University of Hawaii President David Lassner is recommending longtime university executive Doris Ching to lead the UH-West Oahu campus on an interim basis after the scheduled retirement of Rockne Freitas at the end of the year.
The Board of Regents is expected to consider the interim appointment at its Nov. 19 meeting. The meeting agenda, which will include a recommended salary, will be posted later today. Freitas earns $247,344 a year.
Ching, who began her career with UH as an assistant and associate professor of education, is serving as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, or chief academic officer, at UH-West Oahu.
Ching previously served as associate dean of education, assistant to the system president, and as vice president for student affairs for UH-Manoa and the 10-campus system, until she retired in 2005.
She makes $160,080 at her current post.
Lassner said in a statement that when he asked UH-West Oahu students, faculty, administrators and community supporters for recommendations for the chancellor post, “each and every group I talked with enthusiastically supported Dr. Doris Ching for the position.”
Lassner said the board has authorized him to begin the search for a permanent chancellor, which is expected to take six to nine months. “I believe we can have a new chancellor in place for the fall 2016 semester,” he said.
He said he will be naming a search advisory committee to help conduct a nationwide search.
Freitas, who was named chancellor of West Oahu in mid-2013, announced in August that he plans to retire Dec. 31, following a nearly 23-year career in leadership roles with UH, including as chancellor of Hawaii Community College.
The UH-West Oahu campus serves approximately 2,700 students at its Kapolei campus, which opened in 2012. Established in 1976, the college previously operated out of portables next to Leeward Community College. It is the only UH campus that has posted enrollment gains in each of the past five years, but the double-digit growth seen in previous years — as much as 20 percent — slowed to a 1.4 percent increase for the current fall semester.