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David Lassner
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David Lassner

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents appoints David Lassner as UH president. Lassner will be UH System’s 15th president.

The regents by a vote of 11 to 2 with 2 abstentions appointed Lassner as the next president of the University of Hawaiʻi System at a special board meeting today. The board discussed extensively its thoughts on the 11-month search process for the next president, which involved extensive community outreach and feedback from the public on what it wants to see in the next university leader.

Board Chair John Holzman said, “We had two extremely competent and qualified finalists and given another time and set of circumstances, Frank Wiercinski might indeed have been the overwhelming choice. But for where the university is now, and the road we have ahead to rebuild public trust, accountability and transparency, David Lassner is the leader we need.”

Joining Holzman in the vote for Lassner were Vice Chairs James Lee and Saedene Ota, Regents’ Committee on Presidential Selection Chair Carl Carlson and Regents Chuck Gee, Jan Sullivan, Eugene Bal, Jeffrey Acido, John Dean, Randy Moore, and Barry Mizuno who participated via live Polycom link from a conference room at New York University, where he was on a planned trip.

Regents Tom Shigemoto and Coralie Matayoshi voted for Lt. Gen. Wiercinski and Regents Ben Kudo and Jeffrey Portnoy abstained from voting for either candidate, citing concerns with the selection process itself.

Lassner said, “I give my best regards and utmost respect to Frank Wiercinski for participating in this open process and for his willingness to serve. I am humbled and honored by the trust being placed in me by the Board of Regents. I pledge to listen, learn and collaborate to achieve excellence at UH as we execute on our shared vision to serve all the people of Hawaiʻi in a manner that exemplifies superb stewardship of public resources.”

Regents worked out the following terms of appointment in executive session after the public discussion and vote. They include:

  • $375,000 annual salary
  • Term: continuous with annual review
  • Sub-committee of the board to negotiate terms of the appointment
  • Delegation to chair of board to execute agreed upon terms

The appointment is effective July 1, 2014.

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