By Chatt Wright
1. Why did you decide that next year is the right time for you to retire as president of Hawai'i Pacific University?
Basically, I want to make sure that the university's governing leadership, the board of trustees, would be able to have enough time to conduct a presidential search, to utilize an executive search firm to have an appropriate committee of trustees, community leaders, students and faculty to be on the search committee. Knowing that a search could take up to six months, I wanted to make sure there was enough time for that. Once the new president would be selected, then that person would be able to work with me as the outgoing president; there would be an overlap.
The other reason is very logical. When I retire on June 30, 2011, I will be two months short of being 70 years old, and I'm looking forward to retiring. I've been working a long time and I just want to do a lot of things, and I think it's a good time for me to step down.
2. So how does a compulsive guy like you who lives HPU 24 hours a day turn it off after all these years?
Well, I'm not going to turn it off. I'm going to continue to support Hawaii Pacific University as a volunteer after I retire and I plan to assist the university in its fundraising efforts to renovate the Hawaii Loa campus as a volunteer. I will be fully involved. This is my life work.
3. What's the best 20-word pitch you can make for someone to choose HPU?
I can't put it into 20 words, but Hawaii Pacific University's mission and ethos is to educate for global citizenship. What better place to do that (than) here in Hawaii, where the occident meets the orient and the orient meets the occident? What better place to come study and be involved in scholarly work than Hawaii Pacific, because of our ethos and mission to educate for global citizenship?
4. What's the biggest do-over you wish you could have in your career?
You know, I can't even think of that. There's probably so many things that could have been done better. Maybe we could have begun the dialogue with Hawaii Loa College earlier so that we could have merged and the successful partnership between Hawaii Pacific and Hawaii Loa could have occurred earlier.
5. Any words of advice for the Sea Warriors or their coaches?
They've just got to continue winning! This year we're going to win the Commissioner's Cup of the PacWest Conference go Sea Warriors!