UH leader retiring after 4 decades
Many lawmakers recall Doris Ching as an early inspiration
The University of Hawaii's first female vice president is retiring after a 42-year career in education.
Doris Ching, recognized as an advocate for students, retires at the end of the year as the university's vice president for student affairs.
"My greatest pleasure and privilege has been working for and with students and those who serve students," she said.
Ching said it seems like the right time to retire, considering the number of years she has worked, what she has accomplished and what she has to look forward to.
"Nice leisure time. Not being in the office on weekends and holidays."
Ching said her age was another factor. She celebrated her 65th birthday earlier this year by hiking to the top of Japan's Mount Fuji.
She is promoting the rights of women and underrepresented groups, and supporting hundreds of student leaders who now hold influential positions in the community.
One of those former student leaders is state Rep. K. Mark Takai (Newtown-Pearl City). He said Ching's retirement will be a great loss.
"She's a true advocate for students, and I think the UH system and entire state will lose a great friend and advocate," he said.
Takai said Ching has been a close friend and mentor to him, from his days as undergraduate student body president at UH-Manoa, through his years as Higher Education Committee chairman in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Sylvia Luke (D, Pacific Heights-Punchbowl) was also undergraduate student body president at Manoa. She said Ching was an inspiration to many student leaders, particularly women.
"She showed she cared about the needs of the students," Luke said.
The House invited Ching to the state Capitol on March 15 for a surprise presentation honoring her after some lawmakers learned she might retire this year.
Ching considers her greatest accomplishment to be her work on national boards and commissions that strive to convince Asian Americans and women that they can make a contribution and can compete with anyone. She said she will continue that work through Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, which will force her to split her time in retirement between Hawaii and Los Angeles.
Ching started her career in 1963 with the state Department of Education, teaching at Kalakaua Intermediate, August Ahrens and Kawananakoa Intermediate schools. In 1969 she joined the University of Hawaii as coordinator of student teaching. Seven years later she became director of Teacher Corps. Ching was appointed associate dean of the College of Education in 1981. In 1986 she was assistant to the president and the following year then-President Albert Simone appointed her to her current job.