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Hawai‘i Pacific University announces leadership changes in Academic Affairs

April 17, 2012

(HONOLULU – April 17, 2012) Hawai‘i Pacific University leadership announced today that Academic Affairs Vice President John Kearns, the institution’s senior academic officer for the past five years, is stepping down to return to the faculty.

A professor of History and Classical Studies who joined Hawai‘i Pacific in 1997 from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Kearns has served as an academic administrator for the past 11 years, having previously headed the HPU College of Business Administration as interim dean from 2004-07 and served as assistant dean of Academic Affairs from 2001-04.

He has been responsible for significant efforts to strengthen the university’s academic core, helping to lead Hawai‘i Pacific’s successful 10-year reaccreditation effort in 2005 and an overhaul of the university’s general education requirements in 2006.

“John has provided essential leadership during a dynamic and challenging period not just for Hawai‘i Pacific, but for higher education in general,” said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister. “The university is positioned now to move forward in exciting new directions in no small part because of John’s attention to our academic infrastructure. I’m grateful for his service, and wish him the best of success as he prepares to renew his focus on his own scholarship and teaching.”

As a scholar, Kearns specializes in the linguistic development of Latin and Greek, as well as the relationship between Greece and its non-Greek neighbors, and will be teaching in those subject areas. He is also an award-winning produced and published playwright under the name Yokanaan Kearns and is currently working on a one-act play, Zombeowulf, adapted from Beowulf.

Kearns will move back to his faculty position on July 1. Bannister also announced today that Natural and Computational Sciences Dean Andrew Brittain will succeed Kearns as acting vice president, with a month of overlap to ensure a smooth transition. A national search for a permanent replacement will begin right away.

“Helping to lead the development of Hawai‘i Pacific University over the past decade has been an honor and a gratifying responsibility,” said Kearns. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to focus on two academic projects that deserve my full attention, but also to continuing to work with colleagues toward the continued development of our university. Andy Brittain will provide valuable leadership as part of that effort, which will help ensure a seamless transition for Academic Affairs.”

Hawai‘i Pacific is the state’s largest private university with more than 8,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. HPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council on Social Work Education and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.