UH Hilo Strategic Planning

Meeting Notes - April 23, 2021

Relationships Committee Meeting: Friday, April 23 at 3:30pm

Present: Justina Mattos, Diane Chadwick, Makamae Kamaka-Mauhili, Kathleen Baumgardner

Meeting purpose: Project updates and discussion of UH Hilo's strategic planning strategies, and actions and how they intersect with relationships

An Update on A Course Connecting Students with Place (UNIV101)

The idea: There is a working group interested in ensuring a positive student experience that includes a strong grounding in place. We are exploring the development of a class, perhaps a redesign of UNIV 101, available to students in their first two years at UH Hilo including transfer students. The working group includes Julie Mowrer (from this committee), Kerri Inglis (who developed the Kuleana & Community course proposal), Hualani Loo and Michele Ebersole (both from this Importance of Place Committee), and Kathleen.

Kathleen updated the group about a meeting that took place just before our committee meeting. This meeting included the working group from the doing committees and a number of others across campus who are interested in moving the project forward. A proposal for the course is moving forward with Kerri Inglis taking the lead. There is some concern about whether there will be institutional support for the effort, as other efforts in the past have been initiated with grant funding and fallen by the wayside when the grant monies were spent.

We discussed the possibility of flavors of the course depending on who might be teaching it. Justina mentioned that her students had developed several plays about stressful first-year experiences. These plays could potentially be videotaped and used to provide content for the foundational pieces.

Makamae likes the idea of the course and would seriously consider taking the class to satisfy her GCC requirement and finds the idea of service learning attractive.


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.

We discussed moving forward with one Wailau episode per semester beginning in fall, so two per year. This will allow us to better support our storytellers with additional time to prepare and speaker coaching, and to allow more lead time in order to encourage applications. The first episode set the bar high with a number of seasoned speakers. The second episode was a heavier theme and featured some storytellers who had less experience being on the stage. Providing more support would help our storytellers feel more comfortable.

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. We still need to finalize the date for the actual event. We have announced that applications are due at the end of August, and we are thinking of filming in September, and airing the episode in October or November. This time frame should work with the busy arts center schedule. We will move ahead with Wailau as an online event in fall but reconsider whether the event will be online or live for spring, given that there may be in-person events at that time.

One of our hosts, Dayva, will be graduating this spring. She has mentioned that she would like to continue on in the fall as a co-host.

Kathleen contacted Lisa Uyetake, 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 but 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. She looped in fundraiser Karla Zarate-Ramirez.

We discussed that event grant funding can be tricky and hard to find. Diane said that she knew of a donor advised fund and would ask if they might be interested in Wailau.

Julie arranged The Moth workshop held on Thursday and it was great! We were impressed at how fun it was and that three facilitators from the Moth devoted their time to our group. We thought that it provided a context for how we might work with future storytellers.

In terms of advertising, we decided that given there will be more students on campus in fall, we should develop two physical flyers with QR codes. The flyer to encourage storyteller applications should go up before orientation week, August 17. The second flyer to encourage viewers should go up a couple weeks before the online event.

Action items for Wailau:

  • We should strategize which faculty and organizations to reach out to in order to encourage applications.
  • Diane will ask about potential event funding for Wailau.

The Bigger Picture

The group looked at draft action plan text for one of the strategies:

Strategy 5: Uncover and recognize the impact that we are making and continue to communicate those efforts both internally and externally to celebrate our role in regional stewardship.

  • Tactic 5.1 Perform an internal environmental scan (parallel to system conversation)
  • Tactic 5.2 Recognition and Incentive (between campus programs, divisional, cross-college)
  • Tactic 5.3 Map community efforts and interests that align with similar efforts on campus, so we might identify potential partnerships.
  • Tactic 5.4 Bolster internal and external communications and marketing efforts in order to spread UH Hilo’s story of impact and success.
  • Tactic 5.5 Engage with off-campus stakeholders, including alumni and community members.

The community is very interested in the work/research that takes place on campus. Diane has seen some information about UH research and it was impressive. It would be helpful if UH Hilo showcased their work regularly so that the community could learn more about it and be aware of the impact that the University is making. Diane also followed up with an example of sharing what faculty, staff, and students are doing in our community. Perhaps we could share an annual research e-newsletter loosely formatted (short profiles of faculty and student work, community project information and photos, impact stories, student quotes or questions about conducting research) like 2020’s holiday e-news.

Aligning with community efforts is a good idea. This island has so many community-involved efforts right now, maybe more than other islands. Hawaiʻi Community Foundation has built its Change Framework, leveraging a curated set of statewide data that identifies gaps where help is needed and where opportunities exist. It is efforts like these and those by organizations like Vibrant Hawaiʻi, where work is in progress, that offer opportunities for us to plug in.

  • C = Community & Economy
  • H = Health & Wellness
  • A = Arts & Culture
  • N = Natural Environment
  • G = Government & Civics
  • E = Education

We may be able to map efforts (Tactic 5.3) through student work, practicums or projects.

Actions under Tactic 5.4 should include social media.

For cross-sector efforts, it would be great to see more faculty engagement. Is community engagement valued in promotion and tenure across all disciplines?

Makamae mentioned a Writing for Business course taught by Alicia Takaoka, an engaged scholar, where they interviewed community members, and groups were focused on different areas of the island. COVID derailed these projects, but it was an interesting way for students to engage with communities and learn more about the island from different perspectives. Her group’s area of focus was Miloliʻi.

Sometimes people don’t think to identify themselves as being affiliated with UH Hilo when they are involved in community organizations. They are involved as another community member or a mother of a child. What is the motivation for people from UH Hilo to declare their connection to the University?

How do we find out about the good work that faculty and staff are doing in the community? Perhaps the community could tell us. There could be a service award for faculty and/or staff where nominations come from the community. There are about 300 active nonprofits in Hawaiʻi as well as organizations like the Foundation, the Chamber, various service clubs, Vibrant Hawaiʻi, Zonta, etc., who might be interested in honoring volunteers who work at UH Hilo who are making a difference.

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