Honolulu Community College Chancellor Ramsey Pedersen to retire

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Apr 24, 2008

The University of Hawaiʻi has announced that Honolulu Community College Chancellor Ramsey Pedersen will be retiring from his position, effective June 30, 2008.

Pedersen became chief executive officer of the Honolulu campus in 2001 after serving as acting provost for three years. He first joined the college in 1973 as a faculty member, and has held positions as assistant dean of instruction and dean of instruction, with responsibility for 25 career and technical education programs, apprenticeship training, the library, media center and liberal arts. He was instrumental in partnering with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on apprentice training and establishing the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training to meet the needs of Hawaii‘s new economy sector.

Pedersen developed the Construction Academy Initiative to meet workforce needs through involving high school students in industry-standard curriculum and partnering HCC with the industry to expand apprenticeship training 300% in six years; developed the Auto Academy - a partnership with the Cutter Group, First Hawaiian Bank, and DOE high schools to give high school students real work experiences and collegiate training. He formed an alliance with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to create learning experiences in voyaging and Marine Technologies at HCC‘s Marine Education Training Center, and recently had MELE — the Music and Entertainment Learning Experience designed in partnership with Belmont University of Nashville, approved as an associate degree program.

"There are only a handful of people in this state who have done as much to bring the issue of technical workforce development and its importance to the economy to the forefront," said UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton. "The Construction Academy, the STEM movement—these are programs that give the average high school student opportunities and he is a big reason why these programs have become a reality. We will miss him and his entrepreneurial and creative spirit."

Pedersen began his college education at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and then earned a BA in anthropology, MA in Pacific Island studies and MA in political science with a specialization in futures studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He also holds an Education Professions Development Act community college teaching certificate and completed an internship at what was then Hilo College.

He has served on numerous professional and community organizations, including the Hawaiʻi Technology Trade Association, University Aviation Association, Palama Settlement, Hawaii Youth Soccer Association, Presidents Council of the National Association of Advanced Technology Centers, and the Kalihi Business Association Board of Directors.

"It has been my honor during my 35-year tenure as a faculty member and administrator at Honolulu Community College to be a part of the transformation of a new community college into a vibrant Technology Training Center and liberal arts program," said Pedersen. "We have formed many partnerships with community groups and the business sector, and have enjoyed the support of our government leaders. I will truly miss the many friends and colleagues that I have had the pleasure to serve with through all these years, but I leave Honolulu Community College knowing that it is pointed toward an even more productive future. I am certain that the faculty, staff and management team will keep the college vibrant and relevant to its constituents."

Pedersen was born in Hawaii but prepped at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, Minnesota. He will be spending time there working on a unique STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) partnership called "weCreate". It‘s goals are to form an advanced technology center; to improve STEM education through unique online collaborations between students from private and public high schools; to provide faculty training; to develop funding through corporate participation; and to develop summer residential workshops for rural and inner city students.

He will also be working with the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers to create a national training network in specific high tech areas for clients of the 140 member colleges.