Chancellor Bonnie Irwin arrives at UH Hilo, shares her vision for the university in first monthly column

“The future of our university and our local community are inextricably linked.”—Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin.

Bonnie Irwin with lei.
Bonnie D. Irwin

Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin started her tenure at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo today. Her first monthly column was published this morning where she shares her vision of the university:

As I begin my tenure as chancellor at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, I find a campus community hard at work preparing to develop a new strategic plan. Through a series of over 40 discussions that began last fall with faculty, staff, students and the local community, information is being gleaned and groundwork laid to produce a collaborative plan to achieve the highest of aspirations.

My favorite definition of leadership is that it is a process of moving an organization from its current reality to its aspirations. My first task at UH Hilo is to listen and learn what the campus and community aspirations are and then focus our energy toward achieving them, all the while making sure we are ambitious enough in those aspirations to really help the island with its needs—economic, educational, and cultural—while also protecting the ‘āina through sustainable activities.

I take this responsibility to heart. I strongly believe in the concept of regional stewardship for comprehensive universities: i.e., that a primary mission of our campus is to lift up the region, in this case Hawai‘i Island. One of the reasons I wanted to come to UH Hilo is because of our unique cultural emphasis in programs and curriculum, notably the acclaimed work being done to revitalize Native Hawaiian language and culture for the benefit of not only Hawai‘i’s indigenous people but also everyone in the state. The future of our university and our local community are inextricably linked.

Let me share some thoughts about where my attention is already focused….

Read full column at the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Blog.

A Kipaepae Ho‘oku‘u (Releasing Ceremony) for departing UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai and a Kipaepae Ho‘onoho (Appointment Ceremony) for Chancellor Irwin will be held on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. (8:15 a.m. Orientation) at University Classroom Building, room 127. Kihei and lei are highly encouraged but not required.