UH Board of Regents Approves Honorary Degree Awards for Bakken, Cole and Nishioka

Board also approves strategic plans for Maui and Windward Community Colleges

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-6106
Associate Vice President
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Apr 20, 2004

At its monthly meeting held Friday at Windward Community College, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) approved honorary degree awards for Earl E. Bakken, David Cole and Charles K. Nishioka. The honorary degree recipients will be presented with their awards at commencement exercises in May at various UH campuses.

Bakken, a resident of the island of Hawaiʻi, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo‘s Spring 2004 commencement ceremony. In addition to his distinguished international reputation arising from his contributions in medical technology, Bakken is recognized for his public service activity in the areas of medicine, life sciences, and health and wellness, with special attention to Native Hawaiians and underserved communities in Hawaiʻi.

Arguably, Bakken‘s major contribution to the field of medical technology is his development in 1957 of the first wearable, external, battery-powered, transistorized cardiac pacemaker. Settling in South Kohala in 1992, Bakken was instrumental in the development of the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital. He is also affiliated with Five Mountains-Hawaiʻi, an organization that promotes and sustains the natural, social, and economic assets of the island community.

David Cole, a recipient of the 1997 UH Distinguished Alumni Award, is the newly-named president and chief executive officer of Maui Land and Pineapple, Inc. He will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the UH Mānoa 2004 Spring commencement ceremony where he is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

Through a series of startups of his own as well as his work at America Online (AOL), where he served as president of AOL‘s Internet Services Corporation and later as president of the company‘s New Enterprise Group, Cole has become a distinguished member of the business community. He has been involved in a wide range of industries, including organic farming, nature conservancy, and software and internet services. Cole is an active supporter of local organizations and services, and is serving a key role in the agreement between the University of Hawaiʻi and EARTH University of Costa Rica in working towards environmental and social sustainability.

Charles K. Nishioka is a self-made man from humble beginnings who overcame substantial odds, setbacks and adversities to become a highly successful, respected and distinguished small business person who has achieved national stature and recognition. Nishioka will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Spring 2004 commencement exercises at Leeward Community College.

From 1951 until his retirement in 1989, Nishioka was the owner-operator of a very successful service station business in Waipahu, which later evolved into an auto parts, tire, and auto repair business. Nishioka was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the 1986 Small Businessman of the Year for the state of Hawaiʻi, and was then selected to receive SBA‘s National Small Business Person of the Year Award for that same year. He has also distinguished himself through extensive and lengthy public service, including with the Boy Scouts of America and Rotary International.

In other board action, strategic plans for both Maui and Windward Community Colleges were approved. Both the Maui CC Strategic Plan for 2003-2010 and the Windward CC Strategic Plan for 2002-2008 were developed through broad-based and comprehensive inclusive campus processes as a part of the overall strategic planning processes of the university.

The BOR also authorized the administration to enter into a contract for consultant services from William T. Bakamas dba B Commercial to assist in the preparation, organization, and structuring of a proposed University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) and in contract negotiations with the U.S. Government and U.S. Navy. The contract will be for a duration of 24 months at a cost not to exceed $75,000.

In addition, the administration was authorized to enter into an amended and restated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hiluhilu Development, LLC (Hiluhilu), regarding the University of Hawaiʻi Center in West Hawaiʻi. In November 2002, the BOR authorized the administration to enter into a MOU with Hiluhilu to discuss joint development opportunities for adjacent properties held by the university and Hiluhilu with the university‘s site to serve as the location for a permanent University of Hawaiʻi campus in West Hawaiʻi. The amended MOU includes further details on how the university and Hiluhilu will continue to coordinate efforts in development of the properties.

The BOR also approved the following items:

· the Hawaiʻi Community College Long Range Development Plan Update and Transition Plan to relocate Hawaiʻi CC to a new campus on state-owned lands across from the University Park on Komohana Street in Hilo;

· the establishment of the position of dean in the College of Business and Economics at UH Hilo;

· the extension of provisional status for the graduate certificate in religion in the College of Arts and Humanities at UH Mānoa through Spring 2007;

· the reorganization of the UH Office of Human Resources to incorporate the position of director of collective bargaining and affiliated faculty affairs; and

· authorization for the administration to execute changes to the money manager structure for the University of Hawaiʻi Endowment Fund.

In other business, the BOR formed a task group to review and recommend changes, if any, to BOR policy on the subjects of conflict of interest and political activity. The task group will be chaired by Regent Jim Haynes and will also include Regents Ted Hong, Trent Kakuda and Kitty Lagareta.

It was also reported on Friday that a UH administration task group led by Interim Vice President for Research Jim Gaines will be formed to look into concerns raised regarding the Lyon Arboretum and report back to the BOR as soon as possible. Representatives from the University General Counsel‘s office and the Risk Management Office will also be part of the task group.