When Peggy Cha began her University of Hawai‘i career 24 years ago, personal computers were just coming into general use, the World Wide Web did not yet exist and the paint at Kaua‘i Community College’s new Puhi campus was barely dry, a Lihu‘e Business Association news release states.
Cha shared her experiences in higher education and her reflections about KCC at the Lihu‘e Business Association public forum yesterday morning at Duke’s in Kalapaki.
Although Cha’s earliest UH experience was at KCC as a grants coordinator, she went on to fill many other positions within the university system, both here and later at UH-Manoa.
She returned to Kaua‘i in 1998 to assume the top position on campus as chancellor. During the past decade at KCC, Cha has overseen a rigorous accreditation process, the construction of new facilities and shifts in academic directions, including the expansion of course offerings through innovations such as distance learning.
Scheduled to retire on Nov. 1, Cha is uniquely placed to provide insights about Kaua‘i Community College and analyze directions for its future, according to the LBA.
These include new initiatives — such as the Science Technology Engineering and Math education program enacted by the state Legislature in 2007 and administered by KCC — and possibilities to forge liaisons between education and the business community.