Category Archives: Public Appearances

UH Community Colleges at the State Capitol

people standing before doors representing opportunity and access

Community college chancellors standing before doors representing opportunity and access at their campus. Via UH System Flickr

We had a successful College Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, as part of Education Week at the State Legislature.

One of the highlights was a symbolic presentation of the “opening of college doors” representing the the UH Community Colleges’ open-door mission. Our community college chancellors stood before a row of multi-colored doors and opened them for the students to symbolize accessibility, affordability and quality education offered by our community colleges.

UH VP for Community Colleges John Morton and I would like to thank Governor Neil Abercrombie, State Senators Jill Tokuda and Brian Taniguchi, and State Representative Isaac Choy for taking the time to attend our opening program and to experience our community colleges’ exhibits and demonstrations in the Rotunda and second floor of the State Capitol.

Thank you to VP Morton, Director of Marketing Communications Susan Lee and countless others who worked tirelessly to make our College Day a success!

man at microphone

UH System Interim President David Lassner speaking at College Day at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol. Via Leeward CC Flickr

See more photos and video from College Day 2014

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

Kauai Chamber of Commerce reception

bird's eye view of David Lassner speaking at a reception at Kauai Community College

I truly enjoyed meeting members of the Kauaʻi Chamber of Commerce and the Garden Isle community on January 22, 2014. The chamber kindly co-sponsored an after hours reception at Kauaʻi Community College.

David Lassner speaking at Kauai Community College

I had the opportunity to meet most of the guests which included chamber and community members, as well as members of the Friends of Kauaʻi Community College which works closely with the college’s chancellor to build community partners and friendships.

Other attendees included Kauaʻi Chancellor Helen Cox, VP for Community Colleges John Morton, other UH administrators and the Board of Regents.

We were on Kauaʻi for a series of meetings and engagements, including the monthly Board of Regents meeting, which was held on the Kauaʻi campus this month.

bird's eye view of a reception at Kauai Community College

Rotary Club of Honolulu luncheon

shaking hands at the Rotary Club meeting

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting members of the Rotary Club of Honolulu at a luncheon at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on January 14th. It was my privilege to speak to the distinguished group about a wide range of issues, including my role as interim president, what the Board of Regents is expecting from me and the next permanent president, the search for the next UH president and what I envision in the coming months and years for one of the state’s most important institutions.

I also took some tough yet insightful questions from the group about the Cancer Center, the UH presidential search and funding.

Thank you to the Rotary Club of Honolulu, President Dave Shanahan, Haumea Ho, Alice Tucker and many others for the warm welcome and their interest in our University of Hawaiʻi.

Below is video of the talk I gave, and you can go to UH News for video of the question and answer session.

Trends in educational technology for 2014

chronicle for higher education screen cap

Click to enlarge

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured some of my thoughts on trends in educational technology in 2014. Without a doubt, technology can help navigate the choppy waters of higher education funding, or what is being called “the new normal.”

My predictions? Openness, analytics and cloud computing will help us save money, be more effective and lose 10 lbs. OK, maybe not that last one; we’re all on our own with that! But they will make us leaner and more innovative.

What do you think?

Education and IT in Fiji

seated dignitaries at conference

Attendees at the opening ceremonies at Fiji’s first conference on Information and Communication Technology in Tertiary Education. From left to right: Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Fiji Chandra Dulare; Vice Chancellor of Fiji National University Ganesh Chand; Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General of Fiji Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum; Vice Chancellor & President of University of the South Pacific Rajesh Chandra; and Lassner.

I had the honor of attending opening ceremonies at Fiji’s first conference on Information and Communication Technology in Tertiary Education (post secondary ed). I was the invited keynote speaker.

More information and photos from the conference are on the University of the South Pacific website.

Keaukaha Technology and Resource Center

group shot

Front L-R: Joanne Loa, Resource Center Community Volunteer, Lori Veincent, Resource Center Community Volunteer
Back L-R: Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, Interim Executive Assistant to the Chancellor UH Hilo, David Lassner, Interim UH President, Patrick Kahawaiolaʻa, President, Keaukaha Community Association, Bobbielyn Akoi, Resource Center Community Volunteer, Mapuana Waipa, Vice President Keaukaha Community Association and Interim Director, Ke Ana Laʻahana Public Charter School, Don Straney, UH Hilo Chancellor

While on Hawaiʻi Island, I also had a chance to visit the Keaukaha Technology and Resource Center, a multipurpose community center for adults and children that is located in the Keaukaha Hawaiian Homestead Community. The center offers learning and leadership activities, technology programs, meeting space for community events and much more.

Visit with the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce

speaking before a group

I was on Hawaiʻi Island today to speak to the Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce at UH Hilo’s ʻImiloa Astronomy Center. About 70 local business owners and guests attended the meeting and presentation.

We discussed ways to educate our future generations on how to be participating citizens, roles the university is playing in building the society of the future and serving under-served populations.

presentation in front of giant powerpoint

My presentation emphasized that higher education is an excellent investment of public funds and how that investment in the UH System economically impacts Hawaiʻi Island.

We also enjoyed some great stories from UH Hilo, particularly the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.

group shot

With Big Island Regent Barry Mizuno, Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce President Judith Fox-Goldstein and UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney.

Philippines visit

After an exciting and productive week in Indonesia, UH Mānoa Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan and I took a flight to Manila.

The city was teeming with cars, people and lights. It took some time to reach the hotel, and by then we were ready for some rest.

On Monday morning, we began a very intense set of meetings with our Philippine colleagues. We began with a meeting at the Asia Pacific Bank. We met there with Stephen Groff, Vice President for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific at Asian Development Bank, and James Nugent, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank. We discussed areas of common interest in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, especially on higher education and capacity-building initiatives in the region.

<p>Ramon Clarete, head of the UH Philippines alumni group after receiving our thank you aloha shirt.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

Ramon Clarete, head of the UH Philippines alumni group after receiving our thank you aloha shirt.

<p>UH Manoa Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood with the UH Philippines alumni group at a reception and dinner.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

UH Manoa Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood with the UH Philippines alumni group at a reception and dinner.

<p>Early arrivals at a reception for the UH Philippines alumni group.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

Early arrivals at a reception for the UH Philippines alumni group.

<p>After a very full day of these meetings, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan were treated to dinner with the UH Philippines alumni group president Pascual (left) and at least one very recent UH alumna (right).</p>

Philippines outreach visit

After a very full day of these meetings, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan were treated to dinner with the UH Philippines alumni group president Pascual (left) and at least one very recent UH alumna (right).

<p>UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan meet with the Commissioner on Higher Ed and discussed their issues in the Philippines and ways to increase student and faculty exchange with the University of Hawai‘i.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan meet with the Commissioner on Higher Ed and discussed their issues in the Philippines and ways to increase student and faculty exchange with the University of Hawai‘i.

<p>UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan meet with the Philippine’s climate change secretary Babet Guzon and staff.  The discussion was about climate change, sea rise, their efforts at disaster risk, reduction and resilience and the upcoming 2015 APEC meeting.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan meet with the Philippine’s climate change secretary Babet Guzon and staff. The discussion was about climate change, sea rise, their efforts at disaster risk, reduction and resilience and the upcoming 2015 APEC meeting.

<p>UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan greeted with a big screen announcement.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan greeted with a big screen announcement.

<p>UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan met with climate change advisors to the Philippine President to discuss work on resilience.  The work being done in the Philippines is an important part of the mission and work within APDR3 (Asia-Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction &amp; Resilience).</p>

Philippines outreach visit

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan met with climate change advisors to the Philippine President to discuss work on resilience. The work being done in the Philippines is an important part of the mission and work within APDR3 (Asia-Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction & Resilience).

<p>UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan  were met at the Asian Development Bank meeting by Ramon Clarete, who heads the UH Philippines alumni group.  He escorted them to several meetings and later organized a dinner with UH alumni in the Philippines.</p>

Philippines outreach visit

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan were met at the Asian Development Bank meeting by Ramon Clarete, who heads the UH Philippines alumni group. He escorted them to several meetings and later organized a dinner with UH alumni in the Philippines.


Outreach visit to Indonesia – Day 6

The conference over, we spent a day touring some of the local sights, learning about how they have been impacted by recent natural disasters. In the evening we had a chance to visit with UH alumni.

See more photos from our trip: day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4 and day 5 of our trip.

large group in front of Borobudur

Our group in front of the 8th century Buddhist Monument Borobudur. After the conference, the delegation visited some historical and world-renown cultural artifacts of the Yogyakarta region.

tour at Borobudur

Famed Borobudur historian Tony Tack led a tour of Borobudur for the APDR3 delegation. The Borobudur monument was covered in ash during the Mount Merapi eruption in 2010. Tack explained post-disaster preservation efforts and the larger tourism impacts that resulted from the eruption.

tour group at Borobudur

Famed Borobudur historian Tony Tack leads a tour of Borobudur for the APDR3 delegation. The Borobudur monument was covered in ash during the Mount Merapi eruption in 2010. Tack explained post-disaster preservation efforts and the larger tourism impacts that resulted from the eruption.

tourists at Mendut Temple in Indonesia

The APDR3 delegation visits the Mendut Temple near Borobudur. The inner temple is a sanctuary to a Budda which is more than a thousand years old.

tourists at Prambanan Temple in Indonesia

The APDR3 delegation visits Prambanan Temple, a Hindu temple that is a popular tourist destination. It was badly damaged in the earthquake of 2006.

group at dinner in Indonesia

University of Hawai’i alumni from Indonesia gather for dinner at the Gadjah Wong restaurant. We connected over gamelan and dance performances. Fourteen Indonesian UH alumni attended the event. Some flew in from Papua Province.

woman at microphone

Addressing the group at the UH Indonesia alumni dinner.

woman speaking to dinner group

UH Manoa Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan thanks the APDR3 delegation for a great conference and expresses appreciation to the Indonesian alumni for the opportunity to connect once again.