UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
David McClain hugged wife Wendie yesterday after he was named University of Hawaii president.
UH, McClain sign 3-year deal
The new president sets more autonomy as a university goal
NOW that he's no longer an interim leader, new University of Hawaii President David McClain outlined a vision for the university that he said will be a "catalyst for change" in the state.
ANNUAL SALARY: $360,000 | DURATION: March 1, 2006-July 31, 2009 | HOUSING: Free use of Manoa's College Hill mansion | CAR: $326 monthly and parking spot | EXPENSE ACCOUNT: For UH business for him and wife | POST-PRESIDENCY: $250,000 year's sabbatical; tenured professorship at $250,000 per school year|
After about 45 minutes of closed-door discussion yesterday, nine members of the Board of Regents voted unanimously to offer McClain a $360,000 contract to lead the 50,000-student, 10-campus UH system until July 31, 2009. The salary is a raise of about $19,000 over his pay as interim president, a post he has held since August 2004.
During a statement to the board and a news conference following the meeting, McClain, 59, said he wants to make UH more autonomous, improve its facilities (including housing for faculty and students), redefine the roles of the UH system and individual campuses, and continue working on a strategic plan for the university.
"There's a lot to do inside the university to make us more entrepreneurial, more responsive ... Our community has always needed us for nearly a century. We've been the major agent for change in our community," McClain said.
McClain said he hopes to spend more time raising money for the university's $200 million Centennial Campaign to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the university in 2007.
It will be easier to raise money now that the interim is no longer in front of his title, he said.
McClain is continuing some of the initiatives started by his predecessor Evan Dobelle, like the P-20 program to create a seamless system of public education from preschool to college.
But he also pointed to his "access to success" initiative to increase the number of Hawaii students who attend and graduate from college.
"This university needs to be as autonomous and accountable as we can be. We need to be flexible. We need to live by our wits," McClain said.
McClain's salary is $82,000 a year less than that of Dobelle, who became one of the highest paid university presidents when UH hired him in 2001. The salary is slightly less than the median for a chief executive of a university system, according to Kitty Lagareta, the regents' chairwoman.
It also provides McClain with a severance of one-year's pay if he involuntarily leaves the university before the contract expires. Dobelle's contract called for an incentive fund payment and for the payment of the remaining balance in the seven-year agreement -- about $2.3 million at the time Dobelle was fired from the university in June 2004.
The university and Dobelle later negotiated a $1.05 million severance payment, payment of $290,000 for his attorney fees, plus a two-year faculty contract at $125,000 a year. Dobelle resigned as part of the settlement.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
David McClain listened as University of Hawaii regents voted unanimously yesterday to appoint him president.
McClain, Lagareta and regent Alan Landon signed the new contract after the meeting at Honolulu Community College. Most of the eight speakers were in favor of offering McClain the job, but two were opposed, citing a need to conduct a full search to be sure McClain is the best candidate.
UH journalism professor Bev Keever asked the board for an investigation into alleged misconduct over McClain's recommendation to go forward with a controversial Navy research center.
Keever also complained about the board's discussion of the contract in secret and that the board did not release details of the contract to the public for input before voting on it.
Lagareta said the board met in executive session because it did not ask for McClain's permission to waive his privacy rights and McClain did not arrive at the meeting until after the board went into the session.
Other speakers like Kaipo Pomaikai, director of the Waianae Maritime Academy, said there was no need to spend money on a search because McClain was the best candidate. Pomaikai cited McClain's support for his program offered through Leeward Community College.