Beginning in 1984, Don Hall’s directorship of the Institute for Astronomy steered its growth to become one of the leading astronomical research institutes and graduate programs in the world.
Under his 13-year tenure, the number of IfA faculty positions almost doubled, helping the IFA to recruit top quality research staff. As the new 8-10-meter telescopes were built, instrument-building opportunities specified in telescope agreements established the IfA as a major center for instrument development and detector technology.
Negotiating observing time for UH on the new telescopes proved more challenging but Hall successfully negotiated that UH would get 10 percent of the observing time on both the Keck 1 and Gemini-North telescopes, and 15 percent of the time on Keck 2 and the Subaru telescopes.
“The siting of Keck 1, Keck 2, Gemini and the Subaru telescopes on Mauna Kea had a major impact on the Big Island, and led to a very favorable impression of the IfA in the University, in the state, and beyond, The University of Hawaii’s share of these four telescopes is the equivalent of 50 percent of the observing time on an 8–10 meter class telescope but with access to a wider range of capability and instruments.” — Don Hall