Register for CoBE summer courses today!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 5:12am by

The UH Hilo Summer 2021 Business and Economics Program takes advantage of our experienced and qualified faculty. The high quality of our AACSB-accredited curriculum, coupled with our small class sizes and personal attention to students, makes the CoBE Summer Program at UH Hilo a great way to keep your knowledge and skills up to date.

REGISTER for College Credit Summer Session


Session 1 May 24 – June 18

MGT 300 11085 WI/Mgt, Orgs & Human Behavior Tien Required CoBE Core Course
MKT 494 11090 Digital Transformation: Business Development and Marketing Tien Executive Programs Option
QBA 260 11088 Business Statistics Furumo Required CoBE Core Course
QBA 300 11089 Operations Management Furumo Required CoBE Core Course
ECON 131 11084 Intro to Macroeconomics Mohammadian Required CoBE Core Course
Bus 394 11190 Career Exploration in MGT Tien Executive Programs Option
QBA 465 11204 Social Media Analytics for Business Hong Executive Programs Option
TOUR 350 11217 Intro to Sustainable Tourism Fa`anunu Executive Programs Option


Session 2 June 21 – July 30

BUS 100 11082 Intro To Business Zenk  Lower-Division CoBE Elective
BUS 494 11203 Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics Zenk Upper-Division CoBE Elective
MGT 490 11087 WI/Strategic Management Inouye Required CoBE Core Course
ECON 130 11202 Intro to Microeconomics Czarski Required CoBE Core Course

CoBE alum lands dream job using Econ, Communication, and English skills

Thursday, March 25, 2021, 5:00am by

Seth Master graduated in December with honors with degrees in Economics and Communication and a certificate in Creative Writing.  These qualifications opened many different career paths to him, but he had a very specific goal.  He wanted to stay on Hawaii Island and use his education to help uplift families and community.

Master took a position as Employment Counselor for Goodwill Hawaii. Goodwill Hawaii is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity that helps people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

“This position allows me to interact personally with clients and connect them to the help they need,” he says. This help can be skill-building, tuition assistance, job search support, help with acculturation, or other types of career-related assistance. “I get to use my experience from UH Hilo being the most culturally diverse university to my advantage as I interact with people from all over the world.”

Master says all three areas of study have come into play in his new position.

“I am thankful for my econ professors who helped me understand the flow and nature of money as I now counsel members of our society who are hurting,” he says, “and for the communication department for equipping me to communicate inter-culturally and effectively. My English professors will be proud to hear that I write  and personalized employment plans for families, in addition to completing tons of paperwork!”

For those still in school, Master advises focusing on the big picture, and looking outward and forward:

“Keep your heads up in the trying time of continued online class work. It won’t be like this forever. Find out what you can do to take steps towards a better tomorrow now and then take those steps! Be the leaders and the creative minds Hawaii deserves and let’s build up our local economy!”

Goodwill Hawaii’s employment services are available free of charge to eligible families.

CoBE Alum Leads March 8 Financial Literacy Workshop

Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 3:24am by

Ran Annim! Iokwe! Alii! Kaselehlie! Hafa Adai! Mogethin! Len wo! Talofa! Mālō e lelei! Bula! Kia ora! Ia orana! Halo! Fakaalofa lahi atu! Aloha!


Have you thought about making a budget or setting financial goals, but you are not sure where to start? College of Business and Economics alumna Siniva Pota  (BBA, MBA) will lead a free online workshop on financial literacy on March 8, at 5pm Hawai’i time. Learn how to budget, save, and make the most of your money for you and your family. In honor of International Women’s Day in Hawai’i and the Pacific. Sponsored by Pacific Island student clubs including Kuikapiko Anthropology club, T.O.S Samoan club, and Ngelekel Belau club. Open to all who are interested.



CoBE student interns at high-profile business-news startup Morning Brew

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 12:01am by

Amidst the dire stories of media’s decline, business news startup Morning Brew is a rare success story.  Its daily newsletter, serving bite-sized business news, has a growing subscriber base and is making a profit.

CoBE student Mika Odaira started as a Morning Brew subscriber.  From reading the newsletter, she learned a lot about business news that she didn’t catch on TV or online. She was so impressed with the publication that she decided to apply for an internship. And she got it!


Ms. Odaira quickly found that in this fast-paced startup environment it was up to her to produce results, with very little hand-holding.

“At first I was a bit put off by this and I thought the experience wouldn’t amount to much,” she says. “But I realized that this is probably what work will be like once I graduate. No one will hold my hand and point me to the next step. It’s up to me to take initiative and market myself well.”

In CoBE we encourage and support internships for students who want them. They’re a great way to gain experience and forge a pathway to a job after graduation.  And not all internships are the same.

“Internships can come in all types from instruction-heavy ones to more open ended ones like this,” Ms. Odaira says. “My advice for my peers is to be ready for many types of work environments. For those like myself who are more introverted and find it hard to take initiative, try to keep in mind that as uncomfortable as some of these experiences may be, the personal growth we gain through this is key to success.”

QR Code

Interested in subscribing? Scan the QR code above or visit

CoBE professor’s in-class coffee exercise sparks ethics discussion

Monday, January 11, 2021, 5:29am by

Dr. Todd Inouye’s in-class exercise From Farm to Cup: A Coffee Supply Chain Negotiation has already earned international recognition as an exemplary teaching innovation. Now it has caught the attention of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE),  a professional business society with over 7,500 members worldwide.  In the latest issue of ethikos, the society’s official publication, Dr. Inouye is interviewed by Adam Turteltaub, CHC, CCEP, Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer, SCCE & HCCA (Health Care Compliance Association).

The original article, published in the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education by Dr. Inouye and his colleague Dr. James Kling, describes a role play using the global coffee supply chain. In this exercise, business undergraduates practice negotiations, improve their understanding of supply chain management, and consider the ethical implications of certain business transactions.

In the ethikos interview, Dr. Inouye elaborates on the concept of bounded ethicality, and how managers are limited in what they can consider and assume  when doing business. Often managers do not realize that they can indirectly contribute to unethical practices in making day-to-day decisions. Managers need to understand that they are responsible for much more than simply growing revenues or cutting costs. They are required to have a good understanding of how their own decisions will impact other members of their supply chains.

Asked how this topic connects to his research interests, Dr. Inouye responded,

Business ethics as a discipline is always applicable across every circumstance and yet it remains one of the least understood concepts for professionals and students alike. There are no clear ethical boundaries to follow as these are typically determined by one’s personal experience, education, the views of their peers along with the views of their society. What may be clearly unethical for one, may be ethical and even expected for another. As a strategic management professor, it is my responsibility to help students to understand how ethics are intertwined in all business decision making and that their “ethical switch” should always be turned on. As graduates of the University of Hilo, they are expected to be good community stewards wherever they do business and having the necessary ethical awareness is always expected.

In order to be successful over the long term, business leaders need to think about the ethical implications of their decisions, not only for themselves and their colleagues, but also for the rest of the supply chain as well as the community stakeholders they serve.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to ruin it.”

New CoBE Executive Programs starting January 11

Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 5:02am by

College of Business and Economics


Executive Education

The College of Business and Economics is now offering Executive Education. Our mission is to bring world-class knowledge and coaching to Hawaii Island, and to disseminate it to the world. Our online courses provide an opportunity for international networking and relationship-building.

Develop foresight in an uncertain world

Increase your organization’s productivity, creativity, and profitability

Enhance your leaders’ skills and your own

Upcoming Sessions

Real Estate Investment

January 11-May 14 Thursdays, 5:00-7:30 pm
Kelly Moran, Certified Commercial Investment Member and Certified International Property Specialist, brings together real estate experts to discuss legal, physical, and economic aspects of real estate and investment. The course will cover valuation, market analysis, and the role of public and private externalities affecting the allocation and utilization of real estate resources. This is a COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) course and provides interactive, virtual, international engagement in a structured setting. You will engage with participants from around the world, work on intercultural teams and collaborate on real world projects. This course intends to stimulate interest in real estate from a global perspective.
This course is online. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion.

Career Exploration in Management

May 24-June 18 Tuesdays 12:30-2:00
This course introduces participants to various management-level positions in fields like retail, technology, distribution, finance, and consulting. Students will hear from expert guest lecturers. Topics include management and technology, various management styles, the necessary skills executives possess, and more.
This course is online. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion.

Digital Transformation: Business Development and Marketing

June 21-July 30 Weekdays 6:00-7:30pm
This course is designed to help business leaders understand how digital technologies integrate with valued processes and methods of business development. Participants will understand the benefits and difficulties of different technological developments, how to leverage these opportunities, and the common issues that occur when trying to implement developments in realistic workplace circumstances. This course will familiarize students with specific technologies and understand technology from a strategic standpoint.
This course is online. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion.

Register now

call 808.932.7272 Monday through Friday between 8:00 and 4:30 or email

New study: Two heads are not better than one when it comes to preventing fraud

Monday, November 23, 2020, 12:20am by

Separation of Duties has long been thought to be the most effective control to prevent fraud and errors. It turns out that Separation of Duties IS very effective for preventing errors. But, when you want to prevent your employees from stealing from your company, it doesn’t work well at all. According to new research by Emerita Professor of Accounting Bobbi Barra and colleagues, “Separation of Duties” doesn’t necessarily reduce fraud. In practice, the possibility of collusion pretty much wipes out any advantage of separation of duties. The researchers suspect that people are not afraid of pointing out others’ mistakes, but shy away from pointing out theft and other crimes. No one likes a tattler, after all.

How it all started

The idea came up when Roberta noticed there was no research into fraud controls; only conjecture by well meaning auditors. The authors set out to discover if the conjectures surrounding the most common control, separation of duties, was correct. The analysis presented here is theory that now should be tested empirically. After revisions and strenuous peer review the paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Forensic Accounting Research (JFAR). JFAR is the premier accounting journal in the United States for research on fraud topics.

What does this mean for your business?

Reliance on Separation of Duties may give you a false sense of security when it comes to fraud. It might be wise to invest in other fraud controls such as a tip hotline, something which the Association of Fraud Examiners has shown to be the most common way fraud is discovered.

About the Authors

Roberta Barra, CPA, PhD., is a retired Professor of Accounting from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. She has had many years of teaching and research experience in auditing, systems and software consulting involving accounting and ERP software. Her research focused on accounting information systems including internal controls, accounting software evaluations and documentation techniques. Her secondary interests include international accounting and audit-related research. She has presented her research at conference proceedings nationally and internationally. She earned an MBA from the University of Houston and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Arline Savage is Professor of Accounting and former Department Chair for Accounting and Finance in the Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. As a Chartered Accountant, she has worked in industry, the accounting profession and as a consultant. As a professor, she has taught a wide variety of courses at universities in South Africa, Canada and the United States. Arline has been a Deloitte Faculty Fellow, received the Ernst & Young Leader in Ethics Award, the Fluor Corporation Excellence in Teaching Award, the Ernst & Young Outstanding Educator Award and the Loudell Teaching Award. Arline serves on the editorial boards of the two highest ranked accounting education journals, Issues in Accounting Education and the Journal of Accounting Education. She is also a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Business Information Systems. Arline has over 40 academic and professional publications to her credit, as well as two scholarly books and two textbooks. Among her academic research honors in the United States are six best conference paper awards. In the United States, she has consulted for private equity investors on various accounting and finance projects in the wholesale food, apparel, engineering, and manufacturing industries, and has served as accounting advisor to the chairman of an audit committee of a public company. She also served as interim CFO for an engineering company in California during the post-acquisition phase and has performed business valuations for acquisition and accounting purposes.

Eric Im, professor of economics, joined the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo faculty in 1983. His first and foremost interest was in quantitative economics. His substantial research output covered a wide range of topics in both theory and application: econometric theory, matrix theory, international finance, education, natural resources, taxation, tourism, transportation, and transnational terrorism. Professor Im passed away in 2017.

Roberta A Barra, Arline Savage, Eric Im; Mathematical Formulation of the Effectiveness of ‘Separation of Duties’ as a Preventive Control Activity. Journal of Forensic Accounting Research doi: 

CoBE finance students collaborate with peers in Asia and North America, thanks to technology and creative faculty

Monday, October 19, 2020, 9:50am by


Imagine logging in to your UH Hilo finance class and connecting with students and professors in Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Myanmar, Canada, and Indonesia.  Starting with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11, you collaborate with your global classmates to plan to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The research will be applied to Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines, and the perspectives of all students will be taken into account.


Finance professor Kelly Moran is providing this experience to his students thanks to a teaching method called COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning). COIL classes provide interactive, virtual, international engagement in a structured setting.

The methodology was pioneered at SUNY and Kansai University. The COIL program was introduced to UH Hilo by Director of International Student Services Jim Mellon, and later taken on by Todd Shumway, Director of Global Exchange at UH Hilo’s Center for Global Education and Exchange.


This semester’s three-way COIL partnership among UH Hilo, Kansai University, and San Pedro College involves a total of 98 students and 5 faculty members participating. There are 12 COIL teams, of which three are led by UH Hilo students. The participating classes are FIN 220, Personal Finance, and FIN 494, an advanced special topics course on real estate finance and investment in Hawaiʻi.
“I loved talking with others from a different place,” says  Alyah Cortez, noting that students around the world were all dealing with COVID-19 and the challenge of switching to online learning. “I found it very interesting that they are required to be in clubs at the University so that they can make friends and build up their resume. I would want UH Hilo to do that as well.” Now that she’s made connections online, Cortez feels comfortable with the idea of one day meeting up with her network.


As a student of linguistics and a two-time study abroad alum, Jake Unger was pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to collaborate with international students in his finance class. “It was right down my alley,” he says, adding that his study abroad experiences in Spain and Brazil enhanced the COIL experience. “I would not have truly appreciated what this Finance class is doing if it wasn’t for my personal intercultural exchange.”
“When I registered for personal finance, I expected to mainly learn about finance basics,” says student Dason Albano. “But I didn’t know that I’d also be improving my networking skills thanks to COIL.”


“The students are very excited about becoming global citizens,” Moran says. “This is a great opportunity for creative thinking and intercultural understanding. I expect students to be able to use skills coming out of this COIL collaboration to facilitate career paths and create lifelong connections. This is a global business environment we are in and those are the skills needed to prosper.”

Thropp scholarship assists as Covid hits

Saturday, August 1, 2020, 6:19pm by

Last year, the College of Business & Economics received a scholarship endowment from the estate of James P.D. Thropp, Jr.


CoBE agri-tourism expert Fa`anunu featured panelist in July 21 webinar

Monday, July 20, 2020, 10:54pm by

The Hawai‘i Island Farm Trails smartphone application and website, a venture co-founded by CoBE’s Dr. Angela Fa‘anunu, has won $5,000 in the MahiX Open Innovation ChallengeHawai‘i Farm Trails connects farmers to visitors by promoting farm tours, farmers markets, and agricultural events on Hawai‘i Island. (more…)