Members of the UH Board of Regents Presidential Selection Committee are appearing at community gatherings to solicit input and suggestions from Hawaiʻi residents.
“Selecting a president for the university is the most important task of the Board of Regents,” BOR Chair John Holzman said in a Sept. 10 press release. “We want to take the time to identify the next leader of one of the state’s most visible and valuable institutions and the public’s input has weight with us.”
Holzman chaired the selection committee before assuming leadership for the whole board.
“We’re reaching out because the university has such a huge impact on the state. University of Hawai‘i is not the biggest university of all the country, but it’s a pretty big university for this small state,” Holzman said.
Holzman said the committee is trying to do two things by reaching out to the community: hear what people think about the university and where they want to see it go; and to let people know more about the university and what it does.
The selection committee will be appearing at community groups such as Neighborhood Boards, volunteer and civic clubs, professional organizations, service and church groups, UH alumni and related groups, educational councils and other community organizations to ask Hawaiʻi residents what they would like to see in UH’s next president and the presidential agenda.
“The neighborhood boards are a good place to go because they’re a contact with the neighborhoods and the people there,” Holzman said. “We want to go beyond that. We’re going to look for other organizations too that we can speak to.”
The committee will also be holding presentations on all of the islands.
“The committee, and the entire Board of Regents, knows how important this university is to the people of Hawaiʻi, and we want to hear their suggestions and thoughts on what type of leader we should be looking for,” Committee Chair Carl Carlson said in a press release.
Carlson said the committee hopes to speak with as many residents as possible in the coming months.
“(We) encourage those interested to visit our website for updates and to share ideas with us,” Carlson said, referring to the committee’s website, www.hawaii.edu/presidentialsearch, which features a list of upcoming appearances and ways to contact the committee.
Holzman said the committee will be visiting each of the university system’s 10 campuses so students can voice their opinions.
Richard Mizusawa, Student Caucus representative and president of ASUH, said that students can give input at anytime by emailing the search committee at email@example.com. He has also requested that the committee come speak to the ASUH General Senate in October as well as the UH Student Caucus at its meeting in October.
“Or, students can feel free to chat with me on their thoughts that I can take into account when giving the student perspective on this matter,” Mizusawa said.
Mizusawa said that reaching out to the community gives those who serve on the committee a bigger variety of factors to consider when they make their recommendations to the full BOR.
“I think it's great that the committee is reaching out to the community to solicit input and their opinions because the university president not only serves the students of UH, but also communicates with the outside community as well,” Mizusawa said in an email. “He/she will have to represent the University to them on a variety of topics, so it is important for the community to assist in providing some guidance for the next leader that will run our University.”
The committee’s outreach began on Sept. 3 at UH Mānoa with Chancellor Tom Apple’s campus-wide conversation and was followed by Neighborhood Board appearances at Waiʻanae, ʻĀina Haina and Liliha.
THE SEARCH FOR A PRESIDENT
Holzman said the committee is trying to define what type of person the president should be and where people want the university to be.
The committee will be hiring a consultant to help with the process and has received proposals from companies and individuals.
“It’s a complicated process,” Holzman said. “Almost all the people we’ll be looking at are people who probably already have good jobs, not necessarily looking for a new job. Part of our goal is to persuade them to come to the University of Hawai‘i because we think they can make a big contribution here.”
Holzman said the use of a search firm is still a possibility.
“This is a very, very specialized kind of search,” Holzman said. “So to the degree that we can get professionals who can help us do this, not make decisions for us, but help set up those decisions, we can make the best choices possible.”
The cost of the search firm would come from the cost of running the university, Holzman said.
“We want to try to do everything we possibly can to get the right person,” Holzman said.
Next in the search, the committee will continue to go out into the community and hear as much as it can from the public and then hire a consultant.
“Based on our work with the community, based on our work with the consultant, (we will) start coming together with a profile first of an idea of where we want this university to go, and then secondly have a profile of the type of person that we’re looking for to lead this university,” Holzman said.
The presidential selection committee is chaired by Carlson and includes Regents Jeffrey Acido, Chuck Gee, James Lee, Barry Mizuno, Saedene Ota and Jan Sullivan. The committee also includes community and stakeholder representatives Paul Lococo Jr., All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs; Mizusawa, Student Caucus representative; and Walter Niemczura, UH Administrative, Professional and Technical employees representative. Regents Holzman and Coralie Matayoshi, J. Kuhio Asam, UH Foundation representative, and Dean Maenette Benham, UH Executive and Managerial representative, are the ex-officio non-voting members of the committee.
Current Schedule for Presidential Selection Committee visits:
- Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
Nānākuli Neighborhood Board meeting
Nānāikapono Elementary School Cafeteria
- Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
Kaimukī Neighborhood Board meeting
Kaimukī Christian School
- Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
UH West Oʻahu Campus Conversation
- Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Kapolei Neighborhood Board meeting
Kapolei High School Cafeteria
To view the schedule of the committee’s upcoming outreach, go to www.hawaii.edu/presidentialsearch.