University of Hawai'i launching major upgrade
By Sean Hao
Advertiser Staff Writer
With its estimated $1 billion impact on Hawai'i's economy, the University of Hawai'i remains a key local employer and customer for local businesses.
The biggest project on the horizon for the university a $150 million medical school in Kaka'ako won't be completed until 2005. But the project should start affecting the economy well before then.
UH President Evan Dobelle estimates between 600 to 700 new construction jobs could be created during the three years of building, and potentially 1,000 or more new jobs as a biotech industry develops.
Overall, UH supports about 29,000 jobs, and creates $1.1 billion of income to households each year, according to a study by the Department of Economics at UH-Manoa in 2000.
During the next year, university employment is expected to remain stable, though several key positions will likely be filled, said Paul Costello, UH vice president for external affairs. These openings include: vice president of academic affairs and provost for the UH system, dean for the law school at Manoa, and a dean for the School of Travel Industry Management.
Other efforts by the University of Hawai'i to upgrade its appearance and academics should show up in several ways in 2003.
UH's Hilo campus will dedicate a new $20 million classroom and office building in January.
The Hilo campus's Hawaiian studies program will present a proposal to create a doctoral program in Hawaiian and indigenous language and culture. The school already has a master's program in the study of indigenous language.
At the Manoa campus, the historic Hawai'i Hall building will be dedicated next spring after completion of a $15 million renovation. Built in 1912, Hawai'i Hall once was the only building on campus.
Also at Manoa, the School of Travel Industry Management will open its Gee Technology Learning Center in January. Named after the school's former dean, Chuck Yim Gee, the $450,000 center has a videoconference suite and multi-media computer-learning library.
Additionally, the university will submit a grant proposal to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to develop a center for the study of alternative therapies, including traditional Chinese medicine, Native Hawaiian healing practices, and herbal products that are indigenous or grown in Hawai'i.
"UH is establishing partnerships with Native Hawaiian Healers through the Community Health Centers to facilitate both explication and evaluation of Native Hawaiian Healing practices," said Rosanne Harrigan, associate dean, John A. Burns School of Medicine. "The collaboration began earlier this year with a conference that brought all healers together to discuss development."
Reach Sean Hao at 525-8093 or email@example.com.