Sakai, Steiner appointed as new deans at University of Hawaii at Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Jul 21, 2005

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) has approved the appointment of Dr. Marcia Sakai as dean of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, effective August 1, 2005.

The BOR also approved the appointment of Dr. William Steiner as dean of the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM). Steiner, whose appointment was approved along with Sakai's during the Board‘s July meeting in Honolulu, will assume his new duties in September.

Sakai, who holds the rank of professor in tourism and economics, has been serving as interim dean of the College of Business and Economics since 2004, the year the College was established. She previously served as director of the College, director of the School of Business Administration and chair of the Division of Business and Economics at UH Hilo.

In her previous posts, she guided the Business program through a difficult and critical accreditation process that led to the College of Business and Economics receiving accreditation from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business-International.

"Dr. Sakai and the College of Business and Economics are practically synonymous," said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. "From its establishment through the accreditation process, Dr. Sakai has been at the forefront of our efforts and has demonstrated the outstanding leadership qualities that this position demands."

In teaching and research, Sakai‘s principal areas of interest include strategic planning for tourism, sustainable tourism development, destination marketing, economics of travel decision-making, and government finance. Sakai has conducted studies, published papers and book chapters on a wide range of topics, including Japanese international travel, business travel, tourism program evaluation, and direct foreign investment. She has been a contributor to three books on Hawaiʻi - The Price of Paradise, Politics and Public Policy in Hawaiʻi, and the Atlas of Hawaiʻi - and is currently involved in a book being authored on tourism public policy in Hawaiʻi.

Her government and private sector credentials include service as a commissioner for the 1995-1997 Hawaiʻi State Tax Review Commission, policy analyst for the State Department of Taxation, economist for the State Public Utilities Commission and consultant to the Office of State Planning and private corporations.

"Marcia was at the helm when the Division of Business and Economics became a College," said Dr. Steve Hora, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs. "In turn she led the College to AACSB International accreditation. What's next? Maybe an MBA degree. She's a proven leader and can get the job done."

For the past decade, Steiner has served as director of the Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC) in Honolulu. During that period, the Center underwent substantial growth in its activities and budget. PIERC is one of 17 USGS-BRD centers, and the only one located in North America. The Center is responsible for conducting federal research on the living natural resources in the Pacific Basin for partners who manage these resources, the agencies in the Department of Interior, the Department of Defense, and at state and county levels in different island systems.

"I‘m very pleased that the Board has approved Dr. Steiner‘s appointment," said Tseng. "His extensive background as a teacher and researcher make him an outstanding choice for this position."

Active in teaching, Steiner held the position of adjunct associate professor at the University of Missouri from 1986-1995 and adjunct professor at UH Manoa from 1995. He is also an associate in research with the Bishop Museum and serves on the State of Hawaiʻi Endangered Species Review Committee.

His extensive research credentials include authorship or co-authorship of over 60 refereed scientific publications and book chapters, editor of two books, author of six scientific reports and 30 abstracts. He has also received numerous grants and contracts for research throughout his career.

"Bill Steiner was born here in Hawaiʻi and returned to establish a very successful program for the USGS," said Hora. "His talents as a researcher and administrator are well known and he will be a positive force in leading the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management to the next level."