Chancellor’s weekly update on countdown to fall semester: New Dean of Students Christopher Holland, quarantine update, budget

August 17, 2020 Update. Countdown to Fall 2020: 8 days remaining until fall semester begins.

Aloha Kākou,

Bonnie Irwin
Bonnie Irwin

Keep your eyes on your emails this week for multiple messages from the UH System and campus. We expect the health check-in app, LumiSight UH, to launch this week. Tomorrow, COVID-19 training videos will be released. It is important that we all view these and learn as much as we can about keeping our community safe.

Welcome to our new Dean of Students!

Christopher Holland has been recommended for approval by President David Lassner as UH Hilo’s associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students effective September 8, 2020 following public posting on the August 20 UH Board of Regents meeting agenda.

Christopher Holland
Christopher Holland

Associate Vice Chancellor-Designate Holland received his doctor of education in higher education administration from the University of Alabama in 2008. Most recently, he served as assistant dean and chief housing officer at George Mason University where he oversaw 40 residential facilities across four campus locations with over 6,200 residential beds in a housing program operated by over 150 professional staff and over 200 student staff. From 2014-2018, he served as the vice president of student services at Florida State College at Jacksonville where he oversaw 250 professional staff in areas of recruitment, admissions, financial aid, registrar, advising, career development, diversity and social initiatives, and military and veteran services at five campuses, two centers, and three military bases.

Designate Holland has also served as a dean of students at three higher education institutions: College of St. Joseph in 2008, Brevard College from 2008-2012, and Purchase College from 2013-2014. The diversity of those institutions where he served in this capacity have provided him with various perspectives about private liberal arts operations and working on small campuses. Coupled with more recent positions working at public institutions with larger numbers of students, and experiences in teaching courses and presenting on topics relevant to student affairs, he possesses an excellent mix of experiences to fit UH Hilo’s unique characteristics of diversity, size and being a residential campus with opportunity for growth.

Mahalo to the search committee who spent many hours reading files and interviewing candidates, as well as all of the campus constituents who participated in the process. The investment of your time and attention speaks well of your care for UH Hilo and our future. Please join me and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Farrah-Marie Gomes in welcoming Christopher Holland to our UH Hilo ʻohana next month.

Quarantine update

We have students from out-of-state who will be completing their quarantine and entering our housing on campus this week. Quarantine for inter-island students is being finalized, and we will help as many as we can. As I stated last week, we are asking those students who can delay their arrival to do so as we continue to monitor the situation of COVID across the state and as we await further updates about quarantine orders. Vice Chancellor Gomes and I will be speaking to students and families via Zoom on Wednesday to share what we know at that time. In the meantime, for those of us here on campus, it is imperative that we continue to practice the safe behaviors of distancing, masking, and hand washing.

Because of the interisland quarantine, we are also asking everyone in our ʻohana to report any personal travel. You will find the link to the form here and in the email that was sent from the Office of the Chancellor this morning.

Testing and Tracing (Carolyn Ma, convener)

Testing: The first testing will be held on Friday, August 21 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Vulcan Gym. Testing will be for students from 9 a.m.-noon, and open to the general public from noon-2 p.m. Other test dates will be September 1, September 18, and October 1.

The CARES-funded UH Hilo COVID-19 coordinator’s paperwork for hiring is near completion.

Physical Distancing (Kalei Rapoza, convener)

The Campus Center Dining Room resumes food service operations today. Deja Brew will reopen on Wednesday, August 19. Please visit the Sodexo website for campus food service hours of operation during Orientation Week, and normal hours of operation beginning Monday, August 24.

Best practices are in place at all Sodexo food service locations, which includes cleaning, sanitizing and physical distancing requirements to provide a safe environment for everyone. Campus Center Dining Room and Deja Brew are offering take-out orders only at this time.

Thai Smile, Ānuenue’s Kitchen, and Teapresso will resume food service operations beginning Tuesday, September 8.

Online and Hybrid Learning (Joseph Sanchez, convener)

Stipends for summer workshops are being processed, distance learning training for faculty continues, and software/equipment for DL support are being purchased.


On Thursday, August 20, UH Vice President for Budget and Finance Kalbert Young, CFO, will be presenting to the Board of Regents the Fiscal and Financial Parameters for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. The university is building expenditure plans based on an anticipated 16% reduction in all general funds and a tuition revenue decrease of at a minimum 5%. In comparison with FY 2020 actuals and after reducing expenditures, there is an overall UH Hilo campus shortfall of $7.1 million for which we plan on accessing the tuition reserve for FY 2021. The Long Range Budget Planning Committee is meeting regularly and will provide guidance to our administration for decision making.

Strategic Plan, Strategic Doing

Both the Relationships Committee and the Importance of Place Committees have meetings set before the end of August. At these meetings, the teams will begin narrowing focus. Notes from the committee meetings are available on the Strategic Doing webpage. Scroll down and click on Read more about this committee’s work for both the Relationships and Importance of Place committees.

Fall Welcome Event

I also hope you join me in welcoming our newcomers to our UH Hilo ʻohana at our Fall Welcome this Wednesday, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., via Zoom. I will also deliver some brief remarks at the event. The Zoom link is:; Meeting ID: 972 5757 9924; Passcode: 450428.

Thank you for maintaining your careful behavior so that we can continue to fulfill our mission of educating students. I am grateful for the efforts of each and every one of you to help keep our campus safe and to welcome our students back, whether they are here in person or online.

Mahalo nui, and take care,

Bonnie D. Irwin
Chancellor, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

UH Hilo COVID-19 Guidelines (Interim)
UH Hilo’s COVID-19 information webpage