The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) determined at a January 4, 2024 special board meeting how the stakeholder advisory group for the search for the next president of the 10-campus system will be developed.
A representative from each of the four UH governance groups (faculty, staff, students and Pūkoʻa Council) and two regents are tasked with forming an advisory group not to exceed 12 total members for recommendation and approval by the full board. The regents voted to have BOR Vice Chairs Ernest Wilson and Gabriel Lee work with the governance groups. The goal is to have the advisory group ready for the full board to vote on at the February 16 BOR meeting at UH Hilo.
The regents also voted to require the group to be open to receiving recommendations and names, and the willingness to observe confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interest. The decisions were made after more than 65 people submitted testimony in writing or testified in person at the board meeting.
“By choosing a committee of the whole approach, all of these conversations are happening in the public sphere, as it should be,” said BOR Chair Alapaki Nahale-a. “I am very happy that our stakeholders are using this opportunity because their feedback is meaningful and impactful. This is the type of engagement that I know the regents are looking forward to in every step of the process to ensure that everyone’s voice continues to be heard.”
Public input encouraged in president search
On December 17, 2023, the BOR asked all stakeholders of the 10-campus system and the general public to complete a short confidential survey on the next president. The eight question survey will be open through February 15 and collect data that will inform the stakeholder committee and the advisory committee.
As of January 4, 837 people had completed the survey, which is part of a listening phase that will include open public forums. The regents say they are committed to providing all stakeholders—faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, other constituencies—an opportunity to share their views on a new president.
The BOR set most of the hiring process at a December 7 BOR meeting that includes hiring a search firm with access to Hawaiʻi expertise and/or Hawaiʻi focus by January 31, 2024. The firm will conduct a national search and recruit candidates for consideration.The new president will succeed President David Lassner, who announced in September that he will retire in 2024.