The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents approved the establishment of the Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the Manoa campus earlier this month.
The school will represent a merger of the campus’ Hawaiian studies and language programs to create the largest school of indigenous studies in the nation, according to a university press release.
The current Hawaiian studies programs’ faculty, resources, courses, degree programs and services will be absorbed by the School of Hawaiian Knowledge
Academic requirements for the existing bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Hawaiian and Hawaiian Studies will not change.
The reorganization will take effect July 1.
“As the sole public university in our state, the University of Hawai‘i has a special responsibility to perpetuate the history and cultural heritage of Native Hawaiians,” Board of Regents Chair Kitty Lagareta said in the release. She went on to say that the regents must ensure that the university meets its responsibilities.
The school will consist of three units reporting to a new dean, including:
• Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Students, which is currently in the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies
• Kawaihuelani Hawaiian Language Program, currently in the Department of Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature in the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature
• Ka Papa Lo‘i Kanewai, currently located within the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
UH Manoa Interim Chancellor Denise Konan stated in the release that the school’s creation is a “major step” toward preserving the Hawaiian culture and language. She noted that the Hawaiian Studies 107 course currently has the largest enrollment on the Manoa campus.
Konan also expressed optimism that the school will raise awareness about the expanding curriculum as well as increase funding.