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Bachman Hall, administrative home of the UH System

The Candidate Advisory Council (CAC) for the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents has presented a list of candidates to Gov. David Ige to fill two City and County of Honolulu seats and one Hawaiʻi County seat for 5-year appointments and one student seat for a two-year appointment, beginning July 1, 2016, subject to confirmation by the HawaiʻiHawaiʻi State Senate.

The finalists for these seats are:

City and County of Honolulu

Currently filled by Regent Jan Sullivan.

  1. Brandon Marc Higa
  2. Kim Coco Iwamoto
  3. William W. Milks
  4. Jan N. Sullivan

City and County of Honolulu

Currently filled by Regent Coralei Matayoshi, who did not request reconsideration for her seat.

  1. Russell R. Grunch
  2. Luanna H. Meyer
  3. Russel S. Nagata
  4. Michelle A. Tagorda

Hawaiʻi County

Currently filled by Regent Wayne Higaki.

  1. William C. Bergin
  2. Wayne S. Higaki
  3. Sean A. Kirkpatrick
  4. Melvyn K. Sakaguchi


Currently filled by Regent Michelle Tagorda.

  1. Brandon Marc Higa
  2. Jori-Anne J. Jasper
  3. Priya M. Rashid
  4. Michelle A. Tagorda

About the recruitment process

The CAC began accepting applications to fill these vacancies on the board in early fall by personally recruiting individuals and contacting and encouraging government, business and community leaders to nominate candidates. The council also placed print advertisements and issued news releases encouraging applications.

As part of the CAC recruitment process, members actively solicited input from current and former university regents; UH students, faculty, and administrators; government, business and community leaders; and the general public. These outreach efforts enhanced the recruitment process and helped focus the search for candidates who possessed skills that further complement and increase board synergy and enhance the board’s governing abilities.

All applications were thoroughly and comprehensively reviewed and screened by all CAC members. 46 applications (39% from women) were received. The council interviewed 21 applicants for 45-60 minutes each. Of those, 14 finalists (43% women) were selected based on each candidate’s experiences, qualifications, skills, their understanding and personal pledge to invest significant time to serve as a university regent, and the perspectives they shared during their interview.

Candidate Advisory Council Chair L. Thomas Ramsey said, “We believe each finalist offers exceptional and complementing skills that will further strengthen board governance and synergy, serve as a tremendous resource for the university and its president, and help guide and focus the institution’s strategic directions in teaching, research, and community service.”

A history of service

In 2013, Act 72 modified the composition of the CAC. As a result, this is the final list prepared by four of the council’s seven constituent-based members. Since the CAC’s inception in 2007, it has submitted 12 lists to the governor to fill 45 vacancies on the Board of Regents. It did so by screening 413 applications (30% of the applications received were from women), conducting one-on-one interviews with 208 applicants, and submitting 120 finalists to the appointing governors (29% of the finalists were women) for their consideration. View a summary of the CAC’s work (PDF).

Vice Chair Blanco commended CAC Chairman L. Thomas Ramsey and member Karl Fujii for their valuable service and leadership. Both these individuals have served since the council’s inception.

The Candidate Advisory Committee is statutorily responsible for conducting recruitment efforts, accepting and screening applications, interviewing candidates and submitting to the governor the names of nominees willing to serve as regents of the University of Hawaiʻi System, which is a voluntary non-compensated public appointment.

Candidate lists are compiled after a comprehensive review and selection process, which is solely and exclusively merit-based and according to procedures set forth in state statutes and the council’s administrative rules.

“The Candidate Advisory Council expresses its deepest gratitude to each and every individual who took the time to offer to serve the public as a UH Regent,” said Ramsey. “We are pleased to submit these names for consideration to the governor and the state senate. The University of Hawaiʻi is our only public system of higher education in the state and, as such, plays a critical role in shaping the future of our island home. The CAC looks for outstanding individuals who have achieved much in their chosen professions, and who are willing to donate their time, experience and wisdom toward guiding UH to a brighter future for all in Hawaiʻi.”

The Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Hawaiʻi and consists of fifteen (15) members. Representation includes seven (7) from the City and County of Honolulu; two (2) from Hawaiʻi County; two (2) from Maui County; one (1) from Kauai County; two (2) At Large; and one (1) University of Hawaiʻi student.

Members of the Board of Regents and the CAC serve voluntarily and are not paid.

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