Tell David Lassner to take a hike, and he just might do it.
The Palolo resident doesn't have time to lead Sierra Club hikes to his favorite Haleiwa watering hole these days.
But his new appointment has Facebook friends flooding his page with well wishes and more.
"It’s kind of a hoot. Some of my hiking buddies are tagging pictures of me in the mud," said Lassner.
His hiking days now are filled with correcting the missteps of the previous administration and lifting the bruised pride of the University of Hawaii system.
Lassner is proud of the fact that finally, the university has the technology structure in place to hold its own as a competitive college campus.
"We have really come a long way and I think now we are as good as anyone in the country. And I think we can be even better," Lassner said.
A techie at heart, Lassner is eager to share the latest plan to use information systems to help students graduate faster.
He is looking to find new ways to use technology to boost teaching and learning, and to build on the 1,000 online classes offered each semester.
"It is one of the ways we can take on more students without increasing faculty at a linear pace," said Lassner.
It's a balancing act as pressure mounts to stretch tuition dollars.
The repair and maintenance backlog and need to modernize UH facilities now weighs heavy on his shoulders.
The new technology building stands in stark contrast to many aging buildings on campus.
It would have been Lassner's office as UH, information chief.
Lassner laments that plans to overhaul the Kuykendall building will have to wait another year.
UH hoped to hold it out as an environmental model for what's possible systemwide.
“The wonderful thing about Kuykendal,, is that would have been to the best of our knowledge, the first renovation of an old facility and turn it into net zero. There are net zero buildings in the state but they have been constructed as scratch as net zero," Lasssner said.
The tech-savvy president says he will try to get the money from the legislature next year.
If you weren't one of Lassner’s Twitter followers before, should you be? He vows his tweets won't be sent by any of his staff.
"I was one of the early adopters of Twitter here and I used to do it, but now I am figuring out my personal, versus my professional persona," said Lassner.
It is one of the challenges for someone who didn't really seek out the job to be president, and who is now finding his way on the hike of his life.
One fun fact about Lassner is besides being an avid hiker, he also dances hula. It is another activity he will have less time for in his new job.