Hawaii Chancellor Fills Niche, Leaves Legacy of Distinction

Saturday, May 22, 2010 General News J E 4

HONOLULU, May 21 Rose Tseng, Ph.D. scholar, leader and community builder, steps down as chancellor of University of Hawaii at Hilo June 30. Chancellor for 12 years, she leaves a legacy of academic strength, expanded resources, and deep ties with the community it serves.


Donald Straney, Ph.D. of California State Polytechnic, Pomona will succeed Tseng.

Few beyond Hawaii's shores realize the extent of UH Hilo's transformation under Tseng. In little more than a decade, Hawaii Island's sleepy campus (part of the University of Hawaii System) has reached national distinction.

"Chancellor Tseng understands that education is fundamental to a community's ability to generate jobs, revenues, knowledge, economic viability and community wellbeing. She worked closely with people on and off campus to forge such a foundation," says UH System President M.R.C. Greenwood. "Her legacy will last into the future."

Tseng zeroed in on the potential for Hawaii's natural environment to support science programs--astronomy, environmental studies, geology, marine sciences, tropical agriculture. She recognized unique possibilities for research and education in Hawaii's multicultural heritage. Under her tutelage, the university developed multidisciplinary programs that integrate science and culture--and in

the process carved a higher education niche for itself.

On her watch, UH Hilo oversaw a six-fold growth in extramural grants, 50 percent increases in enrollment and faculty, construction of new buildings, and new degree programs that capitalize on Hawaii's natural and cultural advantages or that provide professionals for the workforce. The new College of Pharmacy will graduate its first Doctor of Pharmacy students next year, providing pharmacists the region sorely needs.

A community consortium led by UH Hilo's College of Pharmacy was recently awarded $16 million for information technology to improve healthcare on Hawaii Island. UH Hilo has also garnered funding from National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other agencies.

Tseng is one of only a handful of Asian-American women ever to lead higher education institutions. She was born in Shantung, China, raised in Taiwan and educated in the U.S. Before coming to Hawaii, she was chancellor/CEO of West Valley-Mission Community College District and dean and professor at San Jose State University. She served as a United Nations nutrition education consultant.

SOURCE Rose Tseng, Ph.D.


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