University of Hawaii at Hilo - Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

HI, Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UH Hilo) seeks a collaborative and innovative leader to serve as its next vice chancellor for academic affairs (VCAA).

UH Hilo was founded in 1947 and has carried its name since 1970. As a public liberal arts and science university within the ten-campus University of Hawaiʻi (UH) System, UH Hilo offers a rigorous and engaging curriculum with opportunities for research and hands-on learning based on Hawaiʻi Island, a location that provides a natural living laboratory for geology, astronomy, agriculture and marine science. With an enrollment of nearly 3,500 students, UH Hilo offers approximately 50 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees and over 40 certificates in various fields of study. The university develops academic programs to meet community and workforce needs. Some of UH Hilo’s programs are truly one of a kind. Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language is internationally recognized for language revitalization. The Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate Program is emerging as a center of excellence in the Pacific that is capitalizing on Hawaiʻi’s unique natural resources. The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy continues to be the only pharmacy school in the State and in the Pacific.

UH Hilo prides itself on the wide diversity of ethnic and cultural origin of its students. It was ranked the No. 1 Most Diverse National University by U.S. News & World Report, 2020 Best College Rankings and in 2018, the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac ranked it No. 1 for the most diverse four-year public university in the nation. Like the UH System, UH Hilo strives to be a leader in indigenous education.

It is an exciting and challenging time to be at UH Hilo as the university’s impact on its students, the community and the region continues to grow. The UH Hilo Research and Technology Park represents a future opportunity where land development and science innovation can complement each other and provide the creation of a commercial mixed-use district to stimulate campus life. Over the last decade UH Hilo has established new—and often innovative and interdisciplinary— undergraduate and graduate programs that meet regional needs. For more information about UH Hilo, please see

In partnership and collaboration with Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin, who joined the Hilo community in July 2019, the vice chancellor for academic affairs will chart a new academic path forward. Serving as the campus’s chief academic officer, the VCAA will provide a broad vision and executive leadership in the overall planning, organization and administration of academic programs. The VCAA will be responsible for budget, resource allocation, curriculum review, accreditation and program assessment and will represent the Division of Academic Affairs to the UH System. The incoming VCAA must possess the interpersonal, managerial and communication skills to build partnerships with both internal and external colleagues and stakeholders. The candidate will be expected to develop efficient and equitable processes to ensure a high-functioning Academic Affairs unit. The next vice chancellor should have a solid understanding and knowledge of student success best practices and an ability to develop a vision for faculty professional development. The ideal candidate will also be a creative and collaborative leader who listens and respects the voices of faculty, staff and students during the decision-making process. The vice chancellor should be transparent, courageous, student-centered and possess considerable cultural competency and an understanding and appreciation of the Native Hawaiian culture. An earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree as well as credentials that merit appointment as a tenured full professor is required.

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in this search. All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as three separate documents, a CV or resume, a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, and names of five professional references including title and contact information. References will not be contacted without prior notice to the candidate. A background check will be made prior to employment. Official transcript(s) showing degrees and course work applicable to the position will be required prior to employment.  For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by March 27, 2020.

Applications, nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Shelley Arakawa, J.D. and Julia Venetos

UH Hilo is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.