Karen Lee recommended to be next Honolulu Community College chancellor

Honolulu Community College
Deborah Nakagawa, (808) 956-0321
Executive Assistant, UH VP for Community Colleges
Posted: Nov 25, 2022

Karen Lee
Karen Lee

University of Hawaiʻi Vice President for Community Colleges Erika Lacro has recommended the appointment of Karen Lee as the next chancellor for Honolulu Community College to UH President David Lassner. The effective date of the appointment is December 2, 2022. Currently, Lee leads Honolulu CC in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi as the interim chancellor after serving as the vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“Dr. Karen Lee’s leadership will enable Honolulu Community College’s continued pursuit to achieve excellence as an innovative and premier career and technical training community college in Hawai‘i,” Lacro said. During her extensive career at the University of Hawai’i, including at Honolulu Community College and the University of Hawai’i System, Lee has strived continuously to inspire faculty, staff and students to pursue and excel as they navigate their journey to realize their goals.” 

Lee began her 21-year career at UH in 2001 at UH Mānoa as the undergraduate coordinator at the Shidler College of Business. Lee then served in the UH System as associate vice president and executive director of Hawai‘i P–20 Partnerships for Education, associate vice president for student affairs and executive assistant to the president. 

I am excited and honored to be offered the position of chancellor at Honolulu Community College. Honolulu CC is such a special college with incredible faculty, staff and students, and with unique and high-performing programs engaged in the community and various industries. I look forward to our continued partnership!" said Lee.

Lee has more than 29 years of higher education experience beginning as assistant dean of admissions and admission counselor at Colgate University, followed by assistant dean of students and senior assistant director at Columbia University. Lee holds a doctorate of education in education leadership administration from the University of Southern California, and master of arts in higher education administration and bachelor of arts in mathematics from Columbia University, New York.

Lee’s role in education extends to the community beyond the campus as she currently serves on the advisory board for the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders and Mayor Rick Blangiardi Senior Advisory Group. She has raised and managed more than $85 million in grants to support and promote higher education in Hawai‘i.