Crowd reacts to first public UH president forumUPDATED 11:04 PM HST May 06, 2014Video Transcript
Retired Army Lieutenant General Francis Wiercinski took the time to "talk story" with anyone who showed up at tonights meeting... But many in the crowd weren't marching to his tune... Sometimes INTERRUPTING him -- CRITICIZING his military background -- and QUESTIONING his values. 2159 - Y "THERE'S JUST SO MANY THINGS THAT GO AGAINST WHAT SHOULD BE REPRESENTING HAWAII IN HIM AND WE JUST DON'T THINK THAT HE'S A GOOD CANDIDATE AT ALL." But others applaud Wiercinski's thick skin -- able to brush off the ney-sayers and continue to spread his message. 2846 - O "WHAT I LIKE ABOUT HIM IS THAT HE CAN TOLERATE EVEN IN THIS KIND OF PRESSURE." BUTT 2719 - O "THEY WERE VERY RUDE TO THE SPEAKER. I THINK THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTEST BUT THEY SHOULD WAIT." Wiercinski is one of two candidates left in line to become U-H's next president. The other is his polar opposite -- U-H's interim president David Lassner -- a long-time employee of the school. Wiercinski knows the criticism comes with the territory but pointed out his experience in his last job... As commanding general of the U-S Army Pacific. 1647 - G "EVERYONE HAS THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS. I SWORE AN OATH FOR THAT 34-YEARS AGO AND FOR ME TO BE A HYPROCRITE JUST BECAUSE IT'S BEING POINTED IN MY DIRECTION. I WOULD BE A HYPOCRYTE AND I WON'T DO THAT." As for his values -- Wiercinski says that hasn't changed. 1829 - G "THE BOTTOM LINE IS, THE TWO THINGS THAT I FIND MOST IMPORTANT IS TO TREAT PEOPLE WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT AND DO WHAT'S RIGHT." The first of Wiercinski's five state-wide public forums is in the books. UH's Board of regents expect to pick the universities next president by mid-June. 1554 - G "THIS IS NOT A CAMPAIGN, THE UNIVERSITY IS GOING TO PICK WHO SHOULD BE LEADING THE SYSTEM FOR THE NEXT DECADE." Keep in mind -- Wiercisnki was nominated for the position... He said he had to think about it first but he does believe his prior military experience would benefit the university. That's why he's in the mix. As for Interim President David Lassner -- his first public forum will happen tomorrow at noon at Leeward Community College. For a full schedule of the statewide forums -- log on to the AS SEEN ON section of our website.