Erika Lacro

Editor’s note: Lacro’s appointment was confirmed at the April 18, 2019 Board of Regents meeting.

Honolulu Community College Chancellor Erika Lacro has been recommended to serve as the interim replacement for retiring University of Hawaiʻi Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton. If approved by the UH Board of Regents at the April 18 board meeting, Lacro will assume the vice president duties effective June 1, 2019 when Morton retires.

“Erika has proven herself to be an effective administrator and leader,” said UH President David Lassner. “I am very confident that she will continue to build on the great legacy of John Morton. She is up for the challenge.”

Planning for an open search is underway, and a broadly representative search advisory committee will be appointed shortly to begin the process for the next vice president for community colleges. The advisory committee will be asked to review applications confidentially and identify finalists who will be invited to meet with community college students, faculty, staff and stakeholders. The committee will provide its recommendations on the finalists to Lassner by the end of calendar year 2019. All qualified applicants are welcome to apply once the position is advertised.

Lacro’s experience

Raised in Hilo and a graduate of Hilo High School, Lacro has served as Honolulu CC chancellor since July 2012 and is the first woman to hold the chief executive position at that campus. She served as vice chancellor of academic affairs at Honolulu CC from 2007 through 2012 and before that held several executive and management positions at the UH Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management, including assistant dean, director of academic advising and director of internship and career development. Before joining UH, she held several management roles at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

At the statewide level, Lacro has led academic affairs initiatives in the Achieving the Dream Initiative, Complete College America and the Reverse Transfer Initiative. She was successful in working to gain funding through EDUCAUSE to upgrade the STAR Academic Journey for the entire UH System and also served as the principal investigator for a UH Community Colleges consortium, a multi-year $24.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants program to develop and support training programs that lead to jobs in the agriculture, energy and health industries.

Karen Lee

Karen Lee

Lee to serve as interim Honolulu CC chancellor

Current Honolulu CC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Karen Lee has been recommended to serve as interim chancellor of the campus beginning June 1, concurrent with the proposed appointment of Lacro as interim vice president.

“Karen is committed to the success of our students, faculty and staff,” said Lacro. “It gives me great comfort knowing that she is there to lead the college.”

Before joining the Honolulu CC leadership team in 2017, Lee served as executive director of Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education, associate vice president of student affairs for the UH System, executive assistant to the UH president, undergraduate coordinator at UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business, and in dean and director positions at Columbia and Colgate universities.