Tag Archives: UH System

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.

Video message to the UH ‘ohana

By now you’ve probably heard that the Board of Regents has selected me for the UH presidency.

I am humbled and honored by the trust being placed in me by the Board of Regents, particularly after the extensive process of internal and external forums, meetings and interviews. I pledge to continue to listen, learn and collaborate to achieve even greater excellence across the UH System as we execute on our shared vision to serve all the people of Hawaiʻi in a manner that exemplifies superb stewardship of public resources.

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

Governor’s Proclamation of UH Community Colleges Day

group shot in front of Hawaii state seal

Leaders from the UH System and Community Colleges receive the Governor’s UH Community Colleges Day proclamation at the Governor’s office.

The University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges were honored with a Governor’s Proclamation on April 23. Governor Neil Abercrombie spent some time reminiscing about his days teaching at Leeward Community College before he presented the proclamation to VP for Community Colleges John Morton in the Governor’s office. The proclamation declares April 23 UH Community Colleges Day, in honor of the CC’s 50th anniversary.

It was on April 23, 1964 that Governor John A. Burns signed into law a major legislative act that provided all citizens with access to a college education. Today, the community colleges’ open-door policy and affordable tuition make it possible for people from all walks of life to earn college degrees.

VIDEO: Governor proclaims April 23 as UH Community Colleges Day

More on the anniversary

Barack Obama Presidential Center

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We are grateful for the support of Howard Hughes Corporation Sr. VP David Striph (center) and Governor Neil Abercrombie (right).

On March 28 I attended an informative and enjoyable breakfast briefing on the proposed Barack Obama Presidential Center. Business and community leaders were invited to hear about proposed plans for the center in Kakaʻako.

Thank you to Governor Neil Abercrombie, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamanaʻo Crabbe, Howard Hughes Corporation Sr. VP David Striph and many other community and business leaders for attending the briefing, which included an excellent video presentation of our proposal. We even secured a few additional generous donations from the Howard Hughes Corporation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hawaiian Electric Industries to develop Hawaiʻi’s proposal.

The faculty-led Presidential Center leadership team, headed by American studies Associate Professor Robert Perkinson has been working on this project since the 2008 primaries, even before Barack Obama became president. The team also includes Maxine Burkett (law), Patricia Halagao (education), Maria Simone (architecture) and A.J. Halagao (advisor).

Thank you all for your dedication, hard work and support!

group shot

Mayor Kirk Caldwell (far left) demonstrated his support for the Barack Obama Center, along with other community leaders.

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

Meeting with President Underwood of the University of Guam

smiling man Robert Underwood

University of Guam President Robert Underwood. Courtesy UOG Facebook

I had a good meeting with the president of the University of Guam, Dr. Robert Underwood, who visited us at Bachman Hall recently. We first met when I traveled to U of Guam in 2012 to help the campus with information technology matters.

Dr. Underwood and I discussed higher education at our respective institutions and the East-West Center hosted a luncheon in his honor while he was in Honolulu.

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

Visit with the president of the Republic of Kiribati

portrait of two men

Interim President David Lassner and His Excellency Anote Tong, president of the Republic of Kiribati

Today I met with His Excellency Anote Tong, president of the Republic of Kiribati. President Tong is in Hawaiʻi to give a keynote speech at the Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana conference Building Communities of Practice for Resilience at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. He also gave a public lecture at the East-West Center about the impacts of climate change on Kiribati and other Pacific Islands.

We enjoyed a discussion on education, sustainability and other issues related to being small island communities in the middle of the Pacific.

Building global conservation networks

casual group shot of smiling people

Representatives of the Smithsonian Institute, Bishop Museum and UH meet to collaborate.

It’s been about conservation this week.

Hawaiʻi is one of two finalists to host a large conservation conference here in Hawaiʻi. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) 2016 World Conservation Congress is also looking at Istanbul, Turkey.  IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network, and its World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most inclusive nature conservation forum held every four years.

The forum hosts 8,000 to 10,000 delegates from around the world to discuss and decide environmental and development issues and policy. This is an amazing opportunity for Hawaiʻi.

I spent Monday with forum representatives on Hawaiʻi Island and attended a couple of receptions in their honor, including one with Governor Neil Abercrombie.

I think the group was pretty impressed with what our state as to offer and the way we have pulled together to bring this important event to our state.

Also last week—the Smithsonian Institution’s National Board was here for a few events, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding around the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network.

two men shaking hand across a table

David Lassner with Smithsonian Institute Secretary G. Wayne Clough upon the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the Marine Global Earth Observatory (Marine GEO) project.

The Smithsonian is launching a global network of coastal marine observatories called Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network and the university’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology is partnering with the Smithsonian on a Hawaiʻi site (not yet determined) to potentially become the first “partner” site in the network. Exciting.