MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents plans to appoint David Lassner as Interim President of the university, pending a final vote at a special board meeting July 30.
In June, the Regents selected a three member task group to identify two or three potential candidates to serve as Interim President once MRC Greenwood retires on August 31, 2013. If approved, Lassner will begin his new role as Interim President on September 1st.
Lassner, who is not available for interviews until after the formal board vote, released this statement:
"I am honored at the confidence and trust placed in me by the Board of Regents. I look forward to working together with my colleagues throughout the UH System and with the community to advance our agenda to serve the people of Hawai'i."
Lassner currently serves as the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. He's been at the University since 1977.
"He has a notion of the entire University because the IT Department covers every place from the libraries to the community colleges to Manoa. He's been here for a long time. He's one of us," said JN Musto, Executive Director of UH Hawai'i Professional Assembly.
As head of the UH Hawai'i faculty union, Musto says he was surprised John Morton wasn't selected – especially, since he was considered the front-runner as the current UH Vice President for Community Colleges.
"I would have preferred John Morton, to be honest, however, I've known David for a long time and there's absolutely no reason David cannot work with UHPA in helping to achieve a lot that will have to be done in this next year. His term as interim is not just a placeholder. We have got to make some very important decisions in 2014 and I'm sure that David will be a good partner in that," said Musto.
Regents Chair John Holzman said the board decided unanimously to vote on Lassner's selection.
"The Board of Regents has complete confidence that Vice President Lassner will continue to move forward the agenda affirmed by the board, and to pave the way for the next permanent president of the university," Holzman said in a statement released by the university.
Lassner is currently making $254,568, but if approved, he'll earn $325,008 as Interim President – the same amount Interim President David McClain made when he was appointed in 2004.
Officials say the interim president could serve for up to several months to a year while the board searches for a permanent replacement. Regents have said they will not consider the interim president for the permanent job, to give all permanent candidates a fair shake.