Hilo campus gets
Rockne Freitas takes the top job
at Hawaii Community College
HILO » As the University of Hawaii's ousted president grabbed the headlines last week, one of the system's 10 campuses got a new chancellor.
Rockne Freitas took over as chancellor of Hawaii Community College on Tuesday.
The Board of Regents chose Freitas to run the Hilo campus in April, but it was not until last month that board members approved the three-year contract that pays him $126,360 a year.
It is a significant pay cut from his previous positions at the Kamehameha Schools, where he was executive director of the Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation, but Freitas said taking the HCC position is a career move he wanted to make.
"It's not always about money, it's about the challenges," Freitas said.
Freitas replaces Sandra Sakaguchi, who had the job for 12 years until July 2003, when she accepted a temporary appointment at the UH-West Hawaii campus in Kona. She retired in December.As chancellor of HCC, Freitas is also in charge of West Hawaii campus.
Freitas said he sees three major challenges in his new position: creating an identity for the college, finding additional resources and raising morale.
A former professional football player with the Detroit Lions, Freitas said he wants to establish an intercollegiate sports program on the campus. But he said there are a lot of other issues he must deal with first.
Freitas is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools. He received a master's and doctorate degrees in education from the University of Hawaii.
He is a former UH vice president and associate athletic director, and a former trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.