Freitas named VP for student affairs and university and community relations

University of Hawaiʻi
Jeanne Mariani-Belding, (808) 956-9803
External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: May 20, 2010

Rockne Freitas
Rockne Freitas
HONOLULU – Rockne Freitas, who is currently chancellor of Hawai‘i Community College, has been named to the newly created position of vice president for student affairs and university and community relations for the University of Hawai‘i System. The position merges two vacant vice president positions at the system level – vice president for student affairs and vice president for external affairs and university relations.
In this position, Freitas will provide leadership in the area of systemwide student affairs policies and procedures and student life activities, as well as university and government relations efforts. Freitas will also work on key special projects systemwide, including the completion of the community college in Palamanui and assisting with the progress of the new West O‘ahu campus.
“We are pleased to welcome Rockne Freitas to the Office of the President. He brings an excellent set of credentials and expertise that will help the university continue to move forward with some very important projects underway,” said UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. “I know that our student affairs and university and community relations areas will thrive under his leadership and that he will continue to be an influential and effective part of our overall leadership team.”
Freitas was named chancellor of Hawai‘i Community College in August 2004, serving as the chief executive of the main campus in Hilo and its University of Hawai‘i Center in West Hawai‘i.
Prior to his appointment as chancellor, he served as vice president and executive director of the Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation and has held leadership positions at Kamehameha Schools and GRG Enterprises. He previously served as vice president for university relations for the UH system and associate athletic director for UH Mānoa. A former National Football League player and coach, Freitas was inducted into the Hawai‘i Sports Hall of Fame and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame. He also served as a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Freitas holds doctoral and master’s degrees in education from UH Mānoa and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Oregon State University. His doctoral research focused on developmental systems and guidelines for drug prevention, education, monitoring and counseling for intercollegiate athletics.
He is scheduled to start in his new role on July 1.
“I am extremely pleased to have been offered this opportunity and to be a part of President Greenwood’s senior administrative team. It is with a heavy heart that I leave Hawai‘i Community College, but the college is in good hands with Noreen Yamane as interim chancellor,” Freitas said. “I look forward to the new challenges and also look forward to maintaining my relationships on Hawai‘i Island with my responsibilities for the build-out of the West Hawai‘i campus at Palamanui and my role in the Thirty-Meter Telescope efforts. I thank President Greenwood and the Board of Regents for their confidence in me.”