Ira Rohter, political science professor at UH-Manoa, dies
Ira Rohter, a long-time University of Hawaii-Manoa political science professor and mainstay in the Green Party of Hawaii, has died.
Prof. Kathy Ferguson, acting department chairperson, said she learned of Rohter’s death about 10:30 a.m. from a mutual friend.
“We are just totally shocked at this point,” Ferguson said.
Rohter would have been 70 in August.
He began teaching at UH in 1968, Ferguson said.
On his Web site, Rohter says he earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1967. He said he regularly taught courses in the Politics of Hawaii, Political Ecology and Development,Environmental Politics, and alternative futures.
His graduate seminar (POLS 646F), "Political Ecology and Development," examined the emerging fields of sustainable development, alternative economic theory and practices, concepts such as "civic environmentalism," "ecological industrialism," "natural capitalism," and new methods of public administration and policy making that promote sustainability, social justice, and humane values.
In 1992, Rohter published his book "A Green Hawaii: Sourcebook for Development Alternatives," which offers a handbook of analysis and solutions for sustainable development advocates and government policymakers in Hawaii and the Pacific islands.
For many years Rohter was actively involved in public policy issues dealing with social justice, environmentalism, and community economic well-being.
He authored bills and legislation and led campaigns to get them passed in county councils and the state Legislature. He wrote frequent op-ed pieces and was known by many office holders and media people for his analyses of Hawaii political trends and knowledge about alternative energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and grassroots political activism.
Rohter was a founding member of the Transformational Politics section of the American Political Science Association. In 1992 he helped found the Hawaii Green Party, and served as a co-chair for many years.
Most recently, he served as the president of the Hawaii Clean Elections project and as a vice president of the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling.