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Abercrombie appoints 4 to UH Board of Regents

    This 2012 file photo shows Associate Supreme Court Justice Simeon Acoba

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday named four nominees to serve on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and fill vacancies triggered by the state’s new financial disclosure law.

The interim appointments are effective immediately, but still require Senate confirmation.

Abercrombie selected the following individuals from a pool of candidates recommended by the UH Candidate Advisory Council:

» Retired Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Simeon Acoba Jr. will fill a Honolulu seat on the board. Acoba, who turned 70, the mandatory retirement age for judges, earlier this year, will serve out the remaining three years of former regent John Dean’s term.

Before being appointed to the high court in 2000, Acoba was an associate judge on the Intermediate Court of Appeals and a Circuit Court judge before that. He currently lectures at UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

» Peter Hoffman, a former Hawaii County Council member and retired Army colonel, will fill a Hawaii County seat on the board.Hoffman served on the Hawaii County Council from 2004 to 2012, representing the Kohala District. He previously served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps.He will serve out the remainder of former regent Carl Carlson’s term, which runs through June 2016.

» Helen Nielsen, a field representative for U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, will assume the board’s Maui seat. Nielsen co-owns and manages commercial properties on Maui and Hawaii island, and was a founder of the Maui Coastal Land Trust. She will serve out the remaining year of former regent Saedene Ota’s term.

» Dr. Dileep Bal, the state Health Department’s district health officer for Kauai, will fill the board’s Kauai seat. Bal has been with the state Department of Health since 2005. He previously worked as chief of the Cancer Control Branch within the state of California’s Department of Health Services.

He will serve out the remainder of former regent Tom Shigemoto’s term, which runs through June 2017.

"With backgrounds in law, health, the military and environmental sustainability, these appointees bring a diverse spectrum of leadership to the University of Hawaii," Abercrombie said in a statement. "They each have a proven record of success in their respective fields of expertise and will help guide the university to a new level of excellence."

The four former regents resigned over the summer, citing privacy concerns about a new state law that added members of the Board of Regents to the list of public officials whose financial interests are disclosed to the public.

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