Chancellor’s Message: Joni Onishi hired, Hawai’i Papa O Ke Ao, Pālamanui AMP and more

Aloha and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday break and is looking forward to a successful spring semester.

One news item I am pleased to announce (which I also noted at the all-college meeting) is that Joni Onishi has been hired as the permanent Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The selection of Joni comes after a rigorous application process that featured several qualified candidates, but during that process, it became clear Joni was the right choice.

Joni has a wealth of experience and has compiled numerous credentials and awards during her career in academia, all of which speaks to her strong work ethic, and skill, as an educator and administrator.

After more than two years as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, we’re very fortunate that Joni will fill that position for the long-term. Congratulations, Joni!

Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao

During the holiday break, a small group consisting of Hawai‘i Community College faculty, administrators, staff and a student representative met to discuss the UH System’s Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao initiative, which is designed to make UH a model indigenous-serving institution.

This Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao Task Force met at Kanu O Ka‘Āina, Charter School in Waimea, to plan the wala’au sessions that we will be holding with our HawCC ‘ohana this semester to discuss Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao and to gather information as we undertake this important task.

The Task Force members are: Taupōuri Tangarō, Kenoalani Dela Cruz, Manaiakalani Kalua, Marilyn Bader, Dorinna Manuel-Cortez, Samuel Giordanengo, Raynette Haleamau-Kam and Marcy Martinez don’t hesitate to contact any of them to discuss the initiative.

Also, make sure you sign up for one of the wala’au sessions. The available openings are from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on any of these dates:

• Tuesday, January 22
• Thursday, January 24
• Monday, February 11
• Tuesday, February 12
• Thursday, February 14
• Tuesday, February 19

Pālamanui Academic Master Plan

I strongly encourage everyone to attend the meeting with Dr. Jay Siegel, a consultant hired to develop the Academic Master Plan for Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui.

Dr. Siegel will be in Hilo to gather information from East Hawai‘i faculty, staff, administrators, students and members of our local community. The meeting is on January 29, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Manono Cafeteria. Dr. Siegel will also be available between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. for anyone requesting individual meetings. Please contact Doris Chang to set up an appointment for an individual meeting.

Donations still welcome

It’s not too late to donate! Hawai‘i Community College’s giving campaign is still underway through the UH Foundation. We would appreciate your support for this worthy fundraising campaign. You can choose to donate to the HawCC Faculty/Staff Development Fund, the HawCC Advancement Fund, the new Sonomura/Community Fund for Practical Experience, or others. Mahalo for your support!


Chancellor Noreen Yamane

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