Appointment set for McClain
By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Loren Moreno
The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents has scheduled a meeting to formally appoint David McClain the permanent president of the 10-campus state higher education system.
Board chairwoman Kitty Lagareta and regent Al Landon have both been in talks with McClain, the university's interim president, since Tuesday when the board agreed unanimously to offer him the permanent post.
"The talks are ongoing and I think we will have a contract ready by Tuesday (March 7) for the board," Lagareta said. Under the three-year contract, McClain is expected to serve until 2009, she said.
She said she could not be specific about what they have agreed upon thus far, but she did say "talks have been going smoothly."
If the contract is approved next week, McClain would assume the presidency immediately, she said.
McClain could not be immediately reached for comment last night.
The announcement comes 12 days after a six-regent task group recommended ditching a nationwide search for a new UH president and hiring McClain, who previously had announced he was not interested in the permanent post.
At a special Board of Regents meeting this week, a handful of students and faculty spoke against suspending the proposed national search. But regents agreed that McClain, during his nearly two years as interim president, has demonstrated that he's the right person for the job.
State Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman of the higher education committee, has been openly against hiring McClain without first conducting a search. He told regents this week that he didn't understand the rush to hire McClain.
Lagareta has said if McClain does take the job she wouldn't expect his $341,000 annual salary to go much higher. Evan Dobelle, McClain's predecessor, was paid $442,000 a year — a sore point with some legislators and many at the university and in the community.
Reach Loren Moreno at firstname.lastname@example.org.