Hawaii Pacific University announced Wednesday that senior administrator Sam Moku will leave the university at the end of the month to become Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s chief of staff.
Moku was most recently executive director of Athletics, in charge of the HPU Sharks athletic program.
He initially joined HPU in 2013 to lead the university’s government relations after serving as director of the Department of Community Services for the City and County of Honolulu and executive director for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, according to his HPU biography.
Moku, a graduate of Damien High School with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, also served as vice president of University Relations at HPU.
HPU President John Gotanda congratulated Moku and noted his impact on the university at a pivotal time, particularly as a liaison with government and community leaders, and in his work with private donors.
“Sam has been instrumental in opening doors and building bridges for HPU as we have made our move to become a vibrant, urban campus, serving our community and state from our downtown Honolulu location,” said Gotanda in a news release. “While we will miss Sam greatly, we look forward to working with him and Mayor Blangiardi in new and exciting ways in our mutual service to our city and county.”
Moku thanked students, staff and colleagues at HPU.
“Mahalo to so many people throughout my time here at HPU, from our wonderful students and student athletes and their families, to treasured staff and faculty colleagues, and President Gotanda and President Bannister before him,” Moku said in a statement. “It’s been a privilege to play a part in helping this university as it comes of age and, as President Gotanda often says, ‘Once a Shark, always a Shark.’”
Lauren Conching, currently assistant athletics director and head coach of women’s tennis, serves as interim athletics director while a national search to fill the position is underway.