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UH Board of Regents approves three executive appointments

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:21 a.m. HST, Aug 23, 2013

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved three executive appointments at its monthly meeting Thursday.

Vassilis Syrmos was promoted to system vice president for research and innovation at an annual salary of $239,016. Syrmos, an engineering professor, had been UH-Manoa’s associate vice chancellor for research. His appointment is effective Sept. 1 for two years.

In his new role, Syrmos will be charged with boosting research through the University of Hawaii Innovation Initiative, or HI2. The initiative seeks to double the state’s research enterprise to $1 billion annually over the next decade. Syrmos replaces Jim Gaines, who is retiring this month after 26 years at UH.

The board also named attorney Cynthia Quinn executive administrator and secretary to the regents at a salary of $140,016. Quinn is a faculty specialist at Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and previously was spokes­woman for the law school. The position had been vacant since the end of 2012, and UH General Counsel Daro­lyn Lendio had been filling in as acting board secretary.

Steven Smith, UH’s deputy chief information officer, was appointed interim vice president for information technology at a salary of $225,000. Smith fill in for David Lassner, who last month was approved as interim president of the 10-campus system effective Sept. 1.

Lassner is taking the reins from President M.R.C. Greenwood, who has said she is retiring at the end of the month to spend more time with family and deal with health issues. UH said Smith’s appointment will continue concurrently with Lassner’s interim assignment. Lassner has said he will not apply for the permanent president’s post.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
$140,016 for a secretary.Previously filled on a part time basis by other staff.

A classic example of why I no longer respond to the UH fundraising campaigns.

on August 22,2013 | 07:02PM
Papakolea wrote:
Not sure why they're calling her a secretary as I agree with you that it doesn't sound like a title that's befitting what Cynthia Quinn will actually be doing. She's a very sharp attorney and I'm sure her title of executive administrator more accurately describes her duties to the BOR.
on August 22,2013 | 07:57PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
She's the new head gahdut for the regents. Political connections are great to have.
on August 22,2013 | 08:14PM
W15 wrote:
Quinn's full title is executive administrator and secretary. it's an executive level position, and not the "secretary" who files and types up letters that you and most people are accustomed to. if you disagree with the salary, then at least make some effort to find out first the actual duties of the role, rather than making a sweeping judgment just based on the fact that the word "secretary" is in the title. And the "other staff" that you're talking about who helped to satisfy the role while it went unfilled was the General Counsel for all of UH. Not just any other staff. And that in itself should clue you in to what the position entails.
on August 23,2013 | 07:22AM
NuuanuMama wrote:
This article is a good one for separating the "wheat from the chaff" of frequent commenters on SA. Thank you W15, for your gentle explanation of 'secretary' to the chaff.
on August 23,2013 | 08:41AM
whs1966 wrote:
Are you sh**ing me?
on August 23,2013 | 05:47AM
DuxRay wrote:
The term secretary is not limited to one doing clerical duties. Hagel is the Secretary of Defense, and Kerrey is the Secretary of State. I would guess that the amount of clerical tasks that they perform is minimal at best.
on August 23,2013 | 06:47AM
boshio wrote:
Cynthia should sue and demand another $100,000.
on August 23,2013 | 08:14AM
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