Message from Geoffrey Bannister

June 05, 2015

Hawaii Pacific University Office of the President

June 5, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

When my wife Jerri and I first visited the Hawaiʻi Pacific University campus in 2010, we were impressed with the beauty of the Hawaii Loa Campus, the dynamism of the downtown campus, and the service and dedication of our military locations. Nearly five years later, we continue to be impressed by these same facets, along with the social and environmental contributions of the Oceanic Institute.

Over this time HPU has created new strategic and master plans, revised our faculty handbook, implemented new models of shared and faculty governance, designed and deployed a new General Education program, and realigned much of our academic mission to serve a higher quality aspiration. This year’s fundraising has reached a new high and next year looks even more promising. We have been challenged by the financial realities of the post-2009 era, but we have dealt with that challenge in a firm and forthright manner. We have adjusted where others have yet to go, and that will continue to make HPU even stronger.

In the months to come, we will be celebrating HPU’s 50th anniversary, opening the revitalized and re-imagined Aloha Tower Marketplace, launching a new capital campaign, completing our full WASC renewal of accreditation review—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is much to be proud of, and many, many people to thank.

Jerri and I also found this an opportune time to take stock and remember our Boston-based grandchildren, and for me to think again about a last round of effort in the real career I set off on so many years ago—research and teaching. I miss both of these activities deeply, and as much as administration has been a great opportunity to serve, the call of an academic has always been in my heart. Accordingly, Jerri and I have decided this would be a good time, as our university turns 50 and I turn 70, to make way for new talent to lead the charge at HPU.

Today I will formally inform the Board that I will retire from HPU effective June 30, 2016.

I want to acknowledge all the help and support I have received from our faculty, staff, student leaders, executive team, and Trustees over the years. This is not a simple acknowledgment; I have had the opportunity to stand with extraordinary people through challenging times to work for the success of a great university and for the future of our state. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude for all the dedication, patience, and aloha that have made these such great years.

I look forward to a rich and productive final year at HPU. There is a lot left on my agenda and there’s plenty of talent, dedication, and goodwill in the HPU ‘ohana to get things done. I intend to drive hard to position HPU for my successor, whomever the Trustees and community select.

Mahalo, and Go Sharks!

With fondest Aloha,

Geoffrey Bannister, Ph.D.