The Dean


News From the Dean

September, 2014

Welina mai kākou!

It is the start of our 2014-2015 Academic Year at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and our campus has come back to life as thousands of new and returning students start the fall semester. As we look forward to an invigorating year, I continue to be inspired by the faculty, staff and students of Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Our collective work is deeply linked to our institutional priorities that continue to move us forward in bold directions. These priorities include:

Knowledge Generation and Dissemination focused on strengthening Scholarship
Knowledge Generation and Dissemination focused on strengthening Teaching and Learning
Community Engagement that strengthens our educational ʻauwai and increasing presence in community

These priorities are rooted in our guiding values embedded in ʻōlelo noʻeau:

Ua lehulehu a manomano ka ‘ikena a ka Hawai‘i.
Great and numerous is the knowledge of the Hawaiians. (Pukui, p. 309.)

Ka waihona o ka na‘auao.
The repository of learning. (Pukui, p. 178.)
Hawai‘inuiākea will be a resource for Hawaiian courses and programs in order to improve and expand quality education for the students, faculty, and staff of the academy in undergraduate and graduate programs.

‘Ike i ke au nui me ke au iki.
Know the big current and the little current. Is well versed. (Pukui, p. 131.)
Hawai‘inuiākea promotes research and pursuit of traditional and modern forms of Hawaiian knowledge in order to create new knowledge and perspectives.

E lawe i ke a‘o a mālama, a e ‘oi mau ka na‘auao.
He who takes his teachings and applies them increases his knowledge. (Pukui, p. 40.)
Hawai‘inuiākea will use a variety of means and media to distribute and promote knowledge from academy outward to community, Pacific, and internationally.

Hānau ka ‘āina, hānau ke ali‘i, hānau ke kanaka.
Born was the land, born were the chiefs, born were the common people. The land, the chiefs, and the commoners belong together. (Pukui, p. 56.)
Hawai‘inuiākea will establish a Hawaiian place of learning and education. In a nutshell, our future is all about our students’ success, our next generation of leaders!

Over the next academic year, our campus will strengthen and align our strategic directions captured in our strategic plan by looking into the future and seeing the rapidly changing landscape for higher education. Indeed, there has never been a time when a college degree is more important – and yet college is seemingly less accessible, less affordable, and less successful. While some students and their families are now asking “Is college worth the cost anymore?” We know that a college education is a wise investment, as it prepares a graduate for a meaningful life and a successful career – including a lifetime of learning and greater earnings.

The strategic future of Hawaiʻinuiākea is to strengthen our commitment to our students. Over the last 6 years, we have made important strides forward for our students. Under the capable guidance of Dr. Wright and her team our Native Hawaiian Student Services Kauhale (NHSS) has soared and is nationally recognized for their work, we have significantly increased Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student recruitment and retention, and through the many services offered by NHSS and the skillful care of our academic advisers we have continued to strengthen and increase our graduation rates. As a college, we chose to focus and align our programs achieving the highest rating in WINHEC Accreditation – to be sure that what we do, we do very well. We have chosen to be the best stewards of our faculty knowledge and skills through community engagement initiatives – by finding money for new initiatives through extramural finding, summer and outreach teaching, and cost savings in our current budget. These were important and bold actions.

As we look forward to the next academic year (and years to come) we must continue totake action in these three areas:

1. Continue to improve student success
2. Develop our new Ph.D. program as we continue to focus and align our B.A. and M.A. academic programs
3. Advance through philanthropy, extramural funding, and other revenue generating social enterprise efforts.

Because of our faculty, staff and students Hawaiʻinuiākea has a bold future. Mahalo for sharing this journey with us.

E mālama pono!
Maenette K.P. Ah Nee-Benham, Dean