University of Hawaiʻi System President M.R.C. Greenwood will retire from the presidency of Hawaiʻi’s public land grant institution in September of this year, she announced on Monday, May 6.
“This university has accomplished an amazing amount in a rather short and extremely challenging time,” said Greenwood. “As the economy shows signs of improvement, I am proud of how well we’ve coped with the greatest recession in modern memory and serious state spending restrictions. Through the support and hard work of our faculty, staff and friends we’ve been able to accommodate the largest student enrollment in history, streamlined course availability and transfers, incurred no lost days of instruction, and maintained a very robust research portfolio.”
Greenwood’s reasons for making the decision are personal, health-related and family oriented.
In responding to her retirement announcement, Board of Regents Chair Eric Martinson said, “MRC Greenwood’s accomplishments have been outstanding. The university’s reputation has advanced nationally and internationally, the strategic goals set by the Board of Regents have advanced, and she helped navigate the university through one of our nation’s and state’s most severe recessions. She’s been instrumental in putting the university on the path to increased cooperation with the business community and has helped build recognition of the importance of the university for the economic engine it represents for Hawaiʻi.”
During Greenwood’s tenure, a number of major systemwide projects were undertaken including the UH Hilo Hawaiian Language building, the UH Cancer Center, Windward Community College’s learning center, UH West Oahu campus, the UH Maui College campus center, and the new information technology building under construction at UH Manoa.
Martinson also noted substantial progress under her leadership of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope on Maui, and the West Hawaiʻi Palamanui campus of Hawaiʻi Community College, set to break ground in late May.
“She will leave behind an extraordinarily solid legacy and we look forward to her continuing service as a faculty member to the University of Hawaiʻi,” said Martinson. Plans for replacing Greenwood will be under discussion by the Board of Regents in the coming months.
In a message to the entire UH ʻohana and friends, Greenwood thanked the faculty, staff, administration and students for a full and fruitful four years as president. “I have never known a better or more willing group of individuals. I am proud of what we accomplished under very difficult circumstances. I am looking forward to my retirement to once again be “grandma” and to write, teach and do some policy work.”
Greenwood is an internationally known researcher and scientist, a policy leader in higher education, the incoming chair of the board of directors of the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU) and a former associate director and consultant to the White House Office of Science and Technology under President William J. Clinton.
Greenwood plans to take an unpaid leave upon her retirement and will return to her tenured faculty position after that. She was hired in 2009 after a national search and took office in August of that year.