Posted on: Sunday, June 8, 2003
Hawai'i Pacific University adds Oceanic Institute tie
By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer
|Thomas Farewell, left, and Chatt Wright, top executives of Oceanic Institute and Hawai'i Pacific University, respectively, examine a shrimp from the institute's breeding facility.
Richard Ambo The Honolulu Advertiser
The agreement vaults the landlocked school and its two campuses downtown and Windward into a more competitive stance with the larger University of Hawai'i by offering its 9,000 students new opportunities for ocean and marine studies, and jobs once they graduate.
In return, HPU guarantees the research institute $1 million annually for 10 years and a $10 million endowment at the end of that period money that will allow rapid growth and assure long-term stability.
Plans for HPU's expansion on its Windward Hawai'i Loa campus during the next three to five years call for growth and strength in the sciences, particularly marine sciences, which HPU President Chatt G. Wright sees as an educational niche his school will strongly pursue.
It's all part of a master plan that includes building on the school's 135-acre campus and expansion of the student body to 12,000 students during the next seven years. The plan also includes building laboratories on campus. Sixty-five acres are now in use.
"This partnership between Hawai'i Pacific University and Oceanic Institute will open up vast new opportunities for HPU that were previously (only) a vision," Wright said.
The collaboration is also expected to provide an economic boost to the state.
"We're already training 25 (percent) to 30 percent of the employees involved in aquaculture technologies, but there's a greater opportunity," Oceanic Institute president Thomas Farewell said. "This partnership helps us build the work force in Hawai'i. We have the (aquaculture) technology that's ready to take off for what people hoped for back in 1970."
Oceanic Institute has been a leader in federally financed research to restore and rebuild traditional fisheries in the state, including redeveloping the depleted moi fishery; redeveloping the kahala amberjack fishery; and building a Hawai'i industry in seedstock shrimp. The affiliation gives the institute the opportunity to grow "bigger and faster," said Farewell. He said he expects 15 new jobs added to the 105-person staff in the next year.
SEN. DAN INOUYE
At the same time, Inouye said he hopes it "will provide greater hands-on learning opportunities for Hawai'i's students" while inspiring them to enter the sciences and encourage them to be entrepreneurial.
The affiliation has been under discussion for three years. It becomes effective July 1. It's one of many partnerships the ocean research center has forged with 14 other universities across the country, and with high schools, including Wai'anae and Kamehameha Schools.
The partnership also will give students opportunities for careers with Oceanic Institute once they've graduated.
Gary E. Karr, manager of communications, education and training for the institute, said the affiliation will combine the institute's hands-on style with HPU's academic environment.
The affiliation will mean that students seeking degrees in marine science will have broader choices if they stay in Hawai'i after high school or are looking at coming to Hawai'i for college. UH offers a bachelor of science degree in marine biology, but no master's or doctorate. Under the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, doctorates are available in oceanography, and ocean and resources engineering.
But Wright said HPU will immediately begin work on a major expansion of its ocean science offerings, including beginning the academic work to add new master's and doctoral level programs to its marine and environmental science and oceanography programs.
"Our students and faculty will have access to Oceanic's scientists and extensive laboratories for joint research and education in marine science and biotechnology," Wright said.
Dr. Andrew Brittain, acting dean of the College of Natural Sciences at HPU, said HPU also will develop certificate programs in areas such as aquaculture, offer a graduate program in applied marine science and share facilities for research and education.
Oceanic Institute develops technologies designed to increase aquatic food production, restore marine fisheries and protect ocean resources.
Its research facilities include hatcheries for marine shrimp and finfish, aquatic feeds research laboratories, microbiology and chemical analysis laboratories, and classroom facilities.
The institute is building a finfish hatchery on Moloka'i to revitalize the Hawaiian fishponds; a feeds research laboratory in collaboration with UH-Hilo; an education facility in Kona and a new community education center at Makapu'u that can accommodate 120 students.
Six new laboratories have been built at the Makapu'u site since 1996, bringing the total to 10. The institute has revenues of almost $9 million annually, an amount that has doubled in the past seven years.
In addition to the $10 million in support over the next decade, HPU will guarantee O.I. has a $10 million endowment at the end of that period, which Farewell hopes to build to $30 million.
The new affiliation will not affect either institution's programs with other institutions, and the institute will continue to forge new community partnerships, including with the UH.
However, HPU will control the institute's board, with Wright serving as chairman and two-thirds of the board selected by HPU. Farewell will become an executive vice president of HPU. Both boards have approved the partnership.
Reach Beverly Creamer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8013.