UH Hilo Leadership

Chancellor

(808) 932-7348

bdirwin@hawaii.edu

(808) 932-7338

Administration Building, room 119

Bonnie D. Irwin began serving as chancellor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on July 1, 2019. Chancellor Irwin previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University (CSU) Monterey Bay.

While at CSU, Irwin served on the Regional Engagement and Research Council of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Board of Directors of the American Conference of Academic Deans. She is currently a National Collegiate Honors Council Fellow.

Previously, Irwin served as dean of the Honors College, and then dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, at Eastern Illinois University. While there, she also served on the board of the National Collegiate Honors Council, also serving as president of the organization. She started at Eastern Illinois University as a tenure-track professor of English specializing in world literature and folklore before moving into administration.

Irwin received her master of arts in comparative literature and her doctor of philosophy in comparative literature from UC Berkeley.

For more information, visit the Office of the Chancellor website.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Kristen “Kris” Roney

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Acting Dean, College of Business and Economics

(808) 932-7332

ksroney@hawaii.edu

(808) 932-7338

Administration Building, room 110

Kris Roney was appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs in July 2020. Previously she served as associate vice president for academic programs and was founding dean of University College and Graduate Studies at California State University-Monterey Bay. At CSU, she led the creation of graduate and credential student-focused policies and procedures in academic and cross-divisional teams. She also led academic departments and student success centers serving students from matriculation through graduation. For more information, visit the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) website.

Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs

Kalei Rapoza was appointed interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs in August 2017. He has been serving as director for the Office of Human Resources since 2016 where he has worked collaboratively with leadership across the UH Hilo campus in a range of human resources matters. He joined UH Hilo as associate director of HR in 2013, moving from the Department of Education. He has a juris doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa and is a graduate of the UH President’s Emerging Leaders Program. For more information, visit the Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs (VCAdmin) website.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

(808) 932-7445

fmgomes@hawaii.edu

(808) 932-7471

Student Services Center, room W-305

Farrah-Marie Gomes previously served as the UH System interim associate vice president for student affairs. Prior to that, she served as founding director of the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center and also served as interim dean of the College of Continuing Education and Community Service. She is active in numerous university and community committees. For more information, visit the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA) website.

Interim Director of University Relations

Alyson “Aly” Y. Kakugawa-Leong

Interim Director, University Relations; Director, Media Relations

(808) 932-7669

alyson@hawaii.edu

(808) 932-7913

Portable Building 21, room 117

Alyson Kakugawa-Leong was appointed Acting Director of University Relations in January 2019, and Interim Director in February of 2019. Since 1988, Aly has served as a Public Information Officer and Director of Media Relations. She is responsible for media relations, communications and public relations and is the campus-wide lead for media releases, news conferences, media inquiries and internal communications at UH Hilo. For more information, visit the University Relations (UR) website.

Deans and Directors of the Colleges

College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management

Bruce Mathews is dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) starting as interim dean in 2012. He has been a professor of soil science and agronomy at UH Hilo since 1993. His top priorities as dean are in advancing articulation with the UH community colleges and revitalizing hands-on instruction. He is working closely with the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo to better ensure that research funds allocated to the college are used for collaborative efforts and forming stronger linkages with the local agricultural community.

College of Arts and Sciences

(808) 932-7095

bitter@hawaii.edu

(808) 932-7096

University Classroom Building, room 304

Michael Bitter was named interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in June 2017. He is a professor of history with a research focus on Anglo-Russian relations and interactions during the 1730s. He teaches courses in world and European history, with specialty courses in Russian and German history, the history of the Eighteenth Century in Europe, and European Imperialism.

College of Business and Economics

Kristen “Kris” Roney

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Acting Dean, College of Business and Economics

(808) 932-7332

ksroney@hawaii.edu

(808) 932-7338

Administration Building, room 110

Kris Roney began serving as the acting dean of the College of Business and Economics in July 2021. She also serves as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

College of Natural and Health Sciences

James Mike was named dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS) in 2020. Previously, he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania. He also served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2019 and acting dean of graduate studies from 2017 to 2019. Prior to that, he was associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry at Youngstown State University. The dean believes his role at CNHS is to lead by establishing a vision, managing expenses, overseeing curriculum development, and serving students and faculty.

Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language

Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a is director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (KHUOK), since 2013. She is an associate professor in Hawaiian and Hawaiian studies and has been at the college for 20 years. She is founding director of the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program and is a past director of the Hale Kuamo‘o Hawaiian Language and Culture Center. In 2013, she oversaw the completion of Haleʻōlelo, a two-story 36,759 square foot building and new home for the college. Her priorities are in improving programs and outreach in Hawaiian language and culture, linguistics, immersion and mauli ola education P-20.

Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy

Miriam Mobley Smith is interim dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP). She joined the college in February of 2022. Previously, she served as interim dean and visiting professor for Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Before that she was dean and professor at the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy and then director of strategic alliances for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

UH Hilo Student Association

Visit the UHHSA website for student senate memberships.