Chancellor, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Donald Straney became chief executive officer of the growing UH Hilo campus, which offers baccalaureate and selected graduate programs on the Big Island of Hawaii, at the beginning of July 2010.
Straney was dean of the College of Science and professor of biology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and served on the board of directors of both the Desert Studies Center and the Ocean Studies Institute as well as on the Strategic Planning Council of the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology.
He previously spent 23 years at Michigan State University, where he served as chair of the Department of Zoology and assistant to the provost for faculty development. He is also on the National Advisory Board of the National Science Foundation-supported Center for the Integration of Teaching, Research and Learning at the University of Wisconsin.
Straney was a principal investigator for three large grants at Cal Poly Pomona—a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to enhance undergraduate instruction in biology, a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant to support the professional development of science and engineering faculty and a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement grant to prepare the next generation of teachers.
An evolutionary biologist by training, Straney has studied patterns of change in a variety of organisms, most recently focusing on ants. He received a doctorate in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, and both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in zoology from Michigan State University.