Board of Regents discusses Greenwood's appointment

Published On: Oct 12 2012 07:18:18 PM HST
Updated On: Oct 12 2012 10:50:00 PM HST

Board of Regents discusses UH President Greenwood.

HONOLULU -

After about 20 minutes of public testimony, and over an hour behind closed doors, the UH Board of Regents decided not to make a decision over the appointment of UH President MRC Greenwood.

Greenwood arrived about five minutes before the meeting at the UH School of Medicine on Friday.

"I think this current president needs to be given its walking papers.  think she has discredited herself. But I think we need to have much deeper changes," said UH Prof. Noel Kent.

Some testifiers slammed Greenwood for the way she's managed the university, while others credited Greenwood for major accomplishments in recent years, including the successes of the astronomy program at UH, along with Mauna Kea's 30-meter Keck Telescope, for the development of Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, the Palamanui Campus on the Big Island, and much more.

"We are at the cusp of getting a new community college started and it's largely due to (Greenwood's) leadership," said Steve Colon from the Hunt Development group.

"If she is not retained as the president of the university, I'm convinced, from my experience with Mauna Kea, we will lose that opportunity to become among the best institutions as far as research is concerned," said Walter Heen, OMKM Interim Director.

Every year, President Greenwood has received glowing evaluations from the board of regents, but she has yet to be evaluated since the so called Stevie Wonder Blunder, where UH administrators said the university was scammed out of $200,000 for what was supposed to pay for a fundraising concert in August 2012.

Prof. Kent called the fiasco just one example in a history of problems caused by poor management by UH administrators.

"It grieves me to see the university, at this point, held at such low repute, and held in low esteem by the people of Hawaii. Every where I go people ask me what's wrong with these folks at UH?  How stupid and wasteful can you be? It stinks from the top down. We have a credibility gap a mile wide. I hate to say it, but we've become a laughing stalk in some ways. What has brought us to this point is the unwise lack of governance by the president and the board of regents," said Kent, who has taught at UH Manoa for decades.

UH Grad Student Organizer Aaron Levine also criticized Greenwood for poor budgeting, saying "golden parachutes" for administrators should have paid for student services.

"So when you are making your decision on what to do not to just look at the big picture but consider the students and their livelihoods whom UH is supposed to educate," said Levine.

But supporters were equally as vocal, hoping to ease the burn of a glaring mistake.

"This is a great institution that thrives under her leadership. The only thing that stands in her way from further greatness, is if you allow political interference to interrupt what has been a path to greatness. You are going to condemn this institution to mediocrity. You are going to put into the minds of every incoming student, talented faculty member, great administrator down the road the question as to whether UH is committed to greatness or not," said Servco President and former UH Board of Regents member Mark Fukunaga.

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