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Former UH president won't return to tenured position

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 05:01 p.m. HST, Jun 10, 2014

Former University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood says she will retire at the end of the month and not return to a tenured faculty position as originally planned.

"I deeply appreciated the University and the Board of Regents' grant of a one-year unpaid leave. However, after a period of rest and reflection, I have decided that I wish to pursue my writing and policy interests and that I prefer to remain on the mainland to do so," Greenwood said in a statement.

Greenwood had announced last summer that she was stepping down to spend more time with family and address health problems, leaving with nearly two years still on her contract.

But before departing, the regents approved a tenured faculty position for her to return to the John A. Burns School of Medicine, with a $24,470 monthly salary, or nearly $294,000 a year. 

At the time, Greenwood -- an internationally recognized expert in nutrition, obesity and diabetes -- had agreed to focus on establishing a diabetes and obesity center at the medical school.

Her departure came about a year after the university became embroiled in the so-called Wonder Blunder, a botched Stevie Wonder concert that tarnished public confidence in the university. A state Senate inquiry into the missteps of the bungled concert led to wider concerns over university governance, operations and accountability.

Still, she said in a statement that her years president "were full of rewarding projects and accomplishments" and that she "will always remember my fine colleagues and hold Hawaii in my heart. I wish only the best for the university."

Interim UH President David Lassner, who will assume the post full-time July 1, praised Greenwood's time at UH.

"President Greenwood led us in developing the Hawaii Graduation Initiative to meet the needs of Hawaii for an educated citizenry and workforce, and the Hawaii Innovation Initiative to build a new economic sector for the state, both of which remain on the regents' agenda for the next president," he said in a statement. "While M.R.C. will not be with us in the islands, I know she will be looking after Hawaii's interests in her continuing work at the national level."

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Surfer_Dude wrote:
Good. We just saved $300k.
on June 10,2014 | 05:11PM
inverse wrote:
What are you talking about, she will still make out like a bandit in retirement income, all at Hawaii taxpayer expense.
on June 10,2014 | 05:35PM
localguy wrote:
Should not be any long term retirement. Should be a regular 401k or Roth 401k, she takes what she put in and what UH matched. This saves UH from any wasteful, long term pension payments, saving tax payers and students big time.
on June 10,2014 | 06:33PM
Papakolea wrote:
While she may have at one time been a recognized expert in diabetes and obesity, she's been out of the laboratory for decades. What was probably cutting edge when she was doing research is probably in undergraduate textbooks today. The regents just tossed her a bone.
on June 10,2014 | 05:21PM
Charliegrunt wrote:
Look at her! Is she what you think of as an expert in obesity?
on June 10,2014 | 09:19PM
Mythman wrote:
We are locked in a deadly stasis, produced by our history. It's a deadlock, no matter who is or is not running the U. Something profound has to take place to break the stasis.
on June 10,2014 | 05:44PM
makiki123 wrote:
They should have listed that she also an internationally recognized expert in being incompetent and getting paid a lot for it. That goes for the weak Board of Regents as well. What made you hire this loser to begin with? Losers hiring a loser. I guess they wanted to stay with their kind.
on June 10,2014 | 05:55PM
inverse wrote:
Wrote about this a while back. Caldwell's wife and ex HGEA union boss wanted a UH pres who would NEVER take a strong lead in terms of making tough budget or personnel decisions and that is EXACTLY what they got with Greenwood. They knew Greenwood was basically fired from the Univ of California and they knew no self respecting univ would ever hire Greenwood except UH who could use that as leverage to keep in line. They did not care she took extra UH money so she live off campus, all they wanted to do was stay out of the way of building a new UH West Oahu despite knowing that it would be a financial drain to UH Manoa and forever a feeder community college to UH Manoa cause UHPA would never agree to move to west Oahu. Caldwell's wife and Okata did exactly what she was expected to do; NOTHING. As a result UH west Oahu was a massive money pit lead by Minaai who still works at UH; the Wonder concert fiasco occurred cause the athletic dept was allowed to do whatever they wanted and obviously Donovan was just a puppet to ?? and the number of union employees at UH would continue to be strong with no cuts no matter what. Guess what, the Carbone fiasco was actually covered by the local media cause UH is safe for media to investigate them and who did the current Pres handle Carbone? By hiding his head in the sand and refuse to back Apple in demanding Carbone be removed, instead allowed Carbone to remain cancer director and hire MORE faculty bureaucrats, including giving more power to Hinshaw to take the responsibility out of Carbones hands, yet he remains the title and the pay. So in the end after all of this change in leadership, NOTHING changes.
on June 10,2014 | 09:00PM
inverse wrote:
PS To make it clear, Tanoue and Okata where head of the selection committee for the UH pres who gave the BOR one and only one candidate to choose, and that was Greenwood. Similar situation with Lasner and the retired General. No way UH would ever hire an ex military leader so the decision was made long before the charade of parading the two. UH faculty and the military are like comparing the mongoose and the snake; they are eternal enemies and hard wired to hate in UH faculty' DNA
on June 10,2014 | 09:07PM
false wrote:
She continues to be a real Class Act...didn't deserve being dumped on by publicity seeking politicians. And the comments above by Surfer_Doobie and manini123 hit below the belt. No surprise, but it's sad.
on June 10,2014 | 06:03PM
localguy wrote:
Class act? Clearly we have different ideas what this should be. She saw the writing on the wall, left while the getting is good.
on June 10,2014 | 06:34PM
makiki123 wrote:
LOL! I guess your standards are at the same level as the Board of Rejects at the University of Hawaii.
on June 10,2014 | 06:54PM
Giligan wrote:
The only class she had was realizing she took enough from Hawaii, and admitting she wants to live on the mainland and never loved Hawaii.
on June 11,2014 | 05:00AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Aloha oi
on June 10,2014 | 06:09PM
localguy wrote:
This is the best news ever. UH needs to ensure this becomes policy from now on. There is no reason for any UH president to be held over in a tenured position once their time is up. They need to pack their bags and move on. Thankyouverymuchnowgoodbye.
on June 10,2014 | 06:31PM
samidunn wrote:
Hope she and her girl friend live happily ever after.
on June 10,2014 | 06:42PM
Smiling wrote:
Expert in obesity ???
on June 10,2014 | 07:26PM
Iuki wrote:
Glad to see her go.
on June 10,2014 | 08:00PM
ainaboy wrote:
It was Donna Kim whose politically and personally motivated "investigation" got us into this mess. I have no doubt that as Kim *inexplicably* leads in the polls for CD1, the akamai Dr. Greenwood realizes that Hawai`i seems to hold no interest in seeking excellence in the university or government. Sorry to see her go, but I understand.
on June 10,2014 | 08:10PM
ghstar wrote:
All for the best. I hope this brings the whole sorry affair to an end.
on June 10,2014 | 08:42PM
krusha wrote:
Just goes to show what happens when you settle for whoever when you hire somebody. If they did their background checks, then they probably wouldn't have hired her in the first place and this university would be a lot better off right now. The article fails to mention that Greenwood is also responsible for the hire of Norm Chow when she overruled the athletic director and their hiring committee.
on June 10,2014 | 09:05PM
KWAY wrote:
Leave it to this arrogant woman to spin the situation to make it appear it's her decision to leave and it's our loss. Lady, you should have been made to swim back to the mainland. Good RIDDANCE, don't come back ... ever.
on June 10,2014 | 09:16PM
pauliboy wrote:
whatever, good-bye.
on June 10,2014 | 09:56PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Wise, than despised.
on June 10,2014 | 11:23PM
More money to spend on the INOUYE PROJECT!!!!!
on June 10,2014 | 11:44PM
localguy wrote:
Exactly. Another money pit.
on June 10,2014 | 11:54PM
CriticalReader wrote:
"While M.R.C. will not be with us in the islands, I know she will be looking after Hawaii's interests in her continuing work at the national level." He's gonna hire her as a consultant for $300K a year. Watch.
on June 10,2014 | 11:51PM
Imagen wrote:
I don't want to; I'm going to change the channel...
on June 14,2014 | 05:22AM
Anonymous wrote:
This will be added to Hawaii's increasing, bottomless pit better known as "unfunded liabilities".
on June 14,2014 | 04:59AM
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