The University of Hawaii says its new director of land development will be Carleton Ching, whose controversial appointment to lead the state Department of Land & Natural Resources was withdrawn in March amid outspoken opposition.
UH officials announced today that Ching will start his new job Nov. 30 and he “will be responsible for maximizing return on UH’s land assets and he will be charged with systemwide planning, development and oversight of the university’s developed and undeveloped properties.”
Ching, the senior director for community and government relations for Castle & Cooke Hawaii, has more than 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors, UH officials said.
“Carleton’s extensive experience in real estate development, coupled with his proven leadership, makes him the ideal executive to help further the university’s strategic direction and focus on being a high performance organization,” said UH President David Lassner.
On March 18, Gov. David Ige withdrew Ching as his nominee to lead the DLNR on the day that the full state Senate was scheduled to vote on the nomination.
Ige made the move once it became clear that Ching would not have the votes in the 25-member Senate, which was under intense lobbying pressure from the governor’s office and from environmentalists opposed to the nomination.
Ige had touted Ching as the best man for the job based on his integrity and his managerial experience. But scores of environmental advocates, as well as members of the Senate, questioned whether a longtime development lobbyist would best serve as the director safeguarding Hawaii’s natural resources.