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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (October 19, 2000 – Pacific Business Center)---Dr. Failautusi Avegalio, Jr., adjunct professor for business and industrial relations at the College of Business Administration (CBA), University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, has been named director for the Pacific Business Center Program.

"Dr. Avegalio has a profound understanding of the economic development needs of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Island territories and nations served by the center. We are truly fortunate to have him as leader of this important program," said Dr. David McClain, dean of the college and First Hawaiian Bank distinguished professor of leadership and management. The college oversees this grant program for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

Dr. Avegalio, or "Tusi" as he prefers to be called, has over 25 years of experience in teaching, management and consulting for multi-national companies and banks in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands. He taught in the CBA management department from 1989 to 1992 as its first tenure-track professor from Oceania, a post he resigned to serve as president of the American Samoa Community College from 1993 to 1997. As president, he brought the college greater institutional autonomy from the government. More recently, he was a research fellow at the East West Center’s Pacific Islands Development Program in 1998, and resumed teaching at CBA in 1999.

"I’m truly honored to have been selected as the Center’s director," said Tusi. "It has developed a fine reputation over its 16-year history, and I look forward to advancing its vision even further. The program is well-positioned to complement Dean McClain’s vision of providing the Pacific with a world-class business school, thoroughly engaged in entrepreneurial and global business development. With this in mind, I firmly believe the Center can help communities strengthen their economies through local capacity development, and that economic development strategies can build on existing traditional strengths, mutual respect, and collaboration."

Tusi, a native of American Samoa, received a BS in education and a BA in social science from Emporia State University, Kansas in 1974. He received an MA from Truman State University, Kirksville Missouri in 1978 and a doctorate in educational administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in 1987. He is also a Polynesian alii, holding the traditional title of Papalii from Savaii, Samoa.

Dr. Tusi is currently completing a book on the impact of western-style management practices on Pacific Island cultures. As an advocate of social responsibility, Tusi also volunteers as a consultant for such organizations as Laie Elementary School, Queen Lilioukalani Children’s Center, Samoan Service Providers Association, and the Pacific Gateway Center.

NOTE: The Pacific Business Center operates under a technical assistance grant from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, with additional funding provided by participating Pacific Island governments. It is one of over 50 university centers nation-wide, which provides direct technical and management assistance to businesses, community development organizations and government agencies, to foster economic development and expand employment opportunities in Hawai‘i and the American Affiliated Pacific Islands (Territory of American Samoa, Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, and Republic of the Marshall Islands.

For more information about the Pacific Business Center and Dr. Tusi, visit the PBCP website: www.cba.hawaii.edu/pbcp/

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