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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

McClain the right man for UH at this point

More than anything else, the University of Hawai'i needs stability. And that's why the UH board of Regents should pursue its interest in naming interim President David McClain as the next UH president.

McClain stepped into a difficult situation. He replaced, on an interim basis, former president Evan Dobelle, who left after a catastrophic run-in with the regents.

McClain does not want to sign up for what he describes as the typical run for a president, something like seven years.

But as a practical matter, relatively few presidents at UH (or any university, for that matter) serve out their full terms. And the Board of Regents has already received positive signals from accrediting bodies that a shorter-term appointment would not be a problem.

If McClain is willing, he should be given the opportunity to continue to lead our university for the next several years to help the university achieve stability and put in place a long-range strategic plan that would move the university forward.

Ultimately, McClain will move on under a time frame that will likely be of his choosing. Knowing that, it is critical that the regents and the president understand what that time frame is so the search for a successor can take place in a sensible and professional manner.