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Institutions of higher education are a big part of our Hawaii community. We hire their graduates, provide services to them, and enjoy watching their sports teams. Three of Hawaii’s top higher education administrators will share their perspectives on a range of important issues in higher education today.

Geoff_BannisterGeoff Bannister, Ph. D., has served as President of Hawai‘i Pacific University since 2011. He has a Ph D. (geography) from the University of Toronto, Canada, and has published extensively in the field of urban studies, regional development, demographic forecasting, and higher education. He was President of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. He was born in the United Kingdom, raised in New Zealand, and became a United States Citizen on July 4, 1989.  He is a former New Zealand cycling champion and record holder.

David LassnerDavid Lassner, Ph. D., President, University of Hawaii, joined the University of Hawai‘i in 1977, and has held a series technical, management and executive positions.  He taught, both in-person and on-line, in the UH Department of Information & Computer Science, the College of Business Administration, the School of Communication and the College of Education as well as at Roosevelt University.  He holds an AB summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in economics, and an MS in computer science, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and a Ph D. in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Bro. Bernard J. PloegerBro. Bernard J. Ploeger, S.M., Ph. D., has served as President of Chaminade University of Honolulu since 2009. He had previously served as Executive Vice President and Provost, and was Senior Vice President for Administration at the University of Dayton. He has also taught at the University of Dayton. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from Moeller High School, a school conducted by the Society of Mary, he joined the Marianists. He has a B. S. in Mathematics from the University of Dayton (summa cum laude), and an M.S. and Ph.D. (mathematics) from Ohio State University, where he was an N.D.E.A. Fellow.


Leslie WilcoxLeslie Wilcox, President and CEO, PBS Hawaii. A former longtime print and broadcast journalist, Leslie was a top-rated TV news anchor before joining Hawaii’s Public Broadcasting System (PBS) seven years ago.