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Embattled UH regents chair vows to seek second term

COURTESY PHOTO
                                University of Hawaii Board of Regents interim member and Chair Alapaki Nahale-a. Nahale-a said today that he has decided to continue seeking a second term as a regent.
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COURTESY PHOTO

University of Hawaii Board of Regents interim member and Chair Alapaki Nahale-a. Nahale-a said today that he has decided to continue seeking a second term as a regent.

Despite being voted down by a state Senate committee this week, University of Hawaii Board of Regents interim member and Chair Alapaki Nahale-a said today that he has decided to continue seeking a second term as a regent.

In an exclusive first news interview since the preliminary vote Tuesday, Nahale-a told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that although the hearing before the Senate Higher Education Committee was personally painful, an outpouring of supportive calls, emails and comments since then from supporters and the public sparked his decision to push on.

“What really struck me is the passion they had — that they have greater hopes for the university and for Hawaii than what they witnessed (in the hearing),” Nahale-a said. “The repeated message is, ‘Please don’t give up. Please don’t drop out. We wouldn’t blame you if you did. But please don’t.’”

Nahale-a said Gov. Josh Green’s office has affirmed that the governor would continue to back his nomination to a second five-year term on the board that sets policy for the 10-campus public university.

Nahale-a, and nominated first-time regents Lauren Akitake and former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, have been serving on the board on an interim basis since Green nominated them in May. Each needs at least 13 votes from the full 25-member Senate votes to be confirmed. No date for the full vote has been announced yet.

This is a breaking news story. An updated version will appear in Friday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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