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Top University of Hawaii leader leaving for University of Texas

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:06 a.m. HST, Nov 18, 2013

University of Hawaii system provost Linda Johnsrud is leaving UH for the University of Texas.

Johnsrud, also the executive vice president for academic affairs, serves in the second-highest leadership position at the university under the president.

"I love Hawaii, I love the university and I cannot believe that it has been 25 years. The University of Hawaii has been very good to me. I work with so many top-notch professionals. I'm not sure which makes it more difficult to leave--the place or the people. But it came down to family--my daughter and granddaughters live in Texas," Johnsrud said in a news release.

Johnsrud will be stepping down effective December 31 and will become associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Texas system.

Johnsrud came to Hawaii as an assistant professor in higher education administration at UH Manoa in 1988. She has served in a variety of roles during her 25 years at the university, including chair of the UH Manoa Faculty Senate, associate dean for the UH Manoa College of Education, interim chancellor at UH West Oahu, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs at UH Manoa, and associate vice president for planning and policy at the UH System. Johnsrud has served as chief academic officer for the UH System since 2005.

She developed the six-year schedule of tuition increases adopted by the regents in 2005 and worked on policies on enrollment of international and out-of-state students and on increasing enrollment and retention of students.

Under Johnsrud's leadership, the university established performance measures for the UH system and the Hawaii Graduation Initiative, which has produced significant increases in the number of degrees and certificates awarded across the 10 campuses. She is also known as a strong advocate of the  P-20: Partners in Education program.

"Linda and I have been colleagues and friends for 25 years, ever since she arrived at UH," said UH Interim President David Lassner in a written statement. "We are grateful for her dedicated service to the university and her invaluable work on projects ranging from tuition-setting to performance measures to the recent community forum on cost. UH could always count on Linda to bring integrity, intelligence, diligence, collegiality, humor and graciousness to the hardest projects anywhere in the system. She brought UH and Hawaii into prominence on the national stage with the policies and practices she initiated here, and we will miss her deeply. But we wish Linda and her family the very best."

On Thursday the Board of Regents will meet in executive session to discuss the appointment of Joanne Itano as interim executive vice president for academic affairs at a salary of $18,750 per month. Itano is the associated vice president for academic affairs.

A regents committee will also discuss a salary range for the next provost and vice president of academic affairs. Johnsrud makes $290,928.

Also on the closed-door session agenda is a discussion of the hiring of an executive search firm to help find the next UH president.

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