David Y. Iha selected as recipient of 2007 Willard Wilson Award for Distinguished University Service

University of Hawaiʻi
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Aug 3, 2007

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi has announced the recipient of the 2007 Willard Wilson Award for Distinguished Service to the University. Named after the long-time UH employee and secretary to the Board of Regents who set a standard for exemplary service to the university, the award is presented this year to David Y. Iha.

Iha has more than 40 years of employment service to UH under his belt and is currently fulfilling an approved position in the Incentive Retirement Program at 40 percent with the UH Office of the Board of Regents. In October 2006, he retired as Secretary to the UH Board of Regents (BOR) after serving for nearly nine years.

Prior to serving as the executive responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing the administrative support services for the BOR, he served as provost of Kauaʻi Community College for 16 years, director of administrative services at Kauaʻi Community College for 12 years, and held many budget positions throughout the UH system.

Many of Iha‘s former colleagues praised him for his numerous contributions toward improvements in the community and throughout the university system. At Kauaʻi CC, he saw the college through two of the state‘s worst hurricanes, Iwa and Iniki, leaving his home as one of the last to be repaired because of his attention to helping others. As an advocate for international education, he helped establish on-going exchange programs and partnerships for students from Okinawa and Kauaʻi CC for over 20 years. Due to his careful management, he saw Kauaʻi CC‘s new campus in Puhi develop fully from inception to completion. He also sought funds for various projects such as Kauai CC‘s One-Stop Center, Technology Center, the Performing Arts Center and the Culinary Arts facilities.

During his tenure at UH, Iha held several regional and national positions in higher education associations, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, for which he was president and chair of the Board of Directors from 1993-1995, and the American Council on Education and American Association of Community Colleges.

He has received numerous awards for his service to the state and university, including the 1986 State of Hawaiʻi Governor‘s Award for Employee of the Year, UH Manager of the Year award in 1993 and the UH Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 1988.

Iha is an active participant in community organizations, including the Kauaʻi Chorale and as Honorary President of the Kauaʻi Chapter of the Urasenke Foundation, a Japanese tea ceremony group. He also sits on the board of directors for the Hawaiʻi Public Schools Foundation and Community Links of Hawaiʻi. Recently, Iha was nominated to run for the Board of Directors of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

A former colleague shared, "David promoted not only the educational credibility of Kauai CC and the University of Hawaiʻi system, but also the spirit of goodwill and aloha for the state of Hawaiʻi."

Iha will be recognized for his contributions to the community along with other UH award winners at a systemwide awards ceremony in September.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/about/awards/wilson.php