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NO. 2020 – 33


WHEREAS, Windward Community College (WCC) is undergoing a serious review of cost-saving measures in light of fiscal challenges currently facing the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) system; and

WHEREAS, WCC was established in 1972 in response to growing community demand for post-high school education opportunities within windward communities; and

WHEREAS, WCC has continued growing and improving over the past 40 years and has demonstrated its appeal and its value by student enrollment, which has grown by 11% in the past 10 years, whereas most other community colleges have seen decreased enrollment; and

WHEREAS, according to enrollment data, most students living on the windward coast have chosen WCC as their starting point for acquiring higher education; and

WHEREAS, WCC was among the vanguard of colleges to provide opportunities for high school students to earn early college credits, by opening their classes to those seeking eventual transfer to four-year colleges, including its unique focus on Native Hawaiian first-generation students with financial barriers, and students who were NOT on a college trajectory before Early College High School (ECHS) programing was initiated; and

WHEREAS, by offering liberal arts, Hawaiian studies and natural science degrees, WCC allows students with diverse career pathways to begin their journey; and

WHEREAS, veterinary technology and agri-pharma-tech certificates and degrees are unique programs at WCC which prepare students for careers; and

WHEREAS, WCC has fostered impactful partnerships with other UH campuses, including organized research units such as the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology; and

WHEREAS, through its commitment to Native Hawaiians, WCC has uniquely addressed disparities in Native Hawaiian educational outcomes to have the highest graduation rate of Native Hawaiians in the UH System, as well as eliminated gaps in enrollment; and

WHEREAS, WCC represents a model institution for the University’s mission to become an indigenous-serving institution and its strategic initiative to provide “vigorous support” for Native Hawaiian students; and

WHEREAS, WCC economically benefits O‘ahu Koʻolau communities, generating $1.15 in extramural funding and tuition for every $1 invested in the general fund over the past five years; and

WHEREAS, the Kāneʻohe Neighborhood Board, Waimānalo Neighborhood Board, Kailua Neighborhood Board, Kahaluʻu Neighborhood Board, the Kāneʻohe Business Group and Kailua Chamber of Commerce support and acknowledge the importance of the Windward Community College to the entire Oʻahu and State community; and

WHEREAS, the University of Hawai‘i administration is in the process of considering various ways to reduce its expenses; and

WHEREAS, among targets of these cost-cutting measures may be the consolidation or elimination of some community colleges; and

WHEREAS, since Windward Community College is the only community college on the entire Windward coast, there is a clear and urgent need that this college be spared from proposed elimination or merger with other similar colleges.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 61st Annual Convention held online, in the malama of Makali‘i and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu, this 22nd day of November 2020, urging retention of Windward Community College in its current status as a stand-alone community college of the University of Hawai‘i; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Windward Community College, as part of its retention in the form it currently holds, shall commit all efforts to refine and eliminate costs wherever possible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents, the University of Hawaiʻi President, Director of the Office of Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao and the Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao Committee, the Pūkoʻa Native Hawaiian Council, Chairs of the State Senate subject matter committees on Ways and Means, Technology, and Higher Education, Chairs of the State House subject matter committees on Finance, Lower & Higher Education, and Judiciary, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all county Mayors.

The undersigned herby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Makaliʻi and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu on the 22nd day of November 2020, at the 61st Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held online.

Hailama V.K.K. Farden, President