Category Archives: Public Appearances

Higher Ed 101 with the Hawaii Society of Business Professionals

panel discussion three men

I enjoyed a robust panel discussion on higher education on June 19 with Hawaiʻi Pacific University President Geoff Bannister and Chaminade University of Honolulu President, Brother Bernard Ploeger.

Our discussion was sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Society of Business Professionals at the Hawaiʻi Prince Hotel. We covered everything from dwindling resources, tuition, athletics and what keeps us up at night. Hopefully we provided some insight for HSBP and its members.

Sponsor Olomana Loomis ISC live-tweeted the event. Some of my remarks, below.

Makawalu Vortex sculpture dedication

man flanked by art David Lassner at the Makawalu Vortex

Here I am, flanked by the two pohaku at the dedication of the Makawalu Vortex at the UH Cancer Center.

We had a beautiful morning on June 19 for the dedication of some new artwork at the UH Cancer Center. About 120 people attended the dedication of the Makawalu Vortex—two large stone sculptures that are meant to create healing energy.

The themes of this piece of art also include scientific creativity and multiple perspectives. Thank you to local artist Jerry Vasconcellos, who created the Makawalu Vortex from rocks quarried in Kailua.

group shot of men

(L to R): Local artist Jerry Vasconcellos, Chancellor Tom Apple, Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, Cancer Center Facilities Director Francis Blanco, JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, me and Executive Director of the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts Jonathan Johnson.

See more photos from the event on the UH Cancer Center Facebook page.

World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education

people lined up along beach

UH and community leaders await the arrival of the visitors aboard four canoes at Sans Souci Beach, at the welcoming ceremony for the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education.

Hundreds of people packed Sans Souci Beach in Waikīkī on May 19 for a welcoming ceremony for the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. I joined other UH and community leaders onshore to welcome four canoes that arrived onshore, carrying representatives of visiting educators.

More than 3,000 educators from around the world are gathering at the University of Hawaiʻi this week for the 2014 conference. These gatherings take place every three years, and this year, the University of Hawaiʻi is proud and honored to host the event at Kapiʻolani Community College.

UH is a model indigenous sharing university, so this is a fabulous opportunity to share what we have learned from others around the world. Participants will be attending various workshops, sharing their expert knowledge and discussing contemporary movements in education that support indigenous world views. The conference wraps up on Saturday.

group disembarking from canoes

Representatives of more than 3,000 visitors/participants of the World Indigenous Peoples Conference are warmly welcomed.

Continue reading for more pictures.

Continue reading

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

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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

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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.