Regents mum onThe search for the next president of the University of Hawaii has been narrowed down to a handful of finalists.
UH says confidentiality is
crucial while a replacement
is chosen for Kenneth Mortimer
By Suzanne Tswei
But the Board of Regents, responsible for selecting the president, declined to reveal how many candidates are in the running and who they are.
The finalists "have all insisted that their candidacy remain confidential since they have yet to appropriately inform their governing board," board Chairwoman Lily Yao said in a written statement.
"As such we ask that we be allowed to honor this expectation of the candidates. It has been very clear to us that any breach in confidentiality will result in our losing these quality candidates," the statement said.
Yao said the search is on schedule to replace Kenneth Mortimer, who will leave at the end of June. The regents said earlier that they plan to name his replacement by April 1.
They met behind closed doors yesterday to receive a report from the advisory committee reviewing 66 applicants who responded to the national search.
The committee, with 17 members drawn from the university and the community, were charged with recommending no fewer than five candidates to the board.
David Iha, board secretary, would not say how many names were presented nor if any of the finalists are from Hawaii. "Let's just say the advisory committee did what they were supposed to," Iha said.
Iha added that "the situation is fluid," with no closing date for applications. Although the finalists have been selected, more names may be added, he said.
"We are still working with the consultants on bringing the search to a timely conclusion," Iha said.
The consulting firm of Heidrick & Struggles, based in Atlanta and Chicago, was hired by the board to help with the search. The firm has declined all comments, deferring to the regents.
Iha said the board realizes that "there's a lot of interest from the faculty and students," but the candidates' wish for privacy must be honored.
Faculty members last month had asked Iha that the regents reveal who the finalists are and bring them to the campuses to meet with faculty before the new president is selected. Iha said there are no plans for meetings with faculty.
"At this point the board asks for everybody's cooperation and understanding" in respecting the confidentiality, Iha said.
The board soon will begin to review the finalists and schedule interviews, Iha said.
University of Hawaii