UH's Greenwood faces possible no confidence faculty vote - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH's Greenwood faces possible no confidence faculty vote

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood, who has come under criticism for her handling of the failed Stevie Wonder concert and its aftermath, could face a "no confidence" vote before the UH Manoa Faculty Senate in November.

"President Greenwood has lost our confidence.  We no longer have confidence in her leadership and we would like her to resign immediately," said 40-year UH ethnic studies professor Noel Kent, who proposed the "no confidence" vote at the senate's first meeting of the school year on Wednesday.

"What we're seeing is a crisis of credibility," Kent said. The university is really experiencing a crisis of belief in the people we need to believe in our university. Those are our taxpayers, those are our students, those are our citizens." 

In reaction, the UH released a statement that said, "President Greenwood has the deepest respect for the faculty. She would be happy to meet with any faculty senate at any time." 

Each of UH ten campuses has a faculty senate.  If the UH Manoa faculty senate approves holding the no confidence vote at its next meeting in mid October all 86 faculty senate members will vote on the matter in November. 

"An assertion of no confidence is not something faculties across the country take lightly," said Bonnyjean Manini, head of the Faculty Senate that represents about 2,200 faculty members on the UH's flagship Manoa campus.  "There is clearly enough that has happened in the last year to give reason for faculty members to feel that we need to have a discussion about this issue."  

Greenwood said an accreditation team visited the UH system this past week and its preliminary report speaks very highly of her leadership and the direction of the university.  A UH spokeswoman did not immediately respond to Hawaii News Now's request for a copy of that preliminary report. 

But Kent said many faculty, staff and students have a different view. 

"They really feel there's a sort of chaos going on throughout the whole system, especially at the top, at the level of the regents and also the president.  We need fresh leadership," Kent said. "She's not visionary leader.  She's not a leader who has any real coherent policies to improve our university and bring our university forward.  It's a sort of tired, stale old programmatic approach to what we're doing." 

"There has been a lot of dissatisfaction among faculty and staff with Greenwood's leadership for a long time.  And this has crystallized things.  This whole scandal and the lack of any kind of effective response," Kent added. 

Meanwhile, State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D-Moanalua, Aiea, Halawa Valley) spent Friday going over documents provided by the UH as she prepared for Monday afternoon's hearings into the failed Stevie Wonder concert.  Kim is chairing the Senate's special committee on accountability, which will hear testimony from Greenwood and other top UH officials starting at 1 p.m. Monday. 

"I'm hoping that we can finally get answers.  Find out the responsibilities, who's responsible," Kim said. "I think a lot of it is having accountability and having the public satisfied to know what went on and how we're going to correct it."  

Greenwood has nearly three years remaining on her UH contract, which pays her $475,008, along with a $5,000-a-month housing allowance. 

This is not the first time Greenwood has had management troubles. 

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, in 2005, Greenwood resigned her post as academic provost of the entire University of California system, a top academic position at UC's headquarters.  Her departure came after the Oakland Tribune reported she had hired a friend with whom she had owned property. 

A UC investigation found Greenwood broke university conflict-of-interest rules by hiring the woman in 2004 for a temporary post, the Oakland Tribune reported.  A search committee later recommended the woman be appointed to another administrative position that Greenwood supervised. 

copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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