Students invited to speak to chancellor search firm

Staff Writer Holly S. Trowbridge
Photos Courtesy of Elizabeth Lough

Members of the chancellor serach firm

Students were invited to meet with Witt/Kieffer, a national executive search firm who have been tasked with assisting in the search for the new chancellor at UH Hilo. There were two meetings, one from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. and one from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m.

Currently, Witt/Kieffer are searching across the country looking for candidates who have experience in a chancellor position or a position similar to that of a chancellor. One representative, Zach, said, “You can think of a chancellor as the CEO of a campus.”

During the first meeting, six students attended. The students asked Witt/Kieffer about their jobs and about what attributes a qualified chancellor will have.

The students voiced a need for an involved chancellor who would host open forums to hear their questions and concerns, as well as advocate for and implement certain programs similar to the Scholarships for Pacific Islanders.

Also mentioned were low retention rates, student enrollment, and class availability as a concern. Many of the students knew someone who couldn’t graduate on time, simply because their required courses were not offered. As a corollary, a student mentioned that the UH Mānoa campus was run almost as a separate institution, with students at UH Hilo being required to apply to Mānoa in order to take certain classes. The students also called for more emphasis on preparation for master’s degrees.

Students also asked for a candidate who advocated for more transparency and communication with the student body on how university funds are budgeted, as well as provided students with information on the services being offered to them.