The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, UHH, or UH Hilo is one of the ten branches of the University of Hawaiʻi system anchored by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, United States. The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is a public and co-educational university with the main campus located at 200 West Kawili Street, Hilo, the county seat for Hawaiʻi County.
The University is composed of six colleges, and has received recognition for numerous academic programs including the marine biology, volcanology, astronomy, Hawaiian language, pharmacy, agriculture, computer science, and nursing programs.
Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language is the only school in the United States to offer graduate degrees for study in an indigenous language.
The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is the only ACPE approved pharmacy school in the State of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands.
UH Hilo ranks in the top 10 for having both the most ethnic diversity and the lowest percentage of students with debt at graduation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Enrollment & Accreditation
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo primarily serves residents of Hawaiʻi but also enjoys a diverse student body from many Pacific Island and Asian locations, as well as from around the United States. The diversity comes from a blend of local, U.S. continental, and international students from over 40 countries, making UH Hilo a unique global village community.
In 1986, UH Hilo enrolled 1,600 students. Since 1998, UH Hilo has steadily increased enrollment every year. The Fall 2009 headcount of 3,974 is the highest enrollment in the history of the campus and a 150% increase since 1986.
As of Spring 2010, UH Hilo offers 36 undergraduate, 6 graduate, and 2 doctoral degree programs. The school was first accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 1976 and accreditation is currently reaffirmed through 2014.
Students may transfer credits to other American or foreign universities on the same basis as course credits are transferred by other accredited American universities. Documents relating to the accreditation of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are available to the public at the Edwin H. Mookini Library and on the UH Hilo website.
History & Timeline
During the 1990s, UH Hilo's University Park of Science and Technology opened on campus under UH Hilo management. The first tenants, Joint Astronomy Centre, were several base facilities for international observatories with telescopes on Mauna Kea. Shortly thereafter, the Smithsonian Submillimeter Array base facilities, the U.S.D.A. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry complex, and the U.S.D.A. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center opened. In 2006, UH Hilo opens its ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. By 2007, total investment of tenants at University Park is $800 million with the creation of over 400 jobs. In 2009, the first temporary buildings were placed on what is to become the permanent location of the new Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.
Location and environment
The University is located in the town of Hilo, on the east side of Hawaiʻi Island, about 200 nautical miles (400 km) from Honolulu. The town of Hilo offers a diverse, low-density population of about 45,000. Within ten minutes of the main campus are shopping malls, theaters, and restaurants, as well as a major harbor and the Hilo International Airport.
Hilo is set against Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the five volcanoes which form Hawaiʻi Island, and the Pacific Ocean. With over 4,028 square miles (10,400 km2) of varying geography, there are more distinctive climate zones and ecosystem types on Hawaiʻi Island than anywhere else in the State of Hawaiʻi. The island of Hawaiʻi offers snow-capped mountains, deserts, dormant and active volcanoes, lava flows, thick rainforests, numerous rivers, waterfalls, green pastures, and coastal reefs which drop off into deep ocean. The University designs many of its programs for hands-on learning in the living laboratory surrounding the school.
Tropical foliage and numerous botanical gardens are located throughout the Hilo area, in addition to those on campus. Trade winds bring abundant rains, occasionally heavy, with most of the precipitation tending to fall at night. Daytime temperatures average near 80°F (26.6°C) with night time temperatures seldom falling below 65°F (18.3°C). Due to regular rainfall, there are numerous covered walkways located between most of the buildings throughout UH Hilo's main campus.
The economy of Hawaiʻi Island is still in transition following the demise of the sugar industry in the 1990s. Agriculture is diversifying; tourism is growing to include eco-tourism and edu-tourism; and astronomy facilities continue to develop an ever-larger scholarly and technical community to support the world renowned observatories atop Mauna Kea.
UH Hilo Colleges
The College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management or CAFNRM opened in 1975, with an objective to prepare students for a broad and full understanding of basic factors involved in production, management, processing, distribution, marketing, sales, and services in the field of agricultural sciences.
The CAFNRM offers the Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in seven areas of specialization or majors:
The CAFNRM also offers academic subject certificates for baccalaureate degree seeking students and non-degree seeking students in:
In order to prepare students for immediate careers in agriculture, as well as further graduate study, the program blends classroom instruction with practical, technology-based education through the use of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory. On 110 acres (0.45 km2) in Panaʻewa, 5 miles (8 km) south of the main campus, students can experience putting theory into practice with hands-on learning in various enterprises such as anthuriums, ornamental foliage, hydroponics, floriculture plants, orchids, forestry, vegetables, sustainable agriculture, livestock production, equine science, beekeeping, tropical fruit, and aquaculture.
On the main Hilo campus, the CAFRNRM offers facilities for students in agricultural science. The agriculture building provides classroom and laboratories for courses in horticulture, animal science, entomology, plant pathology, tissue culture, soil science, agronomy, aquaculture, crop production, and agribusiness. Students can also utilize the laboratories and greenhouses on campus for special projects in directed research courses. A microcomputer laboratory is also available for student usage.
The College of Arts and Sciences or CAS offers twenty-five Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees, five Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees, and eleven specialized undergraduate certificate programs. The College also offers four Master degree programs in:
In addition, the CAS offers a teacher education program which has been approved for certain academic majors. Those students who satisfactorily complete a prescribed sequence of courses in education, along with an approved academic major, qualify for the Initial Basic Teaching Certificate issued by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. A professional certification program is also offered.
The Departments of Geology and Astronomy jointly offer a Minor in Earth and Space Science.
Communication majors with a 3.25 GPA in their major and overall 3.0 GPA are eligible for induction in the Mu Pi chapter of the National Communication Association Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta at UH Hilo.
History majors who excel academically are eligible for membership in the Alpha Beta Omicron chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, (The National History Honor Society).
Certain outstanding Political Science majors will be invited by the Political Science faculty to write a senior thesis, a research effort that will be assigned and guided by an individual faculty member. In addition, exceptional students may be invited to become members of the Iota Iota chapter of the National Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha at UH Hilo.
Classes in the CAS frequently conduct field studies at various sites on Hawaiʻi Island. Archaeology students participate in investigating ancient Hawaiian sites and artifacts. Geology, biology, and geography students explore the island's volcanoes, marine environment and varied ecosystems. Numerous social science courses make use of the wide ethnic heritages represented on the island of Hawaiʻi.
Many courses have a strong international accent. Both Eastern and Western traditions are studied in philosophy, religion, and history courses. Languages instructed at the College include French, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), and Spanish.
Students in the CAS have considerable liberty to design, in cooperation with their professors, individualized courses of instruction. Furthermore, the Liberal Studies program allows students to design their own majors by combining subjects of study which are demonstrably pertinent to their personal, educational, developmental or career objectives.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers degrees in the following academic majors:
The Master of Science Program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science or TCBES is a well established program involving 30 faculty and 41 affiliated faculty, mentoring 50 graduate students. The participating faculty reside in the Departments of Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, and Marine Science of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.
A unique multidisciplinary and multicollege program, TCBES encourages and facilitates sustained collaboration across the research areas of ecological and evolutionary genetics; ecosystems analyses and responses to environmental change; cyberinfrastructure for environmental research; and geospatial analyses. Faculty and students are involved with projects in environments which include marine coastal habitats, tropical rain forests, mesic and dry forests and shrublands, and rivers. A central component of the TCBES Program involves research collaborations between faculty/students and Federal/State agencies on the Island of Hawaiʻi. These agencies provide stipends and/or research funds for several TCBES students.
College of Business and Economics
The College of Business and Economics or CoBE gained collegiate status in 2004 and earned initial accreditation in 2005, offering a single general business major in the BBA program. A second major in accounting was added in 2008. The College of Business and Economics or CoBE, is one of only two schools of business in Hawaiʻi to be accredited by the AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
CoBE class sizes are capped at 40 students in the lower division courses and in the upper division core courses. Elective courses in the upper division are capped at 25 students.
The College of Business and Economics offers the following Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree majors:
CoBE also offers a Minor in Business Administration for non B.B.A. degrees.
The College of Business and Economics offers the following Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree:
Economics majors have two possible tracks, either in international or traditional economics.
CoBE also offers a Minor in Economics.
The College of Business and Economics offers three certificate programs of study in:
The College of Business and Economics sponsors the Lambda Psi chapter of the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, which is a professional fraternity organized to foster the study of business in universities; to encourage scholarship, social activity, and the association of students for their mutual advancement by research and practice; to promote closer affiliation between the commercial world and students of commerce; and to further a higher standard of commercial ethics and culture and the civic and commercial welfare of the community.
Additionally, the College sponsors the Accounting Club, which serves to provide a professional development and community outreach forum for students with interest in accounting as a professional career. Members gain the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the accounting profession from the State and local areas, and to gain first-hand exposure to career possibilities in the area.
The College also sponsors an active chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier honorary society for students of business, which inducts outstanding students from each year’s graduating class.
Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language
Established in 1997, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language, was named in honor of Ruth Keʻelikōlani Keanolani Kanāhoahoa, the 19th century high chiefess known for her strong advocacy of Hawaiian language and culture.
Two of its graduate programs, the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Hawaiian Language and Literature and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Cultural Revitalization, are distinguished for being the first graduate programs in the United States to focus on an indigenous language as the major course of study.
The Academic Division of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani emphasizes language acquisition, linguistics, traditional culture and education in a Hawaiian medium environment. The Hawaiian Studies Division currently oversees:
Graduate and Postgraduate Linguistic Programs
The Hale Kuamoʻo is the Hawaiian Language Center within Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani, College of Hawaiian Language of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Established by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 1989, the center supports and encourages the expansion of the Hawaiian language as the medium of communication in education, business, government and other contexts of social life in the public and private sectors of Hawaiʻi and beyond.
Legislation establishing Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language provides for laboratory school programs to include Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu (on Hawaiʻi Island), Ke Kula ʻO Samuel M. Kamakau (on Oʻahu), Ke Kula Niʻihau O Kekaha (on Kauaʻi), and other sites as appropriate. All laboratory programs reflect Ke Kumu Honua Mauli Ola Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian educational philosophy which asserts Hawaiian cultural identity as the basis of education and participation in contemporary life. Hawaiian is the medium of instruction and communication among students, staff, and administration at the laboratory schools, which focus on college preparation, environmental and health studies, sustainable agriculture, and teacher training. Extension of the laboratory school program to other sites is facilitated by a consortium between the College and the ʻAha Pūnana Leo.
Outreach currently includes work with the Hawaiian community both locally and abroad, as well as with other native peoples, especially those of North America and the Pacific. Hale Kuamoʻo is also the Secretariat for the Polynesian Languages Forum which unites the developing indigenous languages of 13 Polynesian governments.
Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy
The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy or CoP opened its doors for to an inaugural class of 90 students in August 2007. The four-year graduate curriculum leads to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, also called a Pharm.D. degree.
The founding Dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, Dr. John M. Pezzuto, Ph.D., is an author of over 400 publications, co-inventor of several patents, the editor of three books, member of eleven editorial boards of international journals, and the current Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Pharmaceutical Biology.
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredits all pharmacy programs in the U.S. through a three-step process: Pre-Candidate status for programs that haven’t enrolled students; Candidate Status, awarded to a program with students enrolled pending graduating its first class; and Full Accreditation.
The CoP achieved the first step in the Pharmacy School Accreditation Process from the ACPE when it was granted Pre-Candidate Status in June 2007. The CoP became the first school in the State of Hawaiʻi recognized by the ACPE to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, and will graduate its first class in 2011.
The CoP was awarded Candidate Accreditation Status during the June 2008 Executive Board Meeting of the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE), which was again reconfirmed in 2009. UH Hilo is on track and eligible in May 2011 to receive Full Accreditation when the first group of Pharm.D. students will graduate. Dean John Pezzuto said this is an important step that will help address a nationwide shortage of pharmacists.
The CoP was recently accredited by the ACPE as a provider of continuing pharmacy education (CPE) credits in July 2009. ACPE is also in charge of accrediting providers of continuing pharmacy education in addition to pharmacy schools. The accreditation by the ACPE was granted after the CoP was approved to offer continuing medical education (CME) by the Hawaiʻi Medical Association in May 2009. CPE programs sponsored by the CoP will cover the same broad range of topics in medicine and patient care, according to Dr. Karen Pellegrin, Chair of the Continuing Education Executive Committee and Director of Strategic Planning for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.
A temporary modular compound of three buildings with one lecture auditorium, laboratories, and offices have allowed the CoP to have a presence on the main UH Hilo campus since 2009. The CoP is on track to move forward with the building of additional teaching and research facilities, thanks to a newly announced $1 million gift from the J.M. Long Foundation. This gift will support the initial phase of a new health sciences complex. In recognition of this contribution from the J.M. Long Foundation; two lecture halls, a student center, and lanais will be named the Joseph M. Long Pavilion. Additionally, Hawaiʻi Governor Linda Lingle released $5.5 million for planning and design of a permanent building for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy in October 2009. The state legislature had approved the funding earlier in the year.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is planning to be the first school in the country to offer a dual degree with a Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty and Doctorate in Pharmacy (FNP/Pharm.D.), thanks to a congressionally directed $951,000 grant from the Department of Education.
The new program has been created and jointly offered by the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and from the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Nursing. This program is expected to begin in fall 2010 and will require a six-and-a-half-year commitment from the student, said Dr. Edward Fisher, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.
CoP Dean John Pezzuto said the FNP/Pharm.D. degree would broaden the scope of practice of pharmacists through education and training in the diagnosis and hands-on management of common acute and chronic medical conditions. Additionally, a FNP/Pharm.D. dual degree would provide nurse practitioners detailed skills relating to medications and potential food and drug interactions.
With aid from the Department of Education grant, the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy also plans to:
A consortium led by the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy to use health information technology to provide better health care to Big Island residents has been awarded $16,091,390. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the award at a May 4, 2010 press conference in Washington D.C.
The UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is the lead applicant organization for the grant from the Hawaiʻi County Beacon Community Consortium, a group of educators, health care providers, insurers and other community members. The group was formed to strengthen and use health information technology to continuously improve healthcare quality, cost-efficiency, and population health in Hawaiʻi County.
Hawaiʻi County is one of the 15 communities across the nation chosen to serve as pilot communities to develop wide-scale use of electronic medical records through the Beacon Communities program. The funds were awarded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Students who are in their final year before earning their doctorate must complete the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE), also called “rotations”. Students in the inaugural class of 2011 are beginning this final portion of their schooling in the summer of 2010, and many have decided to earn their experience in Alaska.
APPE for the fourth-year students begins in the summer after their third year of pharmacy school and includes a minimum of 1,440 hours of pharmacy experiences as required by ACPE, the national accreditation board that oversees pharmacy schools. Students will participate in six different types of six-week rotations. Mandatory rotations include hospital practice, acute medicine, ambulatory care clinic and retail practice. The student may take an additional two electives to fulfill the APPE requirements.
After completing their rotations and receiving their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) at the May 2011 UH Hilo commencement, the graduates must still pass a national exam and then register in the state where they will begin their professional careers.
College of Continuing Education and Community Service
The College of Continuing Education and Community Service or CCECS is the arm of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo responsible for a number of important endeavors, including:
Summer courses, which include the marine science programs, non-credit courses, travel study programs, senior programs, special events, community service events and the newly launched English Language Institute (ELI) are all under the umbrella of the CCECS. Using resources from within the community as well as bringing in knowledgeable professionals who can enhance instructional experiences for the better of the students is the goal of CCECS.
Students come from over 40 countries and territories to take classes at UH Hilo. The campus has the highest percentage of international students of any of the ten campuses in the UH system. The ELI’s primary purpose is to provide English instruction to international and immigrant students whose native language is not English and to prepare them for university study.
The ELI offers rigorous academic preparation courses for students who would like to study in a degree program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. ELI courses carry administrative credit, but do not count towards graduation from UH Hilo.
Distance learning, or e-Learning, provides students across the Big Island and the state of Hawaii with the opportunity to take classes offered by the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Distance learning online classes can be delivered anytime and anywhere. Distance Learning includes e-Learning courses and programs offered through the UH system. The UH Hilo Distance Learning Coordinator provides referrals to statewide e-Learning as a member of the UH system. UH Hilo also offers outreach through face-to-face credit and non-credit classes off the main campus at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center (NHERC) located in Honokaʻa, 40 miles (60 km) from the main campus.
Besides face-to-face classes for local residents, NHERC offers UH Hilo courses through video conferencing, has a computer lab, and provides community service events. High school students are eligible to take UH Hilo courses at NHERC through the "Running Start" program. NHERC has a computer lab available for use by students enrolled at any UH campus and for community member use.
SeniorNet is an international volunteer organization dedicated to teaching computer skills to people over 50 years of age. Classes are small, only 10 students per class, with seniors being taught by seniors at the Hilo Learning Center. The center is located on the campus of the Hawaiʻi Community College.
There are four co-educational residence halls on the UH Hilo campus. All on-campus housing applicants must be accepted into a classified program of study before being eligible for housing placement. All other furnishings, including linens, must be supplied by the residents. All halls have recreation lounges, a television room, and laundry facilities. All halls follow the University policy on smoking: smoking is NOT allowed inside any room or within the walkways of residence halls. All residential halls are substance-free halls. Illegal substances or drugs of any kind are NOT permitted on University of Hawaiʻi property.
Married students may reside in student housing provided that at least one spouse per married couple is a full-time student who qualifies under the geographical area provisions of the Board’s applicable priority system, the other spouse being a full-time or part-time student.
Two traditional style residence halls
A suite style residence hall
Hale Kehau is a 236-bed, suite-style coed hall. Each two rooms share a connecting bathroom. All rooms are fully carpeted. Six units in Hale Kehau are designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Rooms in these halls are furnished with twin-size extra long beds (except for Hale Kauanoe which has standard size twin beds), chest of drawers, chairs, bookshelves, desks and window coverings. The majority of rooms in these residential halls are designed for two students (double accommodations). Residents in these halls and suites are required to participate in one of a variety of on-campus meal plan options. The three halls listed above (Hale Kanilehua, Hale Kauanoe, and Hale Kehau) are alcohol-free. Consumption of alcohol is NOT permitted anywhere in these halls.
An apartment style residence hall
Hale ʻIkena, an apartment-style facility, provides accommodations for 196 students. Students applying to Hale ʻIkena must be at least 21 years of age or have completed 24 college credits. The majority of apartments in this facility are two-bedroom units with accommodations for four students in each unit. There are also a limited number of one-bedroom apartment units which accommodate two students per unit. All apartment units are fully furnished with private bathroom, living room, and kitchen.
Research at UH Hilo
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo supports scholarly research activities by faculty, students and staff. The university has steadily increased its extramural grant activity, while also establishing an intramural grant program to foster faculty and staff development. Additionally, the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi or RCUH helps to administrate the research activities across the University of Hawaiʻi system.
The research activities at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are coordinated by a Research Office, led by the Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Daniel E. Brown. A Research Council whose members are appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research for three-year terms, is the chief recommending body for the Vice Chancellor. The Council administers the intramural grant program, proposes policies and procedures for extramural grant activities by the campus, and advises the Vice Chancellor on matters concerned with research and grant activity. The UH Hilo Research Council is chaired by Dr. Ken Hon. Limited general use research space is available both on and off campus. Faculty must apply for use of the space on an annual, competitive basis.
Prior to 1994, UH Hilo belonged to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics or NAIA. The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Office of Intercollegiate Athletics has thirteen varsity teams as a member of the NCAA Division II, Pacific West Conference. UH Hilo has been a member of the PacWest Conference since 2004. The team name for the school is the Vulcans.
In 1965, a process was begun to adapt an individual identity for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Previously known as the "Little Rainbows", the committee members focused on what would best represent the Island of Hawaiʻi. Active volcanoes were immediately thought of and one of the first considerations was "Pele", the Hawaiian Volcano Goddess. However, out of respect for the Hawaiian Culture, the committee elected not to commercialize the Hawaiian deity.
In 1966, the University officially adopted "Vulcan" as their nickname. The Vulcans' colors are black and red. Five main sports venues used by the Vulcans are the new UH Hilo Gymnasium, the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, Dr. Francis Wong Stadium, UH Hilo Tennis Courts, and the UH Hilo Softball Field. The men's and women's soccer and women's basketball athletic programs were added in 2006.
Vulcan is the Roman god of Fire and Volcanoes. He was an important member of the pantheon of the Romans. The Vulcan festival, Volcanalia, is held in Italy on August 23, each year. Vulcan is the patron god of artisans and blacksmiths. He was the son of Jupiter and Juno and his home was in the heart of Mount Etna. He fashioned Jupiter's magical thunderbolts and Cupid's arrows. His forge was thought to be the source of volcanic activity.
Vulcan's Greek counterpart is Hephaestus, the God of Destructive Terrestrial Fire and Volcanic Fire. He was the divine inventor and builder of magical things. From Vulcan, we receive the term Vulcanization. This is the treatment of rubber to give it certain qualities, such as strength, elasticity, resistance to solvents, and rendering it impervious to moderate heat and cold.
Shared with UH West Oʻahu 1976-1997.
"Hawaiʻi State University?"
There has been a sentiment among some in the community to separate the Hilo campus from the University of Hawaiʻi system, questioning the creation of a "Hawaiʻi State University". Supporters of the separation argued that the growing Hilo campus is "shortchanged" by its sister campus in Mānoa and that being independent of the system would allow the college to grow faster and draw in more money from independent sources, thus better serving the community. Opponents argue that the state is too small for competing university systems and that financial divisions between Mānoa and Hilo are fair, given that historically Mānoa placed emphasis on research and Hilo placed emphasis on teaching.
Former UH Hilo Provost Charles B. Neff stated, "I think (UH Hilo) should always be academically independent from Mānoa. The notion of making it administratively independent by establishing something like (a) Hawaiʻi State University doesn't make much sense... it won't become an economic salvation for Hilo."
A bill was introduced in the 2005 session of the House of Representatives of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to draft legislation to spin off the Hilo campus as the independent Hawaiʻi State University. The bill was approved by the House Higher Education Committee but no hearing on the bill was planned by the House Finance Committee, effectively killing it.
UH Hilo in 2009 brought in over $20 million of grant and research money, more than any other in the UH system, prompting many to finally concede the fact that UH Hilo has reached the status of "research university". The addition of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy was a pinnacle achievement for UH Hilo and with the new development of permanent buildings on the horizon, UH Hilo will look more like a full-fledged research facility.
A recent discussion with an unnamed professor about any immediate future possibility of a Hawaiʻi State University was quoted stating "the recent grant money received solidified the connection between UH Mānoa and UH Hilo, strengthening the relationship of the two campuses to new levels and there is no chance of a breakaway from the UH system in the foreseen future."
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Botanical Gardens