Category Archives: Initiatives

Largest private award ever to UH from the Simons Foundation

group shot

L-R: SOEST Dean Brian Taylor, me, Ed DeLong and David Karl.

We were elated to announce the largest private award ever to the University of Hawaiʻi, at a news conference at Snug Harbor on July 16, 2014. The Simons Foundation awarded UH Mānoa professors Edward DeLong and David Karl, both from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, $40 million to lead the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE). Again, this is the largest private gift UH has ever received.

SCOPE is among the Simons Foundation’s programs in the division of Life Sciences. It aims to further our understanding of the microscopic organisms that inhabit every drop of seawater and how those creatures control the movement and exchange of energy and nutrients, from the surface waters to the deep sea.

Both Ed and David have worked long and hard with the foundation to make this happen. This really demonstrates what is possible when we work together.

This is also an incredible affirmation of the potential of the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative.

A lot of people have wondered can we really be serious about building a billion dollar research industry in the state. I think this is an example of how we’ll do it. It isn’t just going to the federal government and cranking out more proposals, but it’s captivating the interests of philanthropists and partners around the country and around the world to build this investment in a research and innovation economy for Hawaiʻi that advances the frontiers of human knowledge.

This award is a vote of confidence in Ed and Dave and in the University of Hawaiʻi. It is not a coincidence that UH is leading a consortium with some of the best research institutions in the country. We’re not just tagging along for the ride. So thank you Ed and Dave, thank you to the Simons organization and to all who have been a part of this.

UH News Video: Largest ever private award to UH funds microbial oceanography research

My remarks from the press conference.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

I had the honor of meeting Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education at a dinner coordinated by the Hawaiʻi Department of Education and hosted by Debbie Berger and Bill Reeves of The Learning Coalition.

Secretary Duncan was in Honolulu as part of his Race to the Top tour of all 50 states. The U.S. Department of Education says Duncan is the first education secretary to visit Hawaiʻi in about 20 years.

While here, Secretary Duncan visited Ka Waihona o ka Naʻauao public charter school on the Waiʻanae Coast as well as Waipahu High School. He also praised the Hawaiʻi DOE and the public school system for significant progress made in the $75 million Race to the Top grant.

We are proud of the strong partnership between UH and the state DOE; one strong example of this was witnessed by Secretary Duncan in the work that Leeward Community College and UH West Oʻahu are doing with Waipahu High School around accelerated learning and early college classes.

KITV: U.S. Secretary of Education visits Waipahu High School

55 by ’25 campaign launch

group photograph

Senator Jill Tokuda; GG Weisenfeld, Executive Office on Early Learning; David Lassner, UH System; Karen Lee, Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education, Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaiʻi State Department of Education; John La Forgia, Hawaiʻi Pacific Health; Governor Neil Abercrombie; Rep. Roy Takumi; and John Komeiji, Hawaiian TelCom at the 55 by ’25 initiative launch. Photo via the Office of the Governor on Flickr

We launched the second phase of Hawaiʻi P-20’s public awareness and action campaign January 28 with a news conference at Honolulu Community College. 55 by ’25 aims to have 55 percent of working age adults holding two to four-year college degrees by the year 2025. We hope this campaign raises awareness and creates urgency about the need for students to pursue education beyond high school or Hawaiʻi will not be competitive in the 21st century.

man at podium

Photo via the Office of the Governor on Flickr

In my remarks, I said, “When the state needed the University of Hawaiʻi most during the recent recession, we stepped up, enrolled more students, and increased the graduation rate by 27 percent… and we’re ready to do more!”

woman and man smiling

Hawaiʻi P-20’s Karen Lee with Governor Abercrombie. Photo via the Office of the Governor on Flickr

Thanks to all who attended our news conference, with a special thanks to Governor Neil Abercrombie, GG Weisenfeld, Director, Executive Office on Early Learning; Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent, Hawaiʻi State Department of Education; John La Forgia, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer of Hawaiʻi Pacific Health (our platinum sponsor); Karen Lee, Executive Director, Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education; and Richard Mizusawa, Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi (ASUH).

VIDEO: Educated workforce critical to Hawaiʻi’s future

Maui visit

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood presents the Hawaii Innovation Initiative (HI2) to the Maui Governor's Advisory Council.</p>

HI2-presentation on Maui

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood presents the Hawaii Innovation Initiative (HI2) to the Maui Governor's Advisory Council.

<p>M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president, and JoAnn Inamasu, the governor's representative on Maui, were on the KAOI Radio Morning Show on January 30.</p>

KAOI Radio Morning Show

M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president, and JoAnn Inamasu, the governor's representative on Maui, were on the KAOI Radio Morning Show on January 30.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood presents the Hawaii Innovation Initiative (HI2) to the Maui Governor's Advisory Council.</p>

HI2-presentation on Maui

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood presents the Hawaii Innovation Initiative (HI2) to the Maui Governor's Advisory Council.

On January 30, I visited the island of Maui where I was on the KAOI Radio morning show with JoAnn Inamasu, the governor’s representative on Maui. We participated in a one hour show that included discussions and audience call-in questions on Maui, the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College and our Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative (HI2).

Later in the day, I made another HI2 presentation before the Maui Governor’s Advisory Council, a group of community leaders that keeps the state’s executive branch current on Maui issues and concerns. It was a nice and intimate group of about 10, and included representatives from local businesses, organized labor, non-profits and community groups.

Kauai Economic Development Board presentation

Kauai Economic Development Board presentation

I visited Kauaʻi on January 29, where I had the opportunity to present our Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative (HI2) to the Kauaʻi Economic Development Board at the Kauaʻi Marriott in Līhuʻe. About 60 people attended the presentation.

It was an excellent chance to get to know the garden isle’s business and community leaders who have been through the recent recession and are looking beyond today. They had some really productive ideas for Hawaiʻi’s economic and employment future.

While there, I also squeezed in a campus visit to Kauaʻi Community College where I enjoyed catching up with administrators, faculty, staff and students.

Kauai Economic Development Board presentation

President Obama’s inauguration and Washington meetings

President Barack Obama's inauguration

President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 21, 2013.

I had the honor of attending President Barack Obama’s second inauguration on Martin Luther King Jr. day, January 21, 2013. The crowds were impressive and the weather held up. People from all over the country filled the Capitol grounds and the National Mall as far as the eye could see. It was a sight to behold!

I have been in Washington, D.C. to attend some meetings as well as the Barack Obama President Center Inaugural Gala to raise money for a presidential center in Honolulu. The University of Hawaiʻi is spearheading the effort and we had a very successful fundraising event on Saturday. All four members of Hawaiʻi’s congressional delegation attended, as well as First Sister, UH faculty member and author Maya Soetoro-Ng; AOL founder Steve Case; neighbor island mayors and many others.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.</p>

Hawaii Inaugural Gala

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood attended the Hawaii Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC on January 19, 2013. The gala was a fundraiser for a possible Obama Center is Hawaii.

<p>Former University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, left, and Mitch D'Olier of Kaneohe Ranch, center, attended the Manoa Forum with University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood on January 14, 2013.</p>

Manoa Forum

Former University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, left, and Mitch D'Olier of Kaneohe Ranch, center, attended the Manoa Forum with University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood on January 14, 2013.

APDR3 keynote address

I’m in New York City, where I gave the keynote address at a meeting on the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3) at the Rockefeller Foundation.

APDR3 began as a partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) to leverage our assets and work together in the Pacific region and has attracted supporters such as FEMA, The U.S. Japan Council and NOAA. The initiative was highlighted during last year’s APEC meetings, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding, outlining the intent of our partnerships with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, and unveiled in a major speech by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The project has grown exponentially since then, with a half a million dollar award from the Ford Foundation and another half a million dollars from the Rockefeller Foundation. Chevron USA presented us with a matching grant to support this growing initiative. We are thrilled. The grants will be used to design strategy and governance structure, and scope collaborative and cooperative projects.

The University of Hawaiʻi is extremely honored to house the beginnings of this institution, which will eventually include granting of executive degrees, training of workforces, research and other elements of a strong and ground-breaking academic program.

<p>At the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3), from left, Amir Dossal, the UN's chief liaison for partnerships and M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president.</p>

APDR3 meeting in New York

At the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3), from left, Amir Dossal, the UN's chief liaison for partnerships and M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood and New York Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program Cecilia Martinez at a meeting on the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3) at the Rockefeller Foundation in December 2012. The United Nations Human Settlements Program is committed to creating sustainable housing worldwide.</p>

APDR3 meeting in New York

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood and New York Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program Cecilia Martinez at a meeting on the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3) at the Rockefeller Foundation in December 2012. The United Nations Human Settlements Program is committed to creating sustainable housing worldwide.

<p>University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood gave the keynote address at a meeting on the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3) at the Rockefeller Foundation in December 2012.</p>

APDR3 meeting in NY

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood gave the keynote address at a meeting on the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3) at the Rockefeller Foundation in December 2012.

<p>At the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3), from left, Wahyu Wilopo, S.T.M. engineering geological department, Gadjah Mada University; Densie Konan, University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and department of economics chair; M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president and Dwikorita Karnawati, professor in environmental and engineering geology and vice rector for cooperation and alumni, Universitas Gadjah Mada.</p>

APDR3 meeting in New York

At the Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Resiliency Initiative (APDR3), from left, Wahyu Wilopo, S.T.M. engineering geological department, Gadjah Mada University; Densie Konan, University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and department of economics chair; M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president and Dwikorita Karnawati, professor in environmental and engineering geology and vice rector for cooperation and alumni, Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Complete College America

I am very pleased to report to you that results of one of our major initiatives—the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative—are garnering national attention for the University of Hawaiʻi.

Part of our progress can be seen in the 20 percent increase in UH graduates since 2008. More recently, in fall 2012, there was a 14.7 percent increase in the number of students taking 15 credits or more systemwide.

Because of these and other measures, Hawaiʻi was one of only three states chosen by Complete College America for an academy to develop next steps and specific strategies to improve college completion outcomes. Complete College America brought about 16 staff to the state capital and UH chancellors, vice chancellors and staff from across our 10 campus system—about 100 in all—participated in planning for specific completion goals.

In addition, the University of Hawaiʻi has been invited to present our 15-to-Finish campaign at Complete College America’s annual conference in December. The president of Complete College America says Hawaiʻi is among the top 5 to 10 states in making progress toward increasing graduation rates.

We have a video that was shot at the recent two-day Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative Summit II at the State Capital and explains why all of us at the University of Hawaiʻi should be very proud of what we are accomplishing in this area.

Pacific Century Fellows

pres-group

The Pacific Century Fellows

I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with this year’s Pacific Century Fellows on September 27. This group is our next generation of leaders and includes State Representative Ty Cullin, and one of our own, University of Hawaiʻi Regent Michael Dahilig.

The Pacific Century Fellows program, based on the White House Fellows Program, was founded by former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. It aims to develop leaders who will bring with them a greater awareness and sensitivity to the people of Hawaiʻi. Each year, the program brings together a diverse group of approximately 32 of Hawaiʻi’s most promising individuals. The fellows come from all professions and all walks of life.

Through the program, they are encouraged to develop long-term relationships with their senior community and community leaders. I had the privilege of meeting them and presenting my University of Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative (HI2), which strives to double our research funding over the next few years.

Pacific Century Fellows

Hawaii Executive Conference

Hawaii Executive Conference

Jim Lally, Steve Case (AOL), M.R.C. Greenwood, David Karl and James Wei

We had a wonderful opportunity to present for the first time, details of our plan to build a billion dollar research industry. We made our presentations at the Hawaiʻi Executive Conference on the Big Island. AOL co-founder Steve Case moderated the panel discussion. I presented our research plan, along with distinguished scientist David Karl, UH Foundation board member Jim Lally and expert venture capitalist James Wei.

Mr. Case, who is from a long-standing island family, gave our team some very useful, national and international perspectives on what we are striving for and how to achieve this goal. We were scheduled to take a sail on the Hōkūleʻa, but alas, the seas did not cooperate. Although we were disappointed that we didn’t get to sail, it was a privilege to spend some time with Nainoa Thompson.