University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu faculty and staff kicked off the spring 2016 semester on Jan. 6 with Convocation and Professional Development Day. UH West Oʻahu Interim Chancellor Doris Ching began the day’s event by thanking former Chancellor Rockne Freitas for his years of service to UH West Oʻahu and the University of Hawaiʻi System and discussed a number of initiatives including
- Increasing student enrollment
- Increasing graduation rates
- Increasing collaboration between Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Administration
- Increasing initiatives in internationalization and UH West Oʻahu’s relationship with Hawaii Tokai International College
- Implementing the University’s Strategic Plan commitments
- Creating a 2016-2021 Academic Development Plan
- Planning for the progressive conversion of concentrations to majors
- Initiating graduate programs
- Developing Native Hawaiian leadership programs under the University of Hawaiʻi System Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao
- Implementing a UH West Oʻahu staff senate including Administrative, Technical, Professional and Clerical positions
- Reactivating the UH West Oʻahu Alumni Association
- Strengthening alumni relations
- Growing fundraising and development to sustain a strong institution
UH West Oʻahu staff and faculty heard from University Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Administration representatives about additional initiatives and programs for the coming semester.
Director of Strategic Initiatives Sherry Proper discussed the UH West Oʻahu Strategic Plan Implementation document and the ongoing efforts of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee as well the University’s efforts on a Comprehensive Internationalization Plan. An open forum and student panel on the internationalization plan will be held on Friday, Jan. 15 from 1-2 p.m. in the UH West Oʻahu Library ʻUluʻulu Archive. The University has completed a number of new articulation agreements with Honolulu Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College and UH Maui College to even better serve UH West Oʻahu’s transfer student population.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Honda shared data on UH West Oʻahu’s growth and improvements made in graduation and retention rates with the University improving from a 61% to a 67% retention rate over last spring. She also announced the formation of a Professional Development Committee for faculty to begin in spring 2016.
Faculty division chairs from the Business Administration, Education, Humanities, Public Administration and Social Sciences division provided updates on their respective academic programs.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Judy Oliveira spoke about UH West Oʻahu student initiatives and programs designed to serve the University’s mission as an indigenous-serving institution and informed faculty and staff of the hiring of Dr. Manulani Meyer as director of indigenous education and Dr. Jan Javinar as faculty specialist. Director of Enrollment Management Jim Cromwell discussed the University’s enrollment increase over last spring and Noʻeau Center Director Lokelani Kenolio discussed new center hours and added financial aid and academic success workshops for spring 2016.
Dwight Takamine discussed the University’s new student legislative internship program. Nine UH West Oʻahu students were selected to work at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature this January-May assisting a senator or representative while getting paid and receiving money covering the full cost of spring 2016 tuition and 12 UH West Oʻahu credits through Dr. Masahide Kato’s SSC1496 course.
Director of Government Relations Wendy Tatsuno informed faculty and staff that seven developers responded to the University’s Request for Qualifications for the future development of a University District retail area surrounding UH West Oʻahu. She provided updates on the UH West Oʻahu on-campus photovoltaic farm scheduled for completion in early spring 2016 as well as design plans for the future Allied Health and Administration Building.