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UHPA Names Kristeen Hanselman Executive Director

Kristeen Hanselman, who has served as Associate Executive Director of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) since December 2007, has been promoted to Executive Director. UHPA represents nearly 4,000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system statewide.

The UHPA board of directors unanimously voted in favor of her appointment at a board meeting this past weekend. The vote was taken after a nationwide search and candidate interviews that began in January 2015.

Hanselman officially takes over as Executive Director on September 1, 2015, upon the retirement of J. N. Musto, UHPA’s current Executive Director and Chief Negotiator.  Musto has served as Executive Director for more than 35 years.

“We knew it would be difficult to fill the shoes of J. N. Musto and that’s why we started our search early,” said David Duffy, UHPA Board President. “We’re very pleased that Kris has decided to step forward to fill this important leadership role. She has proven that she is a relentless advocate for what is right and fair, and is not afraid to challenge the UH administration when the rights of faculty have been violated or stand up to the Legislature when it attempts to micro-manage the programs and curricula of the UH.”

“The great work of the faculty has often been overshadowed by high-profile attention given to episodes of administrative mishandling of the affairs of the university,” Musto said. “Kris has been able to clearly articulate the difference between the administration and faculty, so that faculty do not unfairly receive the brunt of any remedial action targeted at the UH administration. I’m confident she can carry on the vision and creativity that have marked the work of the faculty union.”

“Each of the 10 campuses in the UH system is unique and the needs of faculty are different at each one,” Hanselman said. “As the faculty union, our role is to listen to their concerns and to look at ways we can collectively initiate positive change so that Hawaii residents can benefit from a public higher education system that offers quality instruction and world-class research. We provide the necessary checks and balances to ensure we can all be proud of the University of Hawaii.”

At UHPA, she has been responsible for contract grievance enforcement, collective bargaining, membership engagement programs, government affairs and communications. Hanselman also spearheaded a number of issue-oriented campaigns and political campaigns.

Hanselman has more than 35 years of leadership experience in public unions and political affairs, including serving in various capacities for the Michigan Education Association and Washington Education Association. She was also on the executive staff of National Education Association for 12 years, with responsibility for organizing within public K-12 and higher education.