Aloha mai Kākou!
August is a busy month around Mānoa! New freshmen move into their residence halls, returning students reunite with friends and classmates, and classes begin—a very exciting time! This is especially true for Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge as we welcome many new Kanaka faculty, staff, and haumana. Our campus – and, in particular, our student spaces, Kānewai, and the hālau come alive again after a busy summer spent supporting community programs, student bridge programs, and preparations for the beginning of another academic year. Indeed, our kumu look forward to another year of working with you, our community of learners!
Advancing our aspiration to be a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning/Indigenous serving institution is vital to the common good of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s mission as a premier land-grant university serving Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. As we expand our historic imperative to meet the demands of the 21st century as well as grounding our actions and decisions in the principles of being a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning, you’ll note that our presence is felt on-campus, across our islands, and even in far reaches of the North American continent.
Hawaiʻinuiākea is making a difference—revitalizing ʻōlelo, grounding vast disciplinary areas in ʻike Hawaiʻi, developing pathways for more kanaka to access and be successful in higher education, publishing landmark scholarship, helping to solve serious sustainability issues, introducing new audiences and generations to the relevancy of and vitally of our lāhui! Indeed, we are beginning to live into our core values of excellence and quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity.
As we grow, which we have done so very quickly (and in a big-way) over the last 7-years, and our everyday lives encompass a larger world (we do get busier), communication is ever more important. As dean, I am committed to fostering open communications in all that we do. As always, I encourage a full spectrum of experiences, viewpoints, and intellectual approaches because it enriches the conversation and keeps us moving forward. I hope that you’ll continue to visit our website and join us at our community events! Our HSHK website is filled with good information as it is being updated monthly by lead people in every one of our units.
So, enjoy these last few weeks of summer and the beginning of the academic year. I wish for all of us this year, a year of personal and intellectual growth, as well as a year filled with fond memories of our time together. Remember, ʻaʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia!
Kūlia i ka nuʻu kākou a pau!
E mālama pono!
Dean Maenette Benham