UH regents shift focus to budget


POSTED: Thursday, June 11, 2009

Now that the decision is made to hire M.R.C. “;Marci”; Greenwood as the 14th president of the University of Hawaii, regents, administrators and even some critics of the selection process say it's time to move forward and deal with the financial crisis facing the university.





        » Age: 66

» Background: Former provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in the University of California system; former White House associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; UC-Santa Cruz chancellor from July 1996 to April 2004; elected to the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies; fellow, past president and board chairwoman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science




UH President David McClain, who is leaving on July 31, pledged to work with Greenwood on a smooth transition.

Greenwood, 66, will start sometime before Aug. 24, the first day of classes at UH, but will be briefed regularly on issues facing the 10-campus UH system.

In a videoconference yesterday with reporters, Greenwood said among her first priorities will be the university's need to cut its budget by more than $100 million over the next two years and looking at what the university can do to preserve the culture and language of native Hawaiians.

“;I know this is going to be a painful time for the university, and we will work together to find out what the deepest priorities of the university are and how to save that,”; Greenwood said.

Greenwood will make a little more than $475,000 a year under a three-year contract that can be renewed annually for two more years. McClain makes $414,096 a year.

When the search began last year, the regents approved a salary range of between $450,000 and $550,000 for McClain's successor, based on a salary survey of jobs with similar responsibilities.

Board Chairman Allan Landon said the regents tried to balance the need to attract the best candidates while being mindful of the university's finances.

;[Preview]  University Of Hawaii Selects New President

After a long process, the UH Board of Regents welcomed Dr. “;Marcy”; Greenwood as the new President.

Watch ]


Greenwood, a longtime administrator in the University of California system, was a controversial choice, in part because she does not have ties to Hawaii and because she resigned from her position as provost of the UC system in 2005 during an investigation into her hiring of a friend and business partner for a high-paying job in the UC system office.

Critics called for the regents to extend the search after the University of Minnesota's Robert Jones, the only other finalist, dropped out.

“;I still think it was a mistake not to provide the regents with more choices, but now that she has been selected, she should be given support to do the job,”; said former Gov. Ben Cayetano in an e-mail.

Landon said Greenwood is the “;best fit”; for the job, citing her qualifications as a research scientist and university administrator.

“;We learned very quickly we're not going to have the designer candidate (who had all the qualities people were looking for),”; Landon said. “;So we sought balance and Dr. Greenwood emerged.”;

Landon said the regents expect Greenwood to build on McClain's accomplishments.

Greenwood praised the current UH leadership team and said at this point she has no plans to bring in new executives.

Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, a professor of Hawaiian studies at UH-Manoa, said native Hawaiian groups will support Greenwood despite her testimony earlier in the day urging the regents to appoint an interim president from among the current UH administration.

“;There's no use fighting over it,”; she said.

Kame'eleihiwa said she has faith that Landon and the regents have the university's best interests at heart.

“;Part of our mission is to educate people about the Hawaiian language and culture,”; Kame'eleihiwa said, adding that they will help Greenwood learn about native Hawaiian issues.

Landon said he is confident that Greenwood has learned from her self-admitted mistake in participating in the hiring of a friend and co-owner of a rental property for a job in the UC system office.

“;I consider myself a person of deep personal integrity,”; Greenwood said. “;I've apologized for it. I paid for it. I don't think I'll ever make that mistake again.”;





        Compensation package for new University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood:

» Salary: $475,008*


» Expense account: $150,000 from the UH Foundation


» Relocation expenses: Up to $35,000


» Housing: Use of College Hill and a $5,000-a-month housing allowance until renovation of College Hill is completed and the home is ready for occupancy.


» Other compensation: Car allowance of $326 a month and on-campus parking.


» Term: Three years with two annual renewal options.


» Tenure: On appointment, subject to prior application and approval process


» Separation: One year's pay in the event of termination without cause.


* Salary will be reduced by the same percentage as other UH salaries when executives are asked to take a pay cut to deal with the budget crisis.