Un-Presidented - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

June 15, 2009

Un-Presidented

Some people are decrying the decision made last week on our new University of Hawaii president.  Some question an episode in her past, some question the supposed lack of local candidates, some question the final verdict since two other finalist dropped out.

Have you ever been part of a selection committee, tasked with a difficult and important choice?  Have you ever vetted candidates throughout the arduous process, knowing that your actions would be looked at through the prism of the media and public opinion?  Have you ever been in a position to choose the best candidate faced with the absolute facts placed in front of you, rather than veering down a road of emotions based on perceived opinions?  It's easy to suggest a local candidate would be best, even logical sometimes, but that's true only if the best and most qualified candidate for a job is, in fact, a local option.

An integral knowledge of the inner workings of our state might be a key criterion for a UH president, as, unfortunately, politics play too large a role in the job, but does that mean that a newcomer stepped in educational bureaucracy cannot learn and grasp that reality here?  We've had non-local mayors and governors many times before; obviously, they got to go through a longer learning curve in those positions, but they seemed to be able to comprehend the nuances.  Let's assume the best choice was made and support our new university president.  After all, it's our university, and we need it to be the best it can be through our actions and words.  Think about it...