Wednesday, June 22, 2005

UH leaves Manoa
chancellor in limbo

University officials are
curiously tight-lipped
about Englert's future

Chancellor Peter Englert's days at the University of Hawaii-Manoa appear to be numbered.


Peter Englert: A Dobelle hire, his contract expires July 31 with no word of an extension

His three-year contract expires July 31, and no one is talking about his future beyond that date.

UH interim President David McClain would only say Englert is currently chancellor and that his contract ends next month.

Board of Regents Chairwoman Patricia Lee said the board would not be voting to fire Englert.

"That's not the board's decision," she said, noting that it's up to McClain to bring a contract extension before the board.

Lee would not say, however, if Englert has been offered an extension.

UH-Manoa public affairs Director Jim Manke also said he had "no comment on the status of the chancellor's contract beyond July 31."

Englert, hired by former UH President Evan Dobelle, came to UH-Manoa from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, in August 2002 at a salary of $254,000 a year.

At yesterday's board meeting, Jon Osorio, acting director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies, urged the board to give Englert a three-year contract extension.

Osorio, speaking for the Kuali'i Native Hawaiian Advisory Council at UH-Manoa, said Englert has "excelled in his commitment to creating the Manoa campus as a native Hawaiian place of learning." He noted that the chancellor has pushed for budget transparency and improved communication on campus.

He also noted that the UH-Manoa "is still adjusting to the removal of the previous (UH system) president under international media attention."

Dobelle was fired by the board in June 2004. But after negotiations between lawyers and mediation, his firing was rescinded, and Dobelle resigned with a $1 million severance package and a two-year faculty research position at $125,000 a year.

Englert's supporters praised him as an effective administrator who offered hope for change.

But his style rubbed some faculty leaders and staff the wrong way. A May 23, 2003, letter signed by 11 College of Social Sciences chairmen and directors asked for a meeting to discuss his decision-making and concerns about the consequences of the decisions.

University of Hawaii

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