HPU President John Gotanda.
The 'Most Admired Leaders' awards honor outstanding executives who have made substantial contributions to both their companies and their communities. Image courtesy of Pacific Business News.
The HPU 'ohana is proud that Pacific Business News named our President, John Gotanda, a 2023 "Most Admired Leader" honoree, recognizing his remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to advancing accessible and affordable higher education opportunities for the people of Hawai‘i, and throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Serving as HPU President since July 2016, President Gotanda has brought to fruition innovative initiatives and programs benefiting HPU students and the broader community.
Key initiatives include:
- In the Summer of 2022, HPU launched the first and only Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in Hawai‘i, with an inaugural cohort of approximately 100 students selected from an applicant pool of 1,000-plus individuals. The accelerated 24-month program delivered in a hybrid format — one of only a few in the nation —- combines the best of online learning with in-person lab immersions. The second DPT cohort started in August, with more than 100 students in the class. In January 2024, HPU is gearing up to welcome the first cohort of Hawaii's first Occupational Therapy (OTD) doctorate program students.
- HPU launched the Allen and Nobuko Zecha Engineering Program, with programs focusing on Electrical, Biotech, and Biomedical Engineering.
- Through a partnership with Kamehameha Schools (KS), HPU established the state's largest dual-credit program, reducing the time and cost to obtain a college education for the approximately 1,000 participating students. Over 100 KS students received their HPU associate degree while simultaneously completing high school in spring 2023, enabling these students to be on track to earn their bachelor's degree in just two years. HPU was pleased nearly 40 of the 2023 KS dual-degree graduates are continuing to complete their bachelor's degree at HPU.
- HPU also is the first in Hawai‘i to offer industry certificate programs from companies like Google, Salesforce, and Meta. HPU's College of Business Administration partnered with Coursera, offering Coursera's Career Academy to 1,500-plus students who took over 18,000 lessons to complement their degrees. Coursera named HPU the 2023 recipient of its “Campus Transformation Award.”
- President Gotanda's vision of seamlessly integrating HPU into the city of Honolulu has become a reality with the successful move to Waterfront Plaza and Pioneer Plaza, along with the buildout of the Aloha Tower Marketplace facility. ATM now houses 370 students in waterfront lofts, Hawai‘i’s first collegiate eSports arena, state-of-the-art classrooms, the Gulab and Indru Watumull learning commons, as well as retail establishments like the Old Spaghetti Factory and a host of community meeting spaces.
President Gotanda has been an instrumental leader in shaping HPU into a thriving institution that makes meaningful contributions while continuously assessing and re-evaluating how best to serve the needs of the people in the HPU and broader communities.
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