Mainland college hires Dobelle
Former University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle is taking a new job as president of Westfield State College in Massachusetts.
The college's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer Dobelle, 62, the position on Wednesday after a 20-minute executive session meeting, according to a news release.
His selection must still be approved by the state Board of Higher Education at a meeting today.
Dobelle was one of three finalists for the position after a search committee reviewed 60 applications.
Dobelle is currently president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education.
Thomas J. Foley, chairman of Westfield's Board of Trustees, said in the news release that the board is "enthusiastic" about the prospect of working with Dobelle and has "high expectations."
Dobelle was the controversial president of the 10-campus UH system from 2001 to 2004, when the UH Board of Regents fired him. They later rescinded the firing and allowed him to resign with a $1.6 million settlement.
He also has served as president of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., the City College of San Francisco and Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, Dobelle visited the campus and met with students, faculty, staff and trustees. The trustees also heard comments from faculty, staff and students at an open meeting Wednesday before making their decision.
At the meeting, one student from the class of 2009 said of Dobelle, "It wasn't so much that I agreed with him as I believed in him."
In a news release, Dobelle said, "The honor that the search committee and the board have given to me is one I accept with great passion and devotion to the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Westfield State. I look forward to listening carefully and providing leadership to our academic community."
Westfield State College has about 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students.