April 2014

April 2014

“Pūpūkāhi i holomua” (2758): Unite in order to progress
~ ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

In the upcoming months the campus will be undergoing a strategic planning process. With the input of our students, faculty, staff, and community, we hope to develop a comprehensive plan that captures the thoughts and ideas of you, our key stakeholders, to move the campus forward and strengthen our mission, vision, and goal of becoming a premier indigenous-serving institution.

We have much to look forward to, including new projects, exhibits, and even a Center of Excellence on our campus. Let’s continue to work together to make progress.

Student Housing

Last month, UHWO put out a call for offers for student housing.

The Developer is responsible for planning, obtaining permits and approvals, financing, designing, constructing, marketing, leasing, and managing a minimum 300-bed facility in the first phase. UH West Oʻahu requested that developers set a target housing fee of approximately $600 per bed per month.

Hawaiʻi Tokai International College (HTIC) intends to rent 200 beds in the student facility. This partnership with HTIC allows UH West Oʻahu to pursue educational opportunities.

According to the call for offers, after accommodating the demand requirements of UH West Oʻahu and HTIC students, and should the Student Housing complex not achieve full occupancy, the University will allow the occupancy of vacant rooms by married UHWO students, students of other campuses within the University system, University faculty, and University staff. Housing is only available to University-affiliated renters. Future phases will include additional student housing and possibly faculty/staff or married student housing.

We’re excited about what student housing will mean for developing a vibrant student life on and around our campus.

STEM Center of Excellence

UH West Oʻahu received a $245,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to establish a STEM Center of Excellence at the University, thanks to the hard work of Sherry Proper, our Director of Strategic Initiatives and Principal Investigator for the grant. It will be used in part to explore the development of our first STEM-related academic program in Facilities Management, furnish our science laboratories with equipment to support student learning and K-12 teacher education, and create “The Solar System Stroll,” a two-mile round-trip walk through a sidewalk solar system display on our campus.

Chancellor Freitas and Ernie Martin
Chancellor Freitas shares a laugh with Honolulu City Council Chairman, Ernie Martin.

The Honolulu City Council held its regular meeting on our campus on March 12. I had the pleasure of meeting with the council members earlier that morning and brag about UH West Oʻahu. Vice Chancellor Lui Hokoana presented the Message of Aloha on behalf of the campus.

Go for Broke exhibit opening ceremony
Go for Broke Exhibit at the UH West Oʻahu Library

The UH West Oʻahu library is hosting the Go for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts, an exhibit that tells the story of Japanese American soldiers during World War II, from March 31 to April 11. I make no secret that without the 442nd and 100th Battalion I would not be here. I was honored to untie the maile lei at the opening of the exhibit last month.

Chancellor Freitas visited with students from Waipahu High School’s Maurauder Cafe.
Chancellor Freitas visited with students from Waipahu High School’s Maurauder Cafe.