Obesity prevention, myGRANT and the Hawaii Graduation InitiativeAccelerating progression obesity prevention
The obesity prevention report by the National Academies of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine was released this month. Weight of the Nation is a compelling and sobering look at obesity, which is being called the most complex epidemic the U.S. has ever faced.
I was honored to co-chair the committee with former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman. The report is also an HBO documentary, which premiered during May. There was also heavy media coverage that resulted in more than 900 stories, interviews and reports across the country so far, from media outlets such as the Associated Press TV, USA Today and the NBC Nightly News. This gave us the wonderful opportunity to showcase UH nationally, as we build our research enterprise and develop health and sciences at the university, with a focus on obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Governor Neil Abercrombie and Health Department Director Loretta Fuddy will host an Obesity Symposium with the Institute of Medicine locally on June 22, 2012.Kuali myGRANT management system
All grant applications are now being submitted through myGRANT and the system is working well. Training and support are being provided to new system users.Hawaii Graduation Initiative
We are set to launch a media blitz on our Hawaii Graduation Initiative, which aims to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned by UH students, by 25 percent in three years. The campaign, called 15-to-Finish will encourage students to take at least 15 credits per semester to graduate in two to four years.
The 2012 State Legislature adjourned on May 3, 2012. The good news is we did not lose additional funding and we received a small number of new resources. The bad news is—it isn’t significant. We received very little of what we asked for.
Fortunately, the legislature did not cut the university’s base general fund operating budget, which it has done since 2009. We also secured $322,242 to help educate Native Hawaiian students.
For construction and improvements—the legislature appropriated $123 million in supplemental CIP funds, which includes $10 million for Kapiolani CC’s Culinary Institute, $7.5 million for the new West Hawaii CC at Palamanui, $74 million in health and safety and 3.5 million for improvements at Coconut Island/Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.
However, legislators did not extend our procurement flexibility, despite the fact that we were able to initiate 28 CIP projects using the interim construction procurement flexibility policies and procedures.