Statement from University of Hawaii Advisory Presidential Selection Committee Chair Donna Tanoue

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Jun 2, 2009

HONOLULU — The chair of the University of Hawaiʻi Advisory Presidential Selection Committee said today the committee issued its final report to the Board of Regents Friday, recommending both M.R.C. Greenwood and Robert Jones.

Donna Tanoue added: "Although the withdrawal of Dr. Jones is a disappointment, the committee continues to recommend Dr. Greenwood to the Board of Regents for further consideration.

"Both candidates were highly recommended by the committee and, although we are disappointed with the withdrawal of Dr. Jones, we find that Dr. Greenwood is a nationally-recognized academic leader who is highly qualified to lead the University of Hawaiʻi."

Greenwood is a nationally known scientist in the fields of diabetes, obesity and science and higher education policy. She previously served as chancellor at UC Santa Cruz and as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for the University of California, the second highest position in that 10 campus system.

In recognition of her many accomplishments, Greenwood was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies and nominated to serve on the National Science Board.

Tanoue added, "The committee spoke with numerous academic leaders who described Dr. Greenwood as an exceptional administrator and leader, with a strong record of working with federal, state and local officials and diverse communities. We note, for example, that individuals such as Dr. Robert Berdahl, president of the American Association of Universities, and Dr. Martha Kanter, President Obama‘s nominee to become undersecretary of education, provided compelling testimony about their high regard for Dr. Greenwood as one of the most talented, creative and effective leaders in higher education today."

Greenwood has 20 years of direct responsibilities with campus- and system-wide budgets. In addition, she worked in the federal government during a period of budget retrenchment. In her UC career she has had various responsibilities for severe budget reductions, while she was a dean, while chancellor at UC Santa Cruz and as provost. For example, over the eight years that she led the UC Santa Cruz campus, she was responsible for guiding it through difficult budget reduction scenarios, as well as through a volatile period of both enrollment and building growth. She is no stranger to changing budget environments and much of her forward-looking success has been accomplished while under such pressure.

Tanoue noted there were questions about two conflict-of-interest matters. The committee conducted extensive due diligence and spoke to a number of individuals who were involved in the investigation. They included the UC general counsel emeritus, two former UC System presidents and two former chairmen and members of the UC Board of Regents.

One matter involved the hiring of her son, James Greenwood, at UC Merced. The UC Office of the Auditor found no involvement by Greenwood in the hiring of her son by UC Merced. UC General Counsel Emeritus James Holst said: "Dr. Greenwood had no involvement in the funding of that position or the hiring decision. Nothing about that situation resulted from any impropriety on her part."

The other involved the UC System‘s hiring of a highly regarded academic leader who owned an investment property with Greenwood. Greenwood has acknowledged her mistake in connection with the delay in dissolution of the business partnership with the professional colleague and the failure to include in her disclosure statement all the details concerning it. She has accepted responsibility for her mistake and apologized for it. She has assured the committee that she learned a lesson and would take steps to avoid any such conflict.

UC General Counsel Emeritus Holst advised the committee that this matter involved "isolated circumstances" and that Greenwood‘s long and distinguished record did not reveal any other incident or question about her integrity. Holst said: "At no point in her university service was there any pattern of impropriety or ethical lapses."

The committee also talked to Robert Dynes, president emeritus of the UC System, about Greenwood‘s resignation as UC provost. Dynes stated that he hoped Greenwood would remain in her position. Both Dynes and the Holst said that the resignation decision was hers aloneŚwithout request or pressure from any UC officer.

Tanoue added: "The committee thoroughly vetted the candidates and did our due diligence, as reflected in our final report. We recommend that the Board of Regents carefully review the committee‘s final report and give serious consideration to Dr. Greenwood."

More information and the final report are available at the presidential search website,

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