By: Rick Blangiardi
A year ago, when David Lassner was running for the permanent Presidency of the University of Hawaii, we had our doubts.
He was so reluctant to engage the media and public in seeking the job - we wondered if he even wanted it.
Want it or not - he's doing it. David Lassner has firmly taken the tiller on what often seemed like sinking ship. He smoothly replaced Athletic Director Ben Jay and educated the public about the importance of athletics without handing the department or its new Director a blank check.
He removed Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple…despite his popularity with faculty…and appointed an interim Chancellor who was willing to make tough management and budget decisions. He got rid of an overpaid public relations staff that gave him terrible advice and found an advisor who knows that hiding nothing is the best way to prove you have nothing to hide.
His non-confrontational style may be just what is needed to delicately resolve the Maunakea telescope protests. And most importantly - David Lassner seems to be restoring the public trust in U-H. Trust is so crucial. Because we need our community...corporations…alumni and the legislature to invest fully in our university.
We need to believe that our investment will be in the hands of a worthy steward…and that steward needs to be David Lassner.