LIHUE — Students at Kauai Community College can count on new support for academic issues.
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents elected Norma Doctor Sparks of Kauai to replace outgoing regent David Iha.
“I am excited to represent Kauai on the University Of Hawaii Board Of Regents,” Doctor Sparks said. “I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Regents. I believe that I have the experience, knowledge and creativity to address the complex issues that concern the regents today.”
Doctor Sparks is co-founder and president of Families First Hawaii Services Inc., a consulting firm that advocates for children and families.
“The major issue facing the University of Hawaii on all campuses is maintaining the level of affordability of college while state and other revenues may be declining,” she said.
Doctor Sparks said she will advocate for affordable tuition costs for community colleges.
Another issue Doctor Sparks supports is long-distance learning.
“Long-distance learning has advanced so that some of the current physical buildings may not be needed for its present uses,” she said. “More long-distance learning allows for more relevant class offerings for students while reusing the buildings more effectively.”
Doctor Sparks served as Hawaii deputy attorney after working as law clerk for Chief Judge James Burns of the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. She was administrator of two statewide services, the Child Support Enforcement Agency and Child Welfare Services and Administrator of the Family Crisis Services Branch of the First Circuit Family Court.
In California, she served as director of the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services. She was also deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Families Services then later became administrative deputy of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.
“I have decades of experience in successfully addressing the many issues facing other complex organizations,” she said.
Born and raised on Kauai, she has served on community boards including Kauai Planning and Action Alliance, Kauai High School Foundation, Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Koloa Community Association, and Kauai Filipino Women’s Club. She is a member of Kauai Chamber of Commerce, Surfrider Foundation-Kauai, Malama Mahaulepu, Friends of Mahaulepu, and Poipu Beach Rotary Club.