Nikki Kahealani Chun has been selected as the inaugural University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa vice provost for enrollment management, starting September 1, 2021, subject to formal posting on the UH Board of Regents July 15 meeting agenda.
Chun is coming to UH Mānoa from the California Institute of Technology where she has been the director of undergraduate admissions since 2019 and senior associate director of admissions from 2015–19. Prior to Caltech, Chun served as the associate director of admission at Rice University in Texas from 2010 to 2015. Born and raised in Honolulu, she graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama and was the first in her family to attend college. Chun earned her BS in communication and MSEd in enrollment management from the University of Miami, where she also began her professional career in college admissions in 2003.
“This is such an incredible opportunity because the role aligns with my enrollment practitioner strengths and my higher education research interests. I look forward to joining the momentum of Mānoa 2025 and serving the Mānoa community,” said Chun.
“We are very fortunate to have someone as gifted as Nikki to step into this critical role at this time in our university’s history,” said Provost Michael Bruno. “She has a unique skill set and she understands this special place, while also bringing with her experience of working at other highly regarded institutions of higher education.”
Chun is currently pursuing her PhD in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University where she is expected to graduate in 2022. She identifies (she/her/ʻo ia) as a Native Hawaiian, Chinese, cisgender, hetero, able-bodied woman of size. In her spare time, she practices hula under the tutelage of Randy “Uncle Randy” Kaulana Chang, the Kumu Hula of Kaulana Ka Hale Kula O Nā Pua O Ka ʻĀina, a hālau based in Torrance, California.
“Mom always told me eventually I would be called to return home,” said Chun. “Iʻm humbled and excited to return in this capacity—even if it means admitting Mom was right all along.”
UH Mānoa is also in the process of conducting executive leadership searches for the Director of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology and the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene.