UH Manoa assistant vice chancellor for campus services David Hafner receives president's "Making the Elephant Dance" award

Hafner recognized for his leadership in facilities operations

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Dec 10, 2008

HONOLULU, Hawaiʻi — University of Hawaiʻi President David McClain has announced the selection of UH Mānoa Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Services David Hafner as the recipient of the President‘s "Making the Elephant Dance" Award for the fourth quarter of 2008. The award was created this year by McClain to acknowledge individuals who successfully develop innovative ways to improve the university‘s service to students and the community.

The award is named after the book "Who Says Elephants Can‘t Dance? Leading a Great Enterprise Through Dramatic Change," by the former CEO of IBM, Lou Gerstner, who chronicles his efforts to make IBM‘s very large corporate bureaucracy more responsive to customers and the marketplace.

In announcing the award at the December Council of Chancellors meeting, President McClain stated, "David Hafner‘s leadership has notably increased the responsiveness of UH Mānoa campus services units. He has taken a prominent role in Mānoa‘s efforts to become a more sustainable, environmentally responsible campus. On the policy level, David has identified more precisely the repair and maintenance backlog, permitting Chancellor Hinshaw and me, and our Board of Regents, to give this unmet need the priority it deserves."

Prior to joining the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Haftner was a vice president and general manager for Hawaiian Wireless, Inc. responsible for the construction, start-up and operation of the Hawaiian Wireless digital network. His responsibilities included overseeing the areas of sales, marketing, customer service and engineering and also included capital planning, site-acquisition, network construction, software specification and deployment and other management activities.

Before joining Hawaiian Wireless he held several director and management positions for various telecommunications companies throughout the country. In 2003, Hafner began his career at the University of Hawaiʻi when he became a Pan-STARRS project systems engineer with the Institute for Astronomy (IfA). He was promoted to director of administrative services for IfA in 2005 prior to becoming the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Services in September 2007.

In his current role he serves as the Chief Facilities Officer for the Mānoa campus. He oversees over 350 facility professionals who are responsible for all the operations and maintenance of the campus‘ buildings and grounds including mechanical systems both on campus and on several off-campus sites comprising over five million gross square feet. His department is also responsible for the design, engineering and construction of both major and minor renovation and repair projects as well as select new construction. The department has been working for several years to reduce campus energy consumption and promote sustainability.