Thursday, June 23, 2005

Departing UH chancellor
proud of achievements

He cites improved stats but
says much remains to be done

Peter Englert says he leaves his job as chancellor of the flagship University of Hawaii campus with pride in what has been accomplished.


Peter Englert: He will remain at UH as a tenured member of the faculty

But he says there is also "much unfinished business."

Englert's three-year contract expires July 31 and will not be renewed.

In a written statement titled "New Beginnings," Englert said, "Facilitating change at University of Hawaii is, as some say, 'possibly the toughest job west of the Mississippi.'"

Englert pointed to his accomplishments, including a growth in enrollment from 17,000 to more than 20,000 during his tenure and external research funding growing from less than $200 million to more than $325 million annually.

UH interim President David McClain said he is consulting with Manoa faculty and hopes to have an interim chancellor in place by Aug. 1.

McClain used a sports metaphor to explain the situation.

He compared himself to a manager and Englert to a baseball pitcher who is throwing some strikes to get outs. "You're doing some good things, and the issue is, Are you doing enough good things to sustain and advance the institution?" McClain said.

Faculty reaction was mixed.

"I think that Dr. McClain didn't have much choice. I think he was faced with making a tough decision, but in the final analysis it was one that had to be made," said Roger Lukas, a professor of oceanography.

Jonathan Osorio, director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies, said he was "extremely disappointed" to see the chancellor go. He praised the financial support Englert gave the program and his willingness to listen to its needs.

In February, Englert's proposal to reorganize the Chancellor's Office was approved by the regents, but not without controversy. There was criticism over the $1.5 million cost of the administrative change and over possible cuts to the student services office.

Englert also pushed for a proposal to establish a Navy research center that would bring in about $50 million in military funding, including some classified research.

Students and other opponents of the center occupied McClain's office to protest the proposal.

McClain said the discussion and consultation on the University Affiliated Research Center proposal is continuing and will not be affected by Englert's departure.

Englert will stay at Manoa as a tenured faculty member with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, earning $165,600 a year.

Englert will also get an additional $100,000 a year in research funds for three years.

He said he hopes to continue his research about Mars.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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