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University of Hawaii system seal with Jean Charlot mural
Bachman Hall mural by Jean Charlot

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) will consider candidates for the stakeholder advisory group that will assist in the search for the next president of the state’s public higher education system. The regents will vote to approve up to 12 candidates for the Presidential Search Advisory Group at a February 16 special presidential search BOR meeting at UH Hilo.

The candidates are being recommended to the board by a group that consists of a representative from each of the four UH governance groups (All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs, University of Hawaiʻi Staff Council, University of Hawaiʻi Student Council and ​​Pūkoʻa Council) and Regent Ernest Wilson and Gabriel Lee, the BOR vice chairs. The selection process for the advisory group was approved January 4 at a special presidential search BOR meeting.

The Presidential Search Advisory Group candidates are:

  • Jaret KC Leong—Director of Mānoa Academy and Academic Pathways; UH Staff Council Co-Chair
  • Erin E. Centeio—UH Mānoa Associate Professor in the College of Education; All Campus Council for Faculty Senate Chairs (ACCFSC) Co-Chair
  • Lindsey Millerd—UH West Oʻahu ASUH President; UH Student Caucus Representative
  • Kamakanaokealoha Aquino—Native Hawaiian Coordinator, Pūko’a Council Representative
  • Dom Bonifacio—Leeward Community College ASUH senator
  • Jerris R. Hedges—UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine Dean Emeritus
  • Brandon Marc T. Higa—Former UH regent, Kapiʻolani Community College Grants Office Director
  • Duane K. Kurisu—Former UH regent, aio Chairman and CEO
  • Tammi Oyadomari-Chun—Hawaiʻi Department of Education Deputy Superintendent of Strategy
  • Dirk Soma—Kauaʻi Community College Associate Professor of Business
  • Livingston “Jack” Wong—Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer
  • Noe Noe Wong-Wilson—Hawaiian Civic Club of Hilo President, ʻĀina Aloha Economic Development Futures Initiative Founding Co-Author

More information on the candidates can be found in the meeting materials. To be considered, candidates had to agree to advise the search committee, be open to receiving recommendations and names, observe confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interest.

The regents say they are committed to an open and inclusive process and will provide all stakeholders—faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, other constituencies—opportunities to share their views in soon-to-be scheduled listening sessions. The board also sent out a short, eight-question survey on the next president available until February 15 to collect data that will be used by the advisory group and selection committee.

The regents will receive an update at the February 16 meeting on the status of the selection of a search firm to assist the Board with the presidential search. The search firm will work with the BOR to develop the profile and to recruit candidates. The regents aim to hire a new president in summer 2024. President David Lassner announced in September that he will retire in 2024.

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