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.

Supporting student veterans

press conference podium

With Tracey Betts, Director of the Honolulu VA Regional Office, and Secretary of the U.S. Veterans Administration, General (retired) Eric Shinseki.

We had the honor of meeting with the Secretary of the U.S. Veterans Administration, General (retired) Eric Shinseki. After a productive discussion we held a joint news conference to announce our plan for a new UH task force that will make recommendations on what UH campuses across the state can do to improve the UH System’s support of veteran students.

In fact, I’m looking for UH staff, faculty, community members, government officials, UH veteran students and graduates who are interested in working together to make those recommendations.

Please send your nominations and self-nominations for task force members to president@hawaii.edu.

Find out more and see the whole press conference in UH News.

Aloha United Way UH Oahu Campaign

supporting Aloha United Way

I had a chance to donate to the Aloha United Way’s UH Oʻahu campaign today by running downstairs to buy some lunch at the Bachman Country Store and Bake Sale.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who donated and brought together a wide variety of items, food and baked goods for our 2013 AUW campaign. Our coordinators tell me we raised about $1,200 in just a few hours. Great job!

Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council

meeting

David Lassner with Peter Crouch (Dean, UH Manoa College of Engineering), Charlie Bass (Trustee, The Bass Trust), R.J. “Zap” Zlatoper (Ret. Admiral, USN), Scott Seu (Vice President, Energy Resources and Operations, Hawaiian Electric Co.)

I had the pleasure of speaking before the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Council last week. The council is similar to a corporate board of directors that provides guidance on strategic and political matters that aim to advance educational and research programs within the college.

The meeting included council members, the College of Engineering Dean Peter Crouch, his leadership team and department chairs.

We discussed a wide array of issues, and I outlined my goals and objectives as Interim President. They include improving the university’s image, the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative, the deferred maintenance backlog and my willingness to assist the college in becoming an effective and important component of the UH System.

Aloha, M.R.C Greenwood!

M.R.C. Greenwood and David Lassner with lei

M.R.C. Greenwood and David Lassner

M.R.C. Greenwood stepped down as President of the University of Hawaiʻi System on August 31, 2013. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors!

Filling her shoes while the search proceeds for a new UH System President, former Chief Information Officer David Lassner is taking on the role of interim president. This blog continues as a record of his activities in this capacity.

Read more in UH News: VP David Lassner to be appointed interim UH president