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Regents pick UH executive David Lassner as interim president

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:19 p.m. HST, Jul 23, 2013

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents this morning announced it will vote next week on naming David Lassner as interim president.

Since joining the university in 1977, Lassner, 58, has held a series of technical, management and executive positions. He is currently the university’s vice president for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. 

Regents will vote on the appointment at a special board meeting set for July 30, and if approved Lassner’s appointment will be effective Sept. 1. The appointment will continue until a permanent president is selected.

If approved, Lassner will earn an annual salary of $325,008, the same salary paid to Interim President David McClain when he was appointed in 2004 UH officials said.

He would replace President M.R.C. Greenwood who announced in May that she will retire Aug. 31 to spend more time with family and address health issues. 

The regents last week voted unanimously to approve a $24,470 monthly salary for Greenwood to join the faculty at the John A. Burns School of Medicine after one year of unpaid leave. That would amount to a nearly $294,000 annual salary, making her the highest-paid professor at the medical school, but she may end up working in six-month increments, in which case she would be paid monthly.

The regents have also formed a selection committee to search for a permanent replacement for Greenwood.

In a UH news release issued this morning, regent John Holzman said, “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.” He added, “It was a unanimous choice on the part of the board to post his appointment for public discussion and vote.”

Since 2007, Lassner has served as the university’s first vice president for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. Previously, he served as the first UH chief information officer and first director of information technology. 

A native of Connecticut, Lassner earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in economics and computer science, respectively, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a doctorate in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and in 2010 was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawaii.

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MKN wrote:
Interesting choice.
on July 23,2013 | 10:35AM
1local wrote:
the UH President barely makes $300,000.00 a year and Greenwood will make almost the same and only work 6 months a year... What kind of scam is going on in Hawaii.. Next the football coach will make over $500,000.00 a year and be expected to take last place...
on July 23,2013 | 01:06PM
hanamauka wrote:
The CIOs that I know or know of are not good leaders. Let's hope this guy is an exception.
on July 25,2013 | 06:19AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Hope he is heavy into sports.
on July 23,2013 | 02:27PM
allie wrote:
We students don't really know him. He might be ok.
on July 23,2013 | 10:44AM
Shh wrote:
Finally the truth comes from you
on July 23,2013 | 10:54AM
allie wrote:
on July 23,2013 | 11:49AM
dlum003 wrote:
"we" students huh? ok
on July 23,2013 | 12:14PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Shows you don't know the campus!
on July 23,2013 | 03:33PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
He is GREAT ALLIE! He was a SUPER GREAT student. Presented papers everywhere! ALL the faculty loved him. He has travelled the world And is the world's best faculty support! He will be balanced with both academics, sports and technology and will be a GREAT liason with the EWC! He is a SUPER GREAT guy! EVERYONE on campus who nows him loves him!
on July 23,2013 | 03:32PM
awahana wrote:
Wow. You must be a relative, fan club president, stalker, or more. You have at least a dozen gushing posts right here. Auwe.
on July 23,2013 | 03:58PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
No auwe on that one! Auwe to you on not recognizing what is good for Hawaii! Especially if you are Hawaiian!
on July 23,2013 | 04:20PM
destrell355 wrote:
Before David McClain was served as interim, and later appointed, president, he was the vice president for academic affairs for the University of Hawai‘i System from 2003-2004. Good choice, good fit. As vice president for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, how is David Lassner qualified to serve as interim president? Good choice? Good fit? The Board of Regents should inform the public on how they came to their decision, especially if they are striving for more transparency at the executive level.
on July 23,2013 | 10:51AM
MKN wrote:
@destrell355: Take a look at his biography online: David Lassner
on July 23,2013 | 11:23AM
destrell355 wrote:
Got it, thanks. He has lots of experience in information technology.
on July 23,2013 | 11:25AM
inverse wrote:
You are joking right? Under Lassner the WORST breaches of data security of students and faculay at UH has occurred and you consider him president material??
on July 23,2013 | 11:34AM
destrell355 wrote:
Yes, I was being facetious.
on July 23,2013 | 12:09PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Why would you be facetious?
on July 23,2013 | 04:23PM
destrell355 wrote:
I would like to think that there should be experience/expertise beyond informational technology to be able to fill the role of a university president, even if only as interim.
on July 23,2013 | 04:31PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Those would have happened no matter who was at the helm.
on July 23,2013 | 12:43PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
These are the result of the Chinese woman double agent spy, whom Hinshaw etc.. protected.. She could/ and still is able to break into anything. If she doesn't like you, whether you are on campus or not, she can destroy your computer, hack into your phone.. listen to conversations.. etc. etc.. Have complained and complained about. How she continues to hold such a high position with a salary comparable to MRC, I don't know
on July 23,2013 | 04:22PM
palisadesron wrote:
At least they didn't choose Morton, he had too many issues at KCC.
on July 23,2013 | 10:52AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Why can't UH just jettison Greenwood as a cost cuting measure?
on July 23,2013 | 11:10AM
allie wrote:
sorry..she got a lucrative contract and is holding the UH to it. We have to carry her around our necks for another 2 years
on July 23,2013 | 11:50AM
Nevadan wrote:
Input from faculty? Students? These are the critical people. My instinct: If BOR picked him, beware.
on July 23,2013 | 11:10AM
WooWoo wrote:
Students are irrelevant to this choice. Students are not in a position to make an informed decision on the ability of a candidate to navigate the political minefield that is the primary task of a UH pres.
on July 23,2013 | 11:30AM
allie wrote:
Hey! As an interim he might be ok. But we certainly DO want input on the permanent person.
on July 23,2013 | 11:51AM
WooWoo wrote:
I think students are clueless on what it takes to be a university pres. However, I do think that students should be able to vote to fire professors, tenure or not. Something like if for 3 semesters in a row more than 50% of your students rate you below a 2 on a scale of 1-5, you get fired. Implementing that rule alone would do more to improve the student experience at UH than any 3 presidents.
on July 23,2013 | 02:32PM
allie wrote:
We still deserve a chance to appoint the president.
on July 23,2013 | 03:05PM
WooWoo wrote:
Most UH students are between 18-25 years old. In 20 years (or less, if you're smart), you'll look back and say, "Wow, I was really dumb back then." It's extremely important that the UH president care about the students; it's completely unrealistic to think that students on average have any way of assessing who will do a good job. I mean, come one, most UH students can't even figure out how to graduate in 6 years.
on July 23,2013 | 03:22PM
Nevadan wrote:
Yeah, you were probably dumb then ..... and probably not much better now.
on July 31,2013 | 05:08AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
NOT if you don't know the major people on campus!
on July 23,2013 | 03:37PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
He will make the best UH president for a long long time.. committed to Hawaii, committed to excellence and in his own way a very moral man! SO, SO proud! I hope they make him permanent. WHO cares for your opinion ALLIE! You have shown yourself to not know the campus at all.. He is widely published, nurtures students and young people..
on July 23,2013 | 03:36PM
jomama wrote:
"in his own way" a moral man? What the heck does that mean?
on July 23,2013 | 10:00PM
krusha wrote:
I know that guy. People seem to respect him a lot and he has a lot of good management skills and experience that would greatly help him have success with the UH Presidential position.
on July 23,2013 | 11:11AM
admiral wrote:
I agree. He is intelligent, hard working, and approachable. I have only met him a couple of times, but he listened carefully, took notes, and then took action. He's been at UH for more than 35 years and from his early days in Hawaii was engaged in community activity. He is everything that Greenwood wasn't. I can't believe the Regents made such a good choice!
on July 23,2013 | 02:01PM
Charliegrunt wrote:
If you're right that would be a first by this BOR.
on July 23,2013 | 02:26PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
on July 23,2013 | 03:39PM
allie wrote:
on July 23,2013 | 03:05PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
You know that new book, THE POWER OF NICE? David is it.. all over all the campuses the Community Colleges. All sots of people across the Pacific know his work!
on July 23,2013 | 03:38PM
destrell355 wrote:
Check out Star Advertiser's previous article, "Public involvement advised in picking new UH president, Lawmakers, policy experts and former administrators say the Board of Regents needs to rebuild trust." By Mary Vorsino, POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 13, 2013 LAST UPDATED: 12:34 p.m. HST, May 13, 2013.
on July 23,2013 | 11:20AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
So, as a brand new, first time "interim president" he starts at $325,000/year (nice starting pay). Just curious....how much does he make now?
on July 23,2013 | 11:21AM
MKN wrote:
I looked at a database of salaries on a competitor newspaper and it lists his salary for 2012 as $241,848.
on July 23,2013 | 11:31AM
allie wrote:
on July 23,2013 | 11:51AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Thanks, MKN. A 34% increase is a nice pop but it's a much bigger job so probably justified. I'm just astounded by how much everyone makes at UH. That place is like a cash cow. No wonder the students see fees and costs going up.
on July 23,2013 | 03:28PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
I don't care! He deserves every penny!
on July 23,2013 | 03:40PM
inverse wrote:
This guy was in charge of IT and UH's IT security and data breaches have been a major ongoing problem. Talk about the Peter principle.
on July 23,2013 | 11:37AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
No, but he set up the whole IT system.. our grading system, our e- mail systems.. single handedly like a little guy at the bottom. MOST of all he is a moral guy! Plus since academia is increasingly going tech, he is needed!
on July 23,2013 | 03:42PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Laulima.. we all use the Laulima he created! TECH net
on July 23,2013 | 04:26PM
Mythman wrote:
The idea is, I think, to shift emphasis from politics and social issues to the much more colder and objective IT side of things as a way to make a transition from the madness of the past few years - it does not mean we have solved any real problems, yet..........
on July 23,2013 | 12:19PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Level-headed, caring, easy to work with. Good choice.
on July 23,2013 | 12:42PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Interim for now! May be someone to look at for the permanent position. All things being equal, he would be cheaper.
on July 23,2013 | 01:12PM
NYUH wrote:
Great choice. They don't come any smarter. Knows UH really well and understands the technology needed to propel the system.
on July 23,2013 | 02:16PM
ohelo wrote:
Don't now him, but at least he's lived here a while. I do NOT see how the BoR could have made MRC Greenwood the highest paid professor, when they can't even pay lesser amounts for more faculty members, including Lecturers.
on July 23,2013 | 02:20PM
AJSay wrote:
Can you please provide a list of the Regents so that they can be publicly held accountable for whatever decisions they make. Obviously, everyone lives in la la land. We sure live in an interesting time period.
on July 23,2013 | 03:16PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Just go to the main website. You'll find them and their e- mail addresses! FINALLY bravo to the Regents!
on July 23,2013 | 03:44PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
He is the best in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD! SO proud! SO Happy! Way to go DAVID! REGENTS FINALLY MADE A DECENT CHOICE YAY!!! I hope they make him President!
on July 23,2013 | 03:27PM
Skydakine wrote:
Too much salary!
on July 23,2013 | 09:14PM
Papakolea wrote:
When will the regents learn that they need a CEO. Not someone with academic credentials. Nothing against Lassner. What about someone like Mitch D'Olier?
on July 23,2013 | 11:01PM
nitpikker wrote:
anything the regents do is suspect. they have zero credibility.
on July 23,2013 | 11:35PM
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