Maui News

Osorio Named Dean at School of Hawaiian Knowledge

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Jon Osorio.

The University of Hawai‘i today announced the selection of UH Mānoa Professor Jon Osorio as the new dean of the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

Osorio’s selection is effective June 8, 2018 and is subject to formal posting on the June Board of Regents’ meeting agenda.  He has been serving as interim dean of HSHK since January 27, 2017.

“Professor Osorio was selected from a very strong group of finalists after a search process that included the active participation of faculty, students, staff and members of the community,” said Michael Bruno, UH Mānoa interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and vice chancellor for research. “The fact that he received the overwhelming support of all of these stakeholders is a testament to his accomplishments and his standing within the university and across the broader community.”

Osorio, a scholar of nineteenth century political and social history in Hawai‘i, has long been a consistent advocate for Hawaiian self-determination.  He has developed and taught classes in history, literature, law as culture, music as historical texts, and research methodologies for and from indigenous people.

“I am grateful to the students, staff, faculty, administrators and the community agencies who encouraged my work during the interim, and I look forward to continuing Hawaiʻinuiākea’s missions: to bring our people into higher education; and to summon the knowledge of our ancestors back into the care and service of Hawaiʻi,” he said.


Osorio started his professional career in 1991 as an instructor at Kapi‘olani Community College and was later hired as an assistant professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at  HSHK in 1994. He was promoted to associate professor in 2002, and tenured and promoted to professor in 2008.


Prior to his appointment as interim dean, Osorio served as director of the UH Mānoa Center of Hawaiian Studies from 2003 to 2008, where he successfully provided academic leadership and management of the center. As professor, he has collaborated with numerous other faculty and students in many departments to bring recognition and appreciation to language and performing arts, through conferences, forums and publications.

Osorio earned his PhD, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from UH Mānoa.

Interim UH Mānoa Chancellor David Lassner said, “It has been a true pleasure to work with Jon during his service as interim dean. He has a clear vision for Hawaiʻinuiākea and its role within the university and the community.”

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