UH West Oʻahu’s numerous efforts to act on its promise of educating more students on a larger campus were detailed for staff and faculty at the fall semester Convocation and Professional Development Day.
There are “a lot of wonderful things going on,” remarked Chancellor Maenette Benham, who detailed highlights of her first seven-and-a-half months as head of the Kapolei campus.
“We’ve all been very busy,” Benham said.
The day of presentations combined updates about existing endeavors with news about coming changes as well as recognizing campus community members for their 10- and 20-year work anniversaries, promotions, and significant awards; there was also a welcoming of newly hired employees. Dr. William Puette, director of the Center for Labor Education and Research at UH West Oʻahu, was honored for his 40 years of service, while Dr. Louis Herman, a Political Science professor, was cited for his 30 years.
Among the highlights:
- Chancellor Benham will resume her Chit-Chat with the Chancellor sessions this semester to answer staff and faculty questions and discuss long-range planning. Additionally, she reminded people about her monthly email, Ka Peʻahi Lono, which highlights various issues and news.
- An Institute for Engaged Scholarship was established that will help faculty obtain funding for research through grants. Chancellor Benham said although UH West Oʻahu is viewed as a four-year teaching school, the faculty actually produces new knowledge through their scholarly work. Dr. Melissa Saul will oversee the institute.
- Updates on long-range strategic planning were presented by workgroups helping to architect the framework. UH West Oʻahu is projected to more than double its enrollment to 8,000 in a decade.
- Academic workgroup: Academic Affairs Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Moniz spoke about efforts to plan for new degrees and concentrations. He said a Sept. 15 “Café Academic,” is being planned to solicit input on ideas for the Master Strategic Plan in December. Attendees were urged to provide feedback on notecards about what they liked about UH West Oʻahu’s current organizational structure and their wish list for improvements.
- Enrollment/Student Services workgroup: Jan Javinar, assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, talked about efforts to improve enrollment, including recruitment and retention. Enrollment management strategies include greater efforts to attract working adults, veterans and active military, promotion of financial aid, and defining, building, and managing UH West Oʻahu’s brand image.
- Land/Development workgroup: Kevin Ishida, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, discussed work on a long-range development plan for the more than 300 acres encompassing the campus, compared to the current development plan for 135 acres. The plan is intended to guide development over the next 10 to 15 years. PD Day attendees voted on questions related to campus development such as whether athletic and recreation facilities were important, if there should be a better variety of retail and dining on campus, if the campus should be a center for art & culture, and whether outdoor settings should include leading sustainable infrastructure.
- A website on long-range strategic planning has been created at https://www.uhwo.hawaii.edu/longrangeplanning/. A Confluence Session is scheduled for November.
- Aunty Lynette Paglinawan, an esteemed kumu who gave a welcome to PD day, announced she will teach an informal class on Nohona Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian Way at Hale Kuahuokalā. Other workshops led by others will explore Hawaiian culture during the fall semester.
- UH West Oʻahu’s website is being redesigned to provide for cleaner navigation and focus on the recruiting of students. The redesign is being performed by the Communications Department and Information Technology Services.
- Faculty profiles will be added to the campus’ website to meet a Board of Regents requirement for online posting for faculty posting of curriculum vitae and to help UH West Oʻahu showcase the level of academic talent of its faculty.
- Leadership development efforts have increased with the selection of faculty and staff to the President’s Emerging Leadership Program, which identifies and develops future campus and system leaders.
- Efforts also are increasing to improve philanthropic giving to the campus for students and programs.