Candidate for UH post sees pluses in education system


POSTED: Wednesday, May 06, 2009

M.R.C. Greenwood says she wants to be the next University of Hawaii president to continue to build a statewide system of both higher and lower education that could be a model for the rest of the nation.

Greenwood said Hawaii is unique in having community colleges, comprehensive universities like UH-Hilo and UH-West Oahu, and the flagship UH-Manoa research institution under one governing board; and one statewide public school system.

If selected, she said she would continue to build on the state's P-20 initiative to encourage students to continue with higher education.

Greenwood, in an editorial board meeting with the Star-Bulletin yesterday, also addressed her resignation in 2005 from her position as University of California provost, the top academic officer in the UC system.

Her resignation came amid an investigation of her role in hiring and approving compensation for a friend and former business partner for a job in the UC system office.

Greenwood said she thought their business dealings—shared ownership of a rental home—were concluded before she approved the hiring and compensation package.

Greenwood said she has admitted to and apologized for the ethical lapse.

“;I've been a senior administrator for over 25 years, investigated by the FBI and CIA,”; she said. “;No one's ever found any ethical lapses before or since. ... The critical issue is how important should it be (in the selection process for UH president).”;

Greenwood, 66, a former chancellor at UC-Santa Cruz and now director of the Foods for Health Initiative at UC-Davis, is the first finalist to visit Hawaii for meetings before the Board of Regents chooses a replacement for David McClain, who will step down July 31.

She said, if selected, she would spend the first few months listening and talking to people before making any major changes.

“;I would have to learn a lot about how business is done in Hawaii,”; she said.

She said the system has a lot of strengths to build on, and sees a major role of the president is to communicate the value of higher education in the state.




Meet the finalists

        Forums will be held with the two UH president finalists:

M.R.C. Greenwood


» Today: 4:30 to 6 p.m., Spalding Hall Room 155 at UH-Manoa, followed by a reception


» Tomorrow: 8:30 to 10 a.m., Campus Center cafeteria, Kauai Community College; and 2:30 to 4 p.m., Pilina Student Lounge, Maui Community College


» Friday: 9:30 to 11 a.m., Hale Kehau Dining Room, UH-Hilo


Robert Jones


» May 11: 4:30 to 6 p.m., Architecture Auditorium, UH-Manoa, followed by a reception


» May 12: 8:30 to 10 a.m., Campus Center cafeteria, Kauai Community College; and 2:30 to 4 p.m., Pilina Multipurpose Room, Maui Community College


» May 13: 9:30 to 11 a.m., Hale Kehau Dining Room, UH-Hilo