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
Saying goodbye to UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas and his administration. I enjoyed a really nice visit and want to thank our excellent faculty, staff and administrators for their dedication and excellent work.
With members of the Associated Students of UH West Oʻahu and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lui Hokoana.
Chancellor Rockne Freitas and his team.
I enjoyed an excellent lunch and fabulous entertainment.
We are hosting the presidents of 15 state colleges and universities in the Philippines this week. They are taking an Executive Course in Education Management and Leadership and are learning from the experiences of foreign universities, including the University of Hawaiʻi.
The Development Academy of the Philippines says it selected UH as one of the learning sites because of the strength of our system approach and the key strengths of the university.
The educational leaders are especially interested in our contribution to Hawaiʻi’s economy and research, how we improved education delivery and access across the state and our marine and agriculture programs and community college innovation. They are also interested in the East-West Center and the Philippine Consulate.
The delegation will visit the UH System, UH Mānoa, UH West Oʻahu, Windward Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College and much more over the next week.
We presented a congratulatory plaque to outgoing Vice President for Student Affairs and University and Community Relations and incoming UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas on May 1, his first official day in his new position.
I nominated Freitas and the Board of Regents approved the nomination this spring. He is the first Native Hawaiian to serve as chancellor of a four-year university in the state of Hawaiʻi and the nation.
Congratulations Chancellor Freitas!
The UH West Oʻahu is going to be an absolutely outstanding campus, and set a standard for green construction and energy efficiency! The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents toured the site, under construction and set to open doors in the fall of 2012) after their board meeting out in Kapolei.
The Regents meet once a month, excluding summers, and at a different campus each month so they can appreciate the diversity and strengths of our 10 campuses statewide. West Oʻahu did a terrific job hosting our October meeting, and topped it off with a fabulous site visit so Regents could see the buildings and surroundings taking shape.
What a jewel in the crown of UH this new campus will be when it opens a year from now!
Follow the progress of the new campus construction.
Video of the West Oʻahu construction progress
Parvin Fellows, from left, Guo Likun, Zhao Lina, Hu Yongqi, Cai Muyan, Peng Yining and, far right, Nie Xiaoyang with President Greenwood and Professor Kato
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Associate Professor of Journalism Gerald Kato brought six visiting Chinese journalists, the 2011–12 class of Parvin Fellows, to the PBS Hawaiʻi studio recently. Insights on PBS Hawaiʻi, with host Dan Boylan, featured a live, one hour call-in dialogue focusing on the University of Hawaiʻi and the latest exciting activities on our 10 campuses. Joining me as Dan’s guests were UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawaiʻinuiākea College of Hawaiian Knowledge Dean Maenette Benham, and it was a lively and engaging hour! You can watch the show online at www.pbshawaii.org (the show was on at the same time as Wahine Volleyball!). The journalists from China are here to learn more about American media and culture, and they sat in on our live program to see how U.S. television works. It was a pleasure to meet them and to have the live studio audience as well!
Greeting faculty while Chancellor Gene Awakuni looks on
I made a visit to UH West Oʻahu a few weeks ago. We are all really excited about the state-of-the-art buildings that are starting to sprout up there on the ʻewa plains! It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with faculty and staff leaders as well as Chancellor Gene Awakuni.
The day included short speeches sharing visions of a vibrant UH West Oahu. We also had conference room presentations about the new campus, faculty research projects and community partnerships.
Staff designer and photographer Valentino Valdez captured the day in photographs, full slideshow below.
Thank you everyone for all your hard work at UH West Oʻahu!