What is likely the Board of Regents most important job -- selecting a new president at the University of Hawaii – is not lost on board members who admit they're working against the clock.
"The first priority of any organization is just do no harm," said Regent John Holzman. "That includes providing for a smooth, orderly transition as president Greenwood leaves."
MRC Greenwood's decision to retire on August 31st was the board's reason for deciding to look for an interim president to serve starting Sept. 1.
Regents said they hope to find an interim president within the UH system to help with an easy transition.
"To ensure that the system continues to work, that there is harmony and move forward the current projects and initiatives that are there," said Holzman, who chaired the task force that outlined the logistics of the presidential search.
Regents approved a 3-member task group that will come up with two or three potential candidates to serve as interim president.
The interim president could serve for up to several months while the board searches for the right person to lead the university.
The public weighed in on the criteria for who that person will be on Thursday.
"What are your measures of success? What is a successful president look like at the systems level?" Jim Shon, director of the Hawaii Educational Policy Center posed to board members.
A review of the university's performance measures, mission and goals, strategic plans and most recently its conduct in financial dealings are all part of the process of what regents are closely examining in the presidential selection process.
The regents also approved a 7-member committee that will start the search for a new president at the university.
The seven members of the committe are as follows: John Holzman, Jan Sullivan, Saedene Ota, Chuck Gee, Barry Mizuno, Jefferey Ascindo and James Lee. Regents chair Eric Martinson and Coralee Matayoshi will serve as ex officio members.
At least one regent suggests the next UH president has a vast knowledge of Hawai'i.
Others say the next president must be a strong academic and excellent manager with perhaps knowledge of Hawai'i politics.
An interim president and a detailed plan for the presidential search will be approved at the next Board of Regents meeting on July 1.