Campus public forums for UH president finalists set for May 6-9

May 4, 2014  |   |  9 Comments
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From left, UH Interim President David Lassner and Retired Lt. General Francis Wiercinski.

From left, UH Interim President David Lassner and Retired Lt. General Francis Wiercinski.

Beginning Tuesday, May 6, finalists for the position of president of the University of Hawaiʻi System—Interim President David Lassner and Lt. General Francis Wiercinski—will be visiting UH campuses statewide throughout the month of May, participating in campus public forums and meetings with students, faculty and the community. Following these visits, the Board of Regents hopes to select a president in June 2014.

Campus public forums will begin on Oʻahu, Tuesday, May 6 through Friday, May 9. The Oʻahu forums will be followed by public receptions. The Oʻahu forums and receptions are open to the public and will offer the opportunity to ask questions of the finalists and learn more about their background and experience. Other business forums and meetings will be scheduled throughout the month to meet community leaders and other constituencies.

Download the candidate bios—Lassner (PDF) and Wiercinski (PDF).

The public schedule

Interim President David Lassner

  • Oʻahu: Wednesday, May 7, 12–1:30 p.m., Leeward Community College Theatre

     Watch the video

     Friday, May 9, 5–6:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Architecture Auditorium (public reception to follow, 6:30–8 p.m.)

     Watch the video

  • Island of Hawaiʻi: Friday, May 9, 8–9:30 a.m., University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo University Classroom Building (UCB), Room 100
  •  Video coming soon

  • Kauaʻi: Thursday, May 8, 5–7 p.m., Kauaʻi Community College Cafeteria
  •  Watch the video

  • Maui: Thursday, May 8, 8–9:30 a.m., Maui College Leis Family Class Act Restaurant

     Watch the video

Lt. General Francis Wiercinski

  • Oʻahu: Tuesday, May 6, 5–6:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Architecture Auditorium (public reception to follow, 6:30–8 p.m.)

     Watch the video

     Friday, May 9, 9–10:30 a.m., Leeward Community College Theatre

  •  Watch the video

  • Island of Hawaiʻi: Friday, May 9, 5–7 p.m., University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo University Classroom Building (UCB), Room 100
  •  Video coming soon

  • Kauaʻi: Thursday, May 8, 8–9:30 a.m., Kauaʻi Community College Cafeteria
  •  Watch the video

  • Maui: Thursday, May 8, 5–7 p.m., Maui College Leis Family Class Act Restaurant
  •  Watch the video

Arrangements are being made to provide free parking, and to live stream the open forums on the internet and to post them in their entirety for later viewing.

An online survey will be available for those who would like to provide feedback on the finalists. Survey responses will be compiled and provided to the Board of Regents to assist in making its decision.

For more information about the UH presidential search and specific locations of the public appearances, visit the President Search website.

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Category: Community, Governance

Comments (9)

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  1. Fata Simanu-Klutz says:

    UH deserves someone who understands the needs of the faculty and students and the interim president is a better fit for that. President Lasner has been in the system long enough to know the functions of the office as well as the cultures of Hawaii.

    • Tanea Dalpivo says:

      I also agree with Fata Simanu-Klutz.

      President Lasner has been working in the UH system, and therefore a better candidate for the position.

  2. Nate Nicholson says:

    Both Candidates have experience working on the islands, please check the bios.

    However, LTG Wiercinski, has had a much broader work experience that include demonstrated leadership, as indicated by his Command positions at, the US Army Pacific at Ft Shafter, HI, U.S. Army Japan, and the 25th ID at Schofield Barracks. Additionally he has managed a business, which in my opinion is about as important as his demonstrated leadership in the military. So he is my preferred choice.

    • R Tolentino says:

      I agree Nate but Lt General Wiercinski will need to have a compelling argument that his broader military experience applies to higher education. I give him a lot of credit but he does not have the tools and experience to become UH President. He needs more substantial background in education other than his military education. As a former military officer, my advice to him would be to drop the Lt General and just be Francis Wiercincki.

  3. Rosina Ho says:

    I think it is important to think about the long term results and who can be a leader and take the UH
    to a higher level.
    Frank, is a solid down to earth person who brings so much to the table they should be so lucky to have
    a man of his background and education to even consider this position.In my opinion the UH needs a transfusion of New blood.This is a man that would not be swayed but a man that will stand strong
    for all.

    • Nanea Clemens says:

      LTG(R)Wiercinski will be a great President for the University of Hawaii! His leadership skills will no doubt be what the University has been lacking for years now. I feel UH is ready for change, and LTG(R)Wiercinski is the man to do it!

  4. Ai Jenko says:

    David Lassner has already demonstrated that he is an effective leader of the University and has already brought positive and tangible results to many of the challenges facing the institution. He is not more of the same and does not come from the mold of his predecessors. He brings a remarkable pragmatic approach to the position, something uncharacteristic of past UH presidents perhaps with the exception of David McClain. He has the support of faculty, researchers, staff, students, legislators and many constituencies including the Hawaiian community across the islands as someone they can entrust with moving the institution foward in a positive way. While Frank Wiercinski has the type of leadership skills that fit well with the military and perhaps some types of business, he has already shown he has little knowledge of UH and the complexities of the institution. He has not shown that he has the capacity for both the executive leadership role and let’s face it, the acadmeic and political akamai necessary. His remarks in the public forums so far have only demonstrated a very superficial understanding of Hawaii and it’s people. He is not prepared for leading higher education in Hawaii. He is a good man, but not a good fit to lead UH.

  5. Leon Combray says:

    Neither candidate is sufficiently credentialed to hold the most important educational job in the entire state, and for that matter, the entire Pacific Rim. Why do we only get to pick between two white men from the mainland? Where are the women? Where is the diversity? At least Lassner has a PhD. The nomination of the Lt. General is an absolute travesty– this man know NOTHING about Hawaii, or Higher Education. As for his ‘leadership’ skills– professors and students don’t obey orders like soldiers.

    • William Moekahi Steiner says:

      I agree that it appears both men would need to go a long way to win the understanding and approval of the residents of the State of Hawai’i. I do not know the second candidate, but I do know David Lassner. He always comes across as very logical and is hard working and intelligent and believes in science to answer problems. But I know from personal experience that he does not have a true understanding of what is Hawaiian. I sat once in a meeting where he was in attendance and it was obvious he supported GMO approaches to engineering plants including the support, at one time at least, of engineering taro. In our small, isolated state we need to know where these candidates stand with respect to conservation issues, sustainability issues, and cultural issues. Where is the information and insight on this? The UH system is the lead for developing the information we need to keep our state viable and carry it and our children into the future so we should not short the leadership there.

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