University of Hawaii System newsletter

Board Report

Posted on | May 21, 2010 | Comments Off on Board Report

Straney, Freitas and Dias headshot

Donald Straney, Rockne Freitas and Clifford C. Dias

At the Board of Regents meeting on May 20, Donald Straney was appointed UH Hilo chancellor and Rockne Freitas was named vice president for student affairs and university and community relations. Clifford C. Dias, the new regent appointed by the governor, attended his first meeting.

Donald Straney

Donald Straney, dean of the College of Science and professor of biology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, has been appointed as the next chancellor of UH Hilo. Straneyʻs appointment is for three years beginning July 1, 2010.

Straney joined Cal Poly Pomona in August 2002 after spending 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.

“I’m honored to join the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. I am impressed with its strong programs, faculty and staff and by the energy of its students,” says Straney. “I look forward to talking with people on campus and in the community about ways we can expand our impact on student learning and the lives of people in the state.”

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Rockne Freitas

Rockne Freitas, currently chancellor of Hawaiʻi Community College, has been named to the newly created position of vice president for student affairs and university and community relations. 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. He is scheduled to start in his new role on July 1.

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 Oʻahu campus.

“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 Hawaiʻi Community College, but the college is in good hands with Noreen Yamane as interim chancellor,” says Freitas.

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Clifford C. Dias

Retired bank executive Clifford C. Dias has been named to the Board of Regents, filling the East Hawaiʻi seat left vacant by the resignation earlier this year of former Regent Harvey Tajiri. This is an interim appointment subject to confirmation by the Senate Committee on Higher Education during the next legislative session.

Dias spent more than 20 years in commercial banking with institutions including those now known as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. He eventually served as president/CEO of a multi-billion-dollar financial institution in Oregon with responsibility for day-to-day leadership and strategic planning. Named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon for an unprecedented five years in a row, OnPoint was selected as one of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies in a statewide survey of more than 800 CEOs.

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