About Randy Hirokawa

Dr. Randy Y. Hirokawa is currently Professor of Communication and Director of the Health Professions Student Center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. From January 1, 2005 to January 8, 2016, he served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Dr. Hirokawa is known for his expertise in the area of small group communication and group decision-making effectiveness. His scholarship has contributed to the development of a theory that explains how group decision-making performance is affected by group communication processes. This theory has been identified as one of the three most influential theories of small group communication by many textbook authors (see, e.g., Cragan & Shields, 1998; Griffin, 2003; Littlejohn, 2002; Miller, 2002).

Dr. Hirokawa's publications include three edited books, 39 refereed journal articles, and 25 book chapters.

Dr. Hirokawa has delivered numerous national and international lectures, among them the prestigious Van Zelst Lecture at Northwestern University, the Thomas M. Scheidel Annual Faculty Lecture at the University of Washington, and the B. Aubrey Fisher Memorial Lecture at the University of Utah.

Prior to becoming the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Dr. Hirokawa served on the faculty at the Pennsylvania State University (1980-1984) and the University of Iowa (1984-2004), where he served as the Departmental Executive Officer of the Department of Communication Studies from 1998-2004. While on the faculty at the University of Iowa, Dr. Hirokawa received the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award (1989) and the Collegiate Teaching Award (2003).

Dr. Hirokawa has served as the editor of Communication Studies, the journal of the Central States Communication Association (1991-1994), and has served on the Editorial Board of five journals: Small Group Research (1990-1998), Organizational Science (1991-1993), Communication Monographs (1996-2001), Communication Studies (1997-2005), and Journal of Applied Communication Research (2001-2004). As a member of the National Communication Association (NCA), he has served on its Legislative Council, Nominating Committee, Doctoral Education Committee, Committee on Minority Education, and Doctoral Education Committee, which he chaired in 2002-2003. Dr. Hirokawa is a past chair of the Group Communication Division.

Dr. Hirokawa received his B.A. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He was inducted into the University of Washington Department of Communication Alumni Hall of Fame in 2006 and delivered the keynote address at the 2008 induction.

Dr. Hirokawa's Favorites

Fishing, Weight-training, Golf, and Softball.


  • Complexity: Life At The Edge of Chaos ( Roger Lewin) ,
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Persig),
  • VOX ( Nicholson Baker ),
  • Interview With The Vampire ( Anne Rice ),
  • A Book of Five Rings ( Musashi Miyamoto) ,
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (Anne Fadiman),
  • The Hot Zone (Richard Preston ),
  • A River Runs Through It ( Norman MacLean ),
  • Six Days Of The Condor ( James Grady ),
  • The Bridges of Madison County (Robert James Waller ),
  • The Hunt For Red October ( Tom Clancy ).


  • Avatar
  • The Big Chill
  • Braveheart
  • Castaway
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • Forrest Gump
  • Ghost
  • The Gladiator
  • The Goodbye Girl
  • LA Confidential
  • A League Of Their Own
  • Matrix
  • The Postman Aways Rings Twice
  • Prince Of Tides
  • Remember The Titans
  • Toy Story
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Top Gun

The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost)

Sports Team
Iowa Hawkeyes Football