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April 7 Update from Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas

Aloha mai kākou,

Mahalo to all who were able to join us last Friday, April 3 for our very first Kauhale Virtual Walaʻau. I believe we had 88 participants. For those who were not able to join us or had to leave early, you may view the recording of our meeting using this link. It includes both a video or audio recording. Unfortunately, I was not able to save the chat messages this time. SAVE THE DATE for our next Virtual Walaʻau on April 17, time tbd.

Here are the latest updates and resources related to COVID 19:


As we continue transitioning to an online learning and service environment, it’s important to remain vigilant about protecting the private information of students, faculty and staff. 

Many of us are relying on Zoom, and UH Information Technology Services (ITS) has now launched a UH Zoom Blog where you can find information about recent security updates and more. 

In addition, ITS and the Data Governance Office will host a webinar April 17 from 9-11 a.m. focused on data security and privacy issues related to working remotely, including: 

  • New cyber threats and scams
  • Privacy considerations, e.g., FERPA and Zoom classes
  • Data handling and security 

Those who can’t make it to the live webinar can sign up to get a recording. Go to the Google Form to register. 


Mahalo to the Faculty/Staff Development Committee for sharing its April Newsletter loaded with useful information related to the online environment. There are links to upcoming live webinars and opportunities for on-demand training videos. The virtual world we are living creates opportunities for professional development so please take advantage of it. 


UH announced that Star Balance is the "platform of choice across the System for virtual appointments" for students. Since COVID-19, our academic and student affairs leadership are slowly exploring the best way for us to transition to this new tool with support from UH. If you want to learn more about Star Balance, you can go to


As I reported during the walaʻau and College Council, we received direction to freeze positions hiring (except extramural funded positions), travel and salary adjustments.  Since that time, I was informed that President Lassner will be announcing further guidance about measures to generate as much savings as we can to meet the anticipated reductions in our state allocation.  This may also include cancelling or deferring service contracts that we have now and freezing any new service contracts.  As soon as we received guidance, we will keep you updated.

In the meantime, we are working closely to assess the right projections for enrollment this coming Fall with all the changes related to COVID-19. This is part of our budget planning for FY 2021. The Admin Team has scheduled its budget retreat for April 23 and April 30 in hopes that we can share our initial budget plan proposal to College Council on May 1. As budget is a choice, we commit to remain transparent and participatory in how we deploy our resources to achieve excellence.

Mahalo again for your continued support during these times.

Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas