Top Stories
Front Page
Student Life
Science & Environment
Arts & Entertainment

People & Places
Women's Life
Military Matters
Kalamalama Archive


HPU Clubs


Cross Country

Hot Links

VP, dean of Student Support Service retiring

by Robin Hansson, staff writer


When he informed the faculty that Nancy Ellis, vice president for Student Support Services, was retiring, President Chatt G. Wright called her “One of HPU’s pioneer administrators.”

“Over the course of her more than 23-year career at Hawai‘i Pacific University,” Wright said, “Nancy has had a hand in the development of numerous programs, policies, and procedures.”


Ellis agrees. “Change,” she said, “has been the only constant in my 23+ years at HPU, and I have enjoyed every minute. We have been in a constant improvement mode for decades, so it has been a very exciting and challenging climate to work in.”

Ellis joined HPU (then Hawai‘i Pacific College) as registrar in 1982, after 10 years as an administrator at the University of California-Los Angeles Museum of Cultural History. HPU’s student population then was a little more then 1,000, and the staff wore many hats. Ellis was therefore also the Veterans Affairs coordinator and worked closely with the Satellite Campus Programs. these are now the Military Campus Programs, part of her portfolio as vice president.

“ She also worked closely with the academic dean,” President Wright added, “to build bridges between the two departments and to establish appropriate, standardized procedures to carry out academic policies.”

At the time, records were kept manually, supplemented by a few outsourced computer programs; perhaps that was why Ellis was involved so early in the discussions of computerization at HPU.

In 1986, Ellis was promoted to the position of associate academic dean. In this capacity she functioned as an academic advisor and assisted the academic dean in establishing and implementing programs that still exist today. To centralize the various student support functions under one authority, she was promoted to dean, Student Support Services, in 1988. As dean she formalized HPU’s long-standing attention to servicing the needs of working adult students by creating the ACE—Adult Continuing Education—department. As HPU expanded and grew, so did the span and scope of Student Support Services and Ellis became vice president, Student Support Services in 1990.

Under her leadership, the Division of Student Support Services has grown and flourished. “She is responsible for the development of countless new programs,” said Wright, “and she has been a magnet, attracting talented professionals, especially in the arts, to HPU.”

Even the University’s recent WASC accreditation team was impressed, said Wright, adding: “Its report commends the division and its staff ‘for enthusiastic, hard-working, and collegial efforts aimed at advancing assessment and educational effectiveness of the University,’” Wright quoted.
As President Wright put it, “Nancy Ellis’s contributions as a member of the senior management team at HPU have been far reaching, and her presence will be missed.”

Fortunately, after a three-month hiatus in the fall, Nancy will rejoin HPU on a part-time basis as vice president of Community Relations. In this role she will continue to work with several campus-based programs that have high visibility in the community, including the HPU Theatre, Art Gallery, newspaper, and International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble. “Additionally,” Wright added, “she will assist me in our continuing efforts to build connections between HPU and the community.”

“ The connections between the University and the community are extremely important,” Ellis explained. “This partnership is part of our mission: innovative undergraduate and graduate programs need to anticipate the changing needs of the community. In my role as vice president of Community Relations, I will assist President Wright in his efforts to establish and expand the liaisons the University has with all its various constituents.”

Ellis’s successor, Dr. Jeffrey L. Philpott, comes to HPU from a dean of Student Services position at the University of California - San Diego. He will join the staff July 1. In the meantime, President Wright has invited the University to join him “in saying thank you and aloha to Nancy” at a reception May 27 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room.



2005, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained by Robin Hansson
Website done by Rick Bernico