A military officer used to a system of giving or taking orders without question might seem the antithesis of a UH president, according to one regent.
Lt. General Frank Wiercinski admits he may have a steep learning curve about academia, but with more than 30 years in military service, he has leadership skills developed in part with life-and- death situations.
He also doesn't owe anyone anything.
"I believe that to be an asset,I am considered an out of the box selection, I do see it as an advantage," said Wiercinski.
He sees the job as an executor of board policy.
His supporters and detractors see his background differently.
"There are no two ways about it. He is an outstanding leader and at juncture in our history more than anything else we need an effective leader," said UH alum Ed Gayagas.
"Although it can seem very refreshing to have a non-academic, that can also be dangerous," said UH professor Candice Fujukami.
But Wiercinski's lack of a doctorate is a concern for some.
"If we are to have the qualifications, then we should adhere to them. I do believe that is the best interest legally, politically and for the university,” said UH law professor Williamson Chang.
The option of David Lassner -- who worked his way up in the system, understands the dynamics and is already on the job might seem to give him the edge to providing stability
"I have spent my career here trying to improve things. If you decide I am the person you choose, I will continue to leverage the experience I have, to continue to listen, to continue to learn, to continue to collaborate," said interim president David Lassner.
"When David Lassner was appointed it was made clear he was not eligible, and we have a candidate who does not meet the minimum qualifications. It is simply not pono.” said UH professor Vilsoni Hereniko.
The board meet behind closed doors for about two hours after the public interviews.
It plans to meet on Monday to announce it’s decision.
"I believe whether we go on to a national search, that David Lassner will be able to hold the community together," said UH professor Christina Bacchilega.
But clearly there is some discomfort with just two choices at this point in time.