UH Hilo Leadership
On this page:
- Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs
- Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
- Interim Director of University Relations
- Deans and Directors of the Colleges
- UH Hilo Student Association
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
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.
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs
Carla L. Hoʻā was appointed vice chancellor for administrative affairs in November 2022, and began working at UH Hilo in January 2023. Ho‘a joins UH Hilo from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she served as vice chancellor and chief financial officer. Prior to CU Boulder, she was associate dean for finance and administration at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, deputy budget director at Colorado Community College System, and senior budget analyst at the University of Colorado Denver and Health Sciences Center. Ho‘a received her bachelor of science in finance and master of business administration from the University of Colorado – Denver. For more information, visit the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs (VCAdmin) website.
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Dr. Christopher “Chris” Holland (he/him)
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Christopher Holland is UH Hilo’s interim vice chancellor for student affairs. He was appointed in September of 2022, and previously served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UH Hilo. Before coming to UH Hilo, he served as assistant dean and chief housing officer at George Mason University, vice president of student services at Florida State College, and dean of students at College of St. Joseph, Brevard College, and Purchase College. For more about information, visit the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA) website. You can also read about Vice Chancellor Holland’s journey on the UH Hilo Stories blog.
Interim Director of University Relations
Interim Director, University Relations; Director, Media Relations
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
Dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management; Professor, Soil Science
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
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences; Professor of History
Michael Bitter was named permanent dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in January, 2023. He previously served as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, beginnning in June 2017. Bitter came to UH Hilo as an Assistant Professor in 1999, and taught in the Department of History for over 17 years. During that time, he served as Chair of the Department, UHPA faculty union representative for Social Sciences, CAS Faculty Senate Chair, and UH Hilo Faculty Congress General Education Committee Chair. He is actively engaged in promoting the expansion of the programs making up the College and collaborating with the Center for Global Education and Exchange to increase exchange opportunities for UH Hilo students to study at partner universities, both nationally and internationally. Bitter received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in European History with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe.
College of Business and Economics
Assistant Professor of Management Todd Inouye is the permanent director of the business college in a newly defined role with the responsibilities of a department chair and a dean who works closely with other college leadership. Inouye joined UH Hilo in the fall of 2019 from Niagara University in New York. He holds a bachelor of arts in psychology (2002), an executive master of business administration (2007), and a doctor of philosophy in business administration (2016), all from UH Mānoa. He also has a master of science in sport management (2020) from Niagara University. His area of expertise is in competitive context and firm-level strategy of small to medium-sized enterprises. He was appointed in November of 2022, and became full time CoBE director in January of 2023.
College of Natural and Health Sciences
Brian Wissman, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, College of Natrural and Health Sciences; Professor, Mathematics
Professor of Mathematics Brian Wissman was appointed interim dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS) beginning in August 2022. Wissman received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Davis in 2007. He began his instructional career at UH Hilo in August 2007 as an Assistant Professor, earned his tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2012, and promoted to Full Professor in 2020. He previously served as the Student Support Coordinator for the College of Natural and Health Sciences, and Chair of the Mathematics department. He is engaged in multiple projects advancing student success data use, a key area for the College and University.
Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language
Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, PhD
Director, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani; Associate Professor
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 A Mobley Smith, PharmD, FASHP
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.