Board of Regents approve search committees for new UH president

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The search is on for a new University of Hawaii president.

On Thursday, the university’s Board of Regents named two committees to begin the search for an interim and permanent president of the university system.

The consensus among the Regents seemed to be that the interim president could come from inside the UH system. That was the case with David McClain. What are the Regents looking for in either position?

“We’re looking for people who know Hawaii, who love Hawaii, who are passionate about our university, who are passionate about education in our state,” said John Holzman, head of the UH Board of Regents.

That sentiment was echoed by more than one of the regents.

“So, I think we really need to step back right now and find that someone I think that’s familiar with Hawaii,” said Coralie Matayoshi, UH Board of Regents.

During the public session, more than one regent emphasized the importance of hiring a president who is not looking for a big salary.

“I think that’s right. We’re hiring somebody who’s committed to the university, to the students, to the faculty, to the researchers, to the state. Yes, that’s what we want,” Holzman said.

“This is a prestigious job. We don’t need somebody who wants to do it for money, for power, or prestige. So in their heart to actually make the university a better place,” said Jan Sullivan, UH Board of Regents.

Regent Holzman said it is unlikely the interim president would be named permanent president of the UH system.

“The sense of the board at this time is that it is not one of the best practices to have the interim apply. The interim is the interim,” Holzman said.

The Regents say they have no timetable for picking a new president.

Their next meeting is scheduled for July.

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