The UH president meets with
regents in a closed-door session
to discuss the findings
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents met behind closed doors for four and a half hours yesterday for its third annual evaluation of UH President Evan Dobelle.
The regents and Dobelle have had a strained relationship since last year's evaluation, when the board gave Dobelle a negative performance review. Dobelle rejected the board's goals and performance expectations for him.
Dobelle, who said in April that he wanted the evaluation process to be open to the public, agreed to keep the meeting closed to allow the regents to talk privately by telephone with Florida-based consultant Robert Atwell, who was hired to conduct the evaluation.
After the meeting, regents had no comment about what was said when Dobelle presented the board with his self-evaluation and a task force made up of five board members presented its findings.
The board also met with auditors who waited outside the meeting room yesterday morning for their turn to speak with the board.
Earlier this year, regents confirmed that the board had commissioned an audit of Dobelle's protocol fund. In last year's evaluation, the board expressed concern over Dobelle's "lavish spending" on travel, which is reimbursed from the fund, and the use of fund money for "inappropriate purchases," citing the purchase of Janet Jackson concert tickets for donors.
Personnel Committee Chairwoman Kitty Lagareta had no comment when asked what the auditors told the board or if they were from the firm that is auditing the protocol fund.
Dobelle, who met with the board for about 90 minutes to present his self-evaluation, expressed hope that he and the board could move forward together after the evaluation is completed.
"We should all be on the same page for the good of the university and the people of Hawaii," he said.
Dobelle also released his self-evaluation to the media. The documents -- more than 500 pages -- touch on his difficult relationship with the board. He noted that in his three years he has served with four different chairpersons and 24 different regents.
"It is important that we come to agreement on clearly stated, 'mutually agreed' to goals," Dobelle wrote.
The documents include the UH strategic plan developed by Dobelle and his administration, reports on increased enrollment, previous self-evaluations, speeches, 230 pages of newspaper and magazine clippings and 69 pages of university press releases.
Over the past three years, Dobelle cited many accomplishments, including turning around morale at the university, the development of a biomedical campus in Kakaako, the six-year labor contract with faculty, the establishment of an Academy for Creative Media, a 50 percent increase in research grants over two years, and a 9 percent increase in enrollment from fall 2001 to fall 2003.
In fund-raising, an area where Dobelle was criticized in last year's audit, the president noted that the university is beginning an effort to raise $200 million by 2007 and has raised $43 million between July 1, 2002 and the end of March.
The board will meet again in two weeks to discuss the findings and could take a vote on the evaluation at that time.