The University of Hawaii has credited a "team" approach for helping it land berths in the Mountain West Conference and Big West, but it remains to be seen who will be its designated voice at the highest levels of those conferences.
Yesterday, a UH spokeswoman said "no decision has been made" on its representative for upcoming MWC votes.
The MWC Board of Directors is scheduled to meet Jan. 24-25 in Las Vegas to review a number of key issues, including possible expansion. No Big West board meeting is scheduled until May.
Manoa chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw has served as UH’s representative on the Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors since 2007, but indications are that UH President M.R.C. Greenwood might take an expanded role with the MWC.
It was Greenwood who heralded the "team" approach for securing MWC membership and who was front and center in the announcement of UH’s negotiations with the MWC.
It was significant that the news conference took place below her office at Bachman Hall, where few athletic announcements have been made over the years. She also joined other athletic and campus leaders in the final face-to-face meeting with MWC officials in Colorado.
However, since the posts of UH President and Manoa Chancellor were split under Evan Dobelle in 2002, a succession of chancellors have represented UH in WAC voting. Before that, UH presidents sat on the WAC board.
In the MWC, only the Air Force Academy superintendent and Texas Christian Chancellor are not presidents, a MWC spokesman said. In the Big West, which is largely made up of California state schools, all but the University of the Pacific president are chancellors.
UH athletic director Jim Donovan, senior women’s administrator Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano and faculty representative Peter Nicholson sit on the WAC Council and are expected to take up similar positions with the MWC and Big West.
Though UH will not become a member of the MWC or Big West until 2012, it may vote on issues related to the future of those conferences.