UH Board of Regents receive petition against presidential candidate

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: May 15 2014 08:27:28 PM HST
Updated On: May 15 2014 09:45:04 PM HST

Faculty and students at the University of Hawaii speak out against Francis Wiercinski as a presidential candidate.

HONOLULU -

The pressure and the pushback remain strong against one of the two finalists for the University of Hawaii president's job.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski has an all military background that's just not sitting well with some.

"We believe the Lt. Gen. brings no qualifications to the table regarding the social, cultural and historical specificity of working in a special place like Hawaii," said associate professor Noelani Goodyear-Ka'opua.

People opposed to Wiercinski as a candidate came to present the UH Board of Regents with a 617-person petition. They backed it up with words Thursday and questioned Wiercinski's qualifications and cultural awareness.

"A military institution is a patriarchal hierarchy and doesn't encourage critical thinking, which is the kind of thinking that we want to foster in a university environment," said Tina Grandinetti, a UH Master's student.

But, others on campus think if he's chosen over interim UH President David Lassner, he would do just fine.

"Him having a military background – I don't think it hinders his work here if he gets elected," said UH undergraduate student Taylor Harrs. "I think if he does get chosen or elected he'll do fine as to be expected."

Others say neither candidate is a great choice nor maybe the board should start over.

"We would like to see that the search process gets reinitiated so that we can have candidates that we can have faith in," said Michelle Tigchelaar of the UH Graduate Student Organization.

The regents are still on schedule to make a decision by mid- June after public input.

UH Board of Regents meeting

UH Board of Regents meeting

UH Board of Regents meeting

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