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UH Board of Regents approves three executive appointments

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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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