UH Hilo Strategic Planning

Meeting Notes - May 20, 2021

Relationships Committee Meeting: Thursday, May 20 at 3:30pm

Present: Justina Mattos, Diane Chadwick, Makamae Kamaka-Mauhili, Julie Mowrer, Kathleen Baumgardner and guests Michele Ebersole and Kerri Inglis

Meeting purpose: Project updates and plans for the future

Congratulations to Justina Mattos for receiving the well-deserved Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award!

Thank you Julie Mowrer for initiating the Mahalo Cards showing appreciation for community partners for their contributions and support. There are about 400 cards to be sent out, expressing gratitude.

An Update on A Course Connecting Students with Place (UNIV101 / Kuleana & Community)

Kerri Inglis and Michele Ebersole updated the committee on progress, reporting that the threads are coming together. There is momentum and they expressed gratitude for the work and support of many across campus. The idea for the course goes back a few years and was inspired by interdisciplinary courses at another institution where the same topic was explored through the lens of multiple disciplines and a common experience was created for new students.

The details to date: The 3-credit course, Kuleana & Community, will be interdisciplinary, offered primarily to freshmen, will include ʻāina-based service learning and use the Kaʻao framework. There is an intention to build community with the enrolled students, with the faculty, and with the island community. Huaka‘i to wahi pana will be important so that students can learn while building a sense of belonging and connection through service.The goal is that the course pilot will launch in spring 2022 with an estimated six sections. The Title III grant will also help cover the costs associated with six peer mentors or Kaʻao Navigators who will help both students and faculty. The course would not be required across the university but an individual program could require the course.

Next steps: Curriculum development is underway, with Michele and Kerri leading the effort. A 3-day training workshop is being developed for early August. This workshop would open a discussion about both content and pedagogy. There are 12 faculty who have expressed interest in participating in the training. There may also be several sessions in the fall semester to continue the discussion and there are many resources available (like Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast that may be put to use. In order to extend support to faculty who ultimately teach the course in the pilot semester, there will be opportunities for reflection at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

This is a grand opportunity, and the hope is that the course may help to provide a solid example of success in breaking out of our silos and moving toward more interdisciplinary efforts.


The idea: The purpose of Wailau events is to build connections across campus and with the wider community that go deeper than the roles we hold while honoring our complex, fragile and brave selves. In keeping with the meaning of our name, we will showcase five storytellers at each event - a UH faculty member, UH staff member, UH student, UH alum and a community member.

There will be one Wailau episode per semester beginning in fall, so two per academic year. This will allow us to better support our storytellers with additional time to prepare and to allow more lead time in order to encourage applications. Providing more support would help our storytellers feel more comfortable. Immediately after storytellers are selected, we may want to schedule a session with them on the stage so they might see the setup and understand expectations. Perhaps we could learn from other events like TEDx or The Moth about how they communicate with storytellers.

The theme for Fall’s Wailau has been set by the English Club: Getting from Point A to Point B. The application is now open. The end of August deadline may make it difficult for classes to engage in the episode, so we decided to move the deadline for applications slightly to allow more time. We would like to see more student storyteller applications. Makamae mentioned that extra credit is a motivating factor that might drive more applications.

We discussed institutionalizing Wailau. Currently it is being staged through the good will of many volunteers. How would we go about institutionalizing Wailau? And, if we want it to switch from an online event to a live event, what would it take? Also, what are the costs associated with a live Wailau? Renting theater, camera operators, tickets, printing, etc.

Kathleen contacted Lisa Uyetake from Advancement to discuss possible funding for Wailau, including the possibility of a donation-only live event. She replied that their special events office may be able to help with a “No cost, suggested donation event” and we should let her know if we decide to go that route and she will share more about the process. She also said that if the donations will go into an existing fund she needs to know which fund that is (name/number) and if a new fund needs to be set-up, a minimum of $1,000 is required to open it. Many of the existing funds that the committee were aware of are for very specific purposes, so it may not be possible to use an account that is already set up.

Diane mentioned that she may be able to reach out to a potential topic expert in voyaging. The people mentioned could serve as topic experts or would have great stories to tell as well.

Action items for Wailau:

  • Kathleen will edit the Wailau webpage to prominently feature the fall episode and the open storyteller application and change the application date to September 3.
  • Kathleen will see if she can find a TEDx storyteller contract / expectations document.
  • Diane will continue to explore potential event funding for Wailau.
  • Diane will explore potential topic experts.
  • Justina and Kathleen will build a Wailau budget for future episodes.
  • Justina will look at dates for fall filming and the premiere.
  • Kathleen will reach out to a few faculty in public speaking and communications to see if they might encourage student applications.

The Bigger Picture

The first draft of the Strategic Plan has been made available for comment through June 15. An accompanying action plan is being developed. The Chancellor has indicated that she would like to see the Doing Committees serve as the designated lead for appropriate tactics that support the strategies that will help us move the needle on these three planning goals.

  • Goal 1: Affirm our Commitment to Haumāna - Equity and Student Success
  • Goal 2: Affirm our Commitment toʻĀina- and Community-based Education
  • Goal 3: Affirm our Commitment to Kākou - Our Campus ʻOhana

A question is, do we make suggestions of the projects we would like to lead or do we wait to be assigned? There is likely value in making suggestions as the project may be a better fit based on the expertise and interest within our group.

We discussed the possibility of a June meeting that combines both Doing Committees - Relationships and Importance of Place. Kathleen will be meeting with the Importance of Place Committee on Monday and will bring this up as well. There has been overlap in discussions and in projects of interest - onboarding is one example. There was a suggestion for an event - a get together that includes faculty and community partners. We may want to join forces, with subgroups working on efforts much like the Kuleana & Community course.

The action plan is currently a moving target, but Kathleen will pick a point in the coming week where it might be shared with the committees so members might look at some of the tactics that are currently being proposed.

At this point in the discussion, the 90-minute meeting time expired. The meeting was adjourned.