U.H. West Oahu chancellor shares vision for campus - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

U.H. West Oahu chancellor shares vision for campus

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KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

New University of Hawaii West Oahu chancellor Rockne Freitas wants to make the Kapolei campus prominent within the UH system, but he needs money.

"Compared to other campuses we're vastly under-funded," he said.

Freitas said his budget this fiscal year is $18.8 million. Ideally, he would like twice that amount. To get there he needs to attract more students and increase funding from public and private sources.

"We're going to regroup, hire a land manager to see what we can do in the future," he said.

The university has 500 acres. It sold six to Tokai University and it's working on a deal to sell up to 30 to the Catholic church to help fund expansion.

"We're going to try to build dorms," Freitas said.

He also wants to add a science and technology center and a building for administrative offices to help with efficiency.

"My vice chancellors are all over the place, and I cannot communicate with them, and my secretary's across the hall," he said.

Freitas requested an internal audit. Last year an accreditation group pointed out where West Oahu needed to improve to maintain suitable standards.

"Accreditation tells us staff development and faculty development is essential," he said.

He said with huge subdivisions planned for the leeward side, West Oahu must remain in growth mode.

"Increase resources to build buildings to hire new faculty, new staff, responding to the needs of the community and students," he said.

Later this year the campus will add a photovoltaic array to reduce electricity costs.

Freitas is new to the job and his mantra is simple.

"New team, new energy, new effort," he said.

The new semester starts August 26.