ROBERT BLEY-VROMAN - BOARD PRESIDENT
Robert Bley-Vroman is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Bley-Vroman’s academic work concentrates on the relationship of linguistic theory to language learning. He has been a faculty member at UH for 33 years; ten years before that at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Michigan. At UH, he served as Department Chair, Center Director, Dean, and Chancellor at the University. He was also Director of the Intensive English Program at the the University of Michigan. As Dean of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature at UH, he had executive responsibility for a unit of seven academic departments and nearly 200 faculty members. He had responsibility for hiring, evaluating, and terminating the contracts of unionized faculty and unionized administrative staff. He was the primary decision-maker for grievances and disputes. He decided on what positions to fill, approved position descriptions, oversaw recruiting, negotiated all initial contracts, worked with the union on special salary adjustments and retention packages. He was responsible for a budget of about $20 million. He worked with community members, the alumni association, and fund-raisers to enhance the relations between the College and the larger community.
Dr. Bley-Vroman served for two years as Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the flagship university of the University of Hawai‘i System. The Chancellor is the chief executive officers, and exercises overall executive leadership over academics, student affairs, administration and budget, community relations, and research. UH Mānoa has an annual budget of over $500 million. Dr. Bley-Vroman was responsible for leading the organization during a period of significant budgetary challenge; he was able to bring fiscal stability to Mānoa. Among his direct reports are Deans of Law and Medicine (including the UH Cancer Center), and the Director of Athletics. The Chancellor is the decision-maker for personnel decisions of faculty tenure and for grievances. Dr. Bley-Vroman represented Mānoa internationally, both in associations of other research universities, and in bilateral arrangements with specific universities, especially in Asia. The Chancellor is the chief contact with the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the university. Dr. Bley-Vroman worked with potential donors, and with alumni and community groups, both in Hawai‘i and in Asia. As head of Mānoa, Dr. Bley-Vroman worked with legislators and presented testimony at legislative hearings.
As a faculty member, Dr. Bley-Vroman served as Chair of the Mānoa Faculty Senate and also of the All-Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs. He is experienced in parliamentary procedure, and was responsible for revision of the Senate’s charter and by-laws.