UH Hilo Establishes Natural & Health Sciences College

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The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo announced a new college when the Division of Natural Sciences, School of Nursing, and Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences officially become the College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS) on July 1, 2018.

Dr. Jim Beets

Leading the new college is Dr. Jim Beets, professor of marine science and chair of the Division of Natural Sciences, who will serve as interim dean while the university searches for a permanent dean.

The goal of reorganizing the academic units from the College of Arts and Sciences to CNHS is to provide greater focus for affiliated programs to chart its futures through improved representation of student, faculty and budgetary issues.

“With a stronger focus on natural and health sciences, we can better direct our resources to the areas of greatest need and where they will have the biggest impact,” said Dr. Ken Hon, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs. “We expect this to create new educational and research opportunities for students, foster greater interdisciplinary teaching, and lead to new and improved career pathways.”


In preparation for CNHS, improvements in classrooms and laboratories have begun with additional enhancements planned for the future. The upgrades, combined with greater access to new instruments in technology, are considered key to providing students with state-of-the-art training.

Fall 2018 marks the first semester of classes under CNHS. Plans call for the first year to focus on integrating units, strengthening collaboration among departments and fine-tuning operations for the new college.


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