From the start of the meeting there were calls for the regents to reconsider hiring a separate chancellor for the University of Hawaii Manoa campus, and paying outgoing chancellor Virgina Hinshaw about $250,000 for a year-long sabbatical.
"Our tuition has just increased and the university is claiming poverty. To pay someone such a large amount of money, which is more than a graduate student makes in a year, in one month -- it is a little irresponsible," said Tim Robinson of the Graduate Student Organization.
"I don't not believe in principle there should be a chancellor for Manoa," said UH faculty union leader J.N. Musto.
But the criticism that it was bad policy for a public university fell on deaf ears.
"That was the right decision. It was well researched, and it was a unanimous decision by the board," said board chairman Eric Martinson.
The board also voted unanimously to pay the new Manoa chancellor Tom Apple about $439,000. That is $100,000 more than his predecessor.
At least two regents were prepared to vote no on Thursday.
"It was my concern on the salary escalation and what it may do to salary compression and it comes at a time when the state is still going through economic difficulties right now," said Chuck Gee.
But after almost four hours behind closed doors, they changed their minds.
The vote was unanimous to support the new chancellor at the new salary.
"It is a risk with great possibilities and great potential to move forward," said Board of Regents member Artemio Baxa.
Instead of a contract, Apple will receive a five year letter of appointment, which is how Greenwood described is the case with chancellors.
"They may be given a five year term but they are evaluated on yearly and serve at the will of the president and the consent of the board
"I do believe Apple is worth every penny we are paying him," Greenwood said.
I hope we will be talking about what will bring to the game so to speak, and not just what he cost.”