efforts, water resource management, and climate change research.

Partnerships

Partnerships are key to conducting effective scientific inquiry into 21st century challenges. Here is an example in the field of conservation biology, specifically research to save the endangered ‘alalā (Hawaiian crow) from extinction.

alala
One of the recently released ʻalalā. Photo San Diego Zoo Global.

In collaboration with a Silicon Valley company that provides sophisticated genomic analysis systems, geneticists at UH Hilo and San Diego Zoo Global have fully sequenced the genome of the endangered ‘alalā. Once reduced to a population of about 20 birds, the sequencing of the species’ genome will be important to track any genetic challenges that may occur due to the reduced genetic diversity now seen in the species. This is an extremely important contribution to conservation genetics. The genome assembly is now publicly available.

Currently, the UH Hilo geneticists are collaborating with researchers from California, New Zealand, and Australia to do a genetics study addressing the hatching failure of the ‘alalā and the endangered kākāpō of New Zealand.

Another research team, this one from the UH Hilo Bioacoustics Lab, recently received a $50,000 award from the Disney Conservation Fund to work in collaboration with the ʻAlalā Project, a partnership between the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, San Diego Zoo Global, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to find out if captively reared ‘alalā are developing new vocalizations as they adapt to new situations encountered in the wild. This information will greatly assist in the conservation efforts of ʻalalā.

Knowledge and technology transfer

UH Hilo’s response to the recent lava flow in Puna is a good example of the university sharing its expert knowledge and technology resources for the benefit of our local communities.

As the lava threatened vulnerable communities, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense reached out to UH Hilo’s experts in drone technology to do high-resolution mapping of the flow areas. Government responders needed to pinpoint exact locations of the advancing lava, and the UH Hilo drone team was able to capture overhead shots, and then quickly relay that information to Civil Defense.

Another research team from UH Hilo conducted real-time chemistry analysis of lava samples that helped determine how the lava would behave and how fast it would move. The data provided critical information to the U.S. Geological Survey scientists responding to the natural disaster. The samples were collected daily from the flows, bagged and dated, and brought back to the Hilo campus for analysis. It was the first time scientists looked at the chemistry at the same time the volcano was erupting.

Yet another research team provided precise leveling of the ground around the Puna power plant to detect whether the surface was rising due to the flow of magma beneath the surface. The monitoring would alert officials if the facility was about to be compromised.

The longer-term scientific value of the data collected by these research teams helps government officials better understand these types of eruptions so that responders can do an even better job of predicting in the future.

Thinking ahead

We at UH Hilo take seriously our kuleana to help provide the workforce for new growth sectors in our economy, the scientific experts to help conserve the precious environment of our island and state, and the technological resources necessary for our communities to meet unexpected crises. By working together with our local communities and in collaboration with myriad partners, we help improve the quality of life for everyone.

Wishing you a happy and productive 2019!

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor

UH Hilo Enrollment Management Report presented to the UH Board of Regents

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai presented the UH Hilo Enrollment Management Report to the UH Board of Regents on Nov. 1, 2018, at the UH Mānoa campus. Here is the text of her PowerPoint presentation to the BOR.

2018-2019 Action Strategies for Enrollment Growth

  • Strategic use of financial aid
  • Digital communication (email, web, texting, social media)
  • UH community college Transfer Events
  • UH common general education core
  • Living Learning Communities
  • ‘Opihi Student Success retention activity branding
  • Mentor Collective peer mentoring program
  • My Success early alert system

Campus Enrollment Targets, 2018-2019 to 2020-2021

Measure Historical Enrollment Count Targeted Enrollment Count
Fall 2015 Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Fall 2018

(Planned)

Fall 2018

(Actual)

Total Enrollment 3,829 3,666 3,539 3,613 3,406
Percentage Change Total -2.4% -4.3% -3.5% 2.1% -3.8%
1 First-time Freshmen Total 385 368 413 436 413
Percentage Change FTF -10.9% -4.4% 12.2% 5.6% 0.0%
1a     Hawai‘i Island High Schools 164 160 166 172 182
1b     O‘ahu High Schools 58 57 72 74 71
1c     Maui and Kaua’i High Schools 32 33 30 34 20
1d     Mainland (1*) 97 77 114 124 103
2 Transfer Total 408 397 371 371 337
Percentage Change Transfer -6.7% -4.9% -7.0% 0.0% -9.2%
2a     Hawai‘i Community College 126 147 115 114 105
2b     Other UHCC 57 45 51 50 48
3 Continuing (Retention Rate Increase) (2*) 2,135 1,979 1,873 1,880 1,853
3a     First-time Freshmen Retained (3*) 272 271 248 289 270
Retention Rates 63.2% 70.2% 68.3% 70.0% 66.0%
3b     Transfer Retained3 285 277 276 246 247

*1 Includes U.S. Military.
*2 Increase of #.# percentage points to the retention rate in the second fall semester of enrollment, decaying by 0.1 percentage point through fall 12.
*3 Corrected.

2018 Assessment

  • Increased applications and acceptances
  • First-time freshmen enrollment sustains increase in prior year
  • Fewer transfer students enrolled than targeted
  • Increased Hawai’i island and resident enrollment; decreased non-resident enrollment
  • Lower retention rates for first time freshmen and first time transfer students
  • Improved persistence for continuing students
  • Continued high FAFSA completions

2018 Assessment

Financial Aid TV’s Get Answers 

  • Total of 961 videos watched March to September 2018, video viewership highest on Saturday and most videos viewed between 6:00pm to 11:00pm

EAB/Royall Decision IQ campaign 

  • Up to 7 messages delivered to 800+ accepted freshmen on decision to enroll

Geo-fenced mobile advertising 

  • 700,000+ impressions, 8 UHCC campuses, nearly 4000 “click-thrus” to university website and ‘apply’ page

Texting campaign 

  • Up to 12 messages, thousands of individual messages, delivered to 1200+ accepted freshmen and transfer students

‘Opihi Student Success – Tailored communication for continuing and stopped out students

  • 2529 registered seniors, juniors, and sophomores contacted Spr 2018, average 86.6% across all 4 colleges registered for Fall 2018
  • 421 students stopped out AY 16-17 contacted, 37 (8.8%) registered to re-enroll for Fall 2018;
  • 13 students graduate through petition to modify graduation requirements

Mentor Collective peer mentor program 

  • 89.3% of 93 new students matched with mentor, total 427 hours engagement Spr 2018

MySuccess early alert system 

  • 6 Math & English courses, 1 Chemistry section, coordinated outreach with 5 student support program; 594 issues identified, 79% resolved timely, 59 flags raised, 86% cleared

Campus Enrollment Targets 2019-20 to 2021-22

Measure Historical Enrollment Count Targeted Enrollment Count
Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Fall 2021
Total Enrollment 3,666 3,539 3,406 3,520 3,634 3,781
Percentage Change Total -4.3% -3.5% -3.8% 3.3% 3.0% 4.3%
1 First-time Freshmen Total (1*) 368 413 413 460 505 550
Percentage Change FTF -4.4% 12.2% 0.0% 11.4% 9.8% 8.9%
1a     Hawai‘i Island Direct Entrants (2*) 160 166 182 200 215 230
1b     O‘ahu Direct Entrants 57 72 71 80 90 95
1c     Maui County and Kaua‘i Direct Entrants 33 30 20 30 35 40
1d     Mainland 77 114 103 150 165 185
2 Transfer Total (1*) 397 371 337 375 390 405
Percentage Change Transfer -2.7% -6.5% -9.2% 11.3% 4.0% 3.8%
2a     Hawai‘i Community College 144 114 105 125 130 135
2b     Other UH Community College 45 50 40 55 55 60
3 Continuing / Returning (3*) 2,058 1,927 1,853 1,872 1,927 2,079
3a     First-time Freshmen Retained (4*) 271 248 270 281 317 354
Retention Rate – First-Time, Full-Time 70.9% 68.2% 66.0% 68.0% 69.0% 70.0%
3b     Transfer Retained (4*) 277 276 247 246 277 292
3c Retention Rate – Full-Time 72.1% 75.4% 70.4% 72.9% 73.9% 74.9%

*1 Data from UH IRAO Tracking system – numbers will not tie to other sources.
*2 Direct entrants are students who enrolled in college directly from high school without delay after high school graduation.
*3 Data from IRO Base, Census; includes classified undergraduate students only.
*4 First-time freshmen and transfers retained from prior fall semester tracking cohorts.

2019-2020 Action Strategies for Enrollment Growth

  • EAB/Royall Strategic Search for prospective high school students
  • Strategic use of financial aid
  • Digital communication for prospective and continuing students
  • 2+2 pathways for UH community college transfer students
  • Entry and first year services for transfer students
  • Completion of English and math in 1st year
  • Career pathway major choice, career exploration, employment advising
  • Service learning/community engagement connections
  • Distance learning capacity for select majors

 

More information and documents are on the UH Hilo Enrollment Management website.

Interim Chancellor announces hiring of strategic planning project manager

Kathleen Baumgardner’s background and experience in strategic planning will be extremely valuable in developing a new, updated strategic plan for our campus.

Kathleen Baumgardner
Kathleen Baumgardner

Aloha University of Hawai‘i at Hilo ‘Ohana,

I am pleased to announce the casual hire appointment of Ms. Kathleen Baumgardner as our strategic planning project manager effective October 1,  2018.

Ms. Baumgardner was employed at Colorado State University College of  Engineering for over 15 years serving as the director of strategic communications and coordinator of development, advancement and administration. She previously was the director of college communication and the associate director of admissions at Knox College in Galesburg,  Illinois.

At Colorado State and Knox College, Ms. Baumgardner worked on strategic planning, branding activities and communication strategies with internal groups and external constituents to actively support new strategic goals and initiatives.

Her background and experience in strategic planning will be extremely valuable in developing a new, updated strategic plan for our campus. Please join me in welcoming Kathleen to our UH Hilo ‘ohana.

Marcia Sakai
Interim Chancellor