Opportunities abound at the University of Hawaii
May 15, 2013 by Armand B. Alacbay
Last week’s announcement that University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood will be retiring comes as no surprise to those watching the already tumultuous year at the state’s public university system. Last December in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser op-ed, ACTA voiced concerns about the leadership problems at the University of Hawaii and the “culture of deference” to the university’s chief executive by the Board of Regents, an unease shared by state legislators conducting hearings to understand a botched fundraiser in which the university lost $200,000 to an alleged con artist posing as a promoter for entertainer Stevie Wonder.
In the months following, the board has demonstrated long-overdue leadership identifying better ways the board can exercise its fiduciary responsibility for major financial decisions, and refining its role to protect the public interest in the oversight of a massive public enterprise. In selecting a new president, the regents now face the most important decision any governing board can make, one that will impact the state for years to come. The announced resignation presents a superb opportunity for the Board to build upon its laudable progress.