UH Regents Look Toward Local Presidential Search Firm

The group of University of Hawaii regents tasked with guiding the selection of a new UH president is inching closer to finalizing hiring plan.

The group met this afternoon to discuss recommendations about topics including selection criteria and the use of a search firm, all while reiterating its conclusion last month that the university’s next president should have “strong ties to Hawaii.”

The prospective search firm, regents said, should reflect that mission. Though they didn’t stipulate it at today’s meeting, most agreed that the board will hire a local search firm. The firm’s work will likely be supplemented by the support of a national consultant who can “go out there and shake the bushes.”

Regents concluded that the procurement proposal for the firm should include strict guidelines that by nature would exclude most national headhunters. 

Meantime, the regents voted to create a 12-member committee to lead the presidential search. 

The decision came after much deliberation over how many members should be on the committee and whether certain stakeholder groups — namely the University of Hawaii Foundation and UH executive and managerial staff — should have representation. 

They ultimately chose to cap membership at 12, with one representative each from the UH Foundation and high-level administrative staff participating as non-voting members.

The voting members include the following:

  • Seven regents
  • One member representing the student caucus
  • One member representing the All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs
  • One member representing the administrative, professional and technical staff

Regents also said they had drafted a document containing search criteria but emphasized that it only reflects preliminary recommendations. The draft should be available on the board’s website shortly. 

Current UH President MRC Greenwood abruptly announced in May that she’s retiring after the summer, two years before her contract expires.

Photo by Marco Bellucci via Flickr. 

— Alia Wong

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