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Wanted: New University of Hawaii Regents

Four of the six open seats require immediate appointments because the regents resigned.

·By Alia Wong

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is running on empty now that four regents have abruptly resigned because of the new public financial disclosure law.

The university’s Candidate Advisory Council is looking for people to fill those four seats immediately — on top of the two seats whose terms are set to expire next year.

All in all, the state needs to appoint people to six seats on the 15-member board, which serves as the university’s governing body.

Former UH Board of Regent John Dean shown in Regents meeting on 6.2.14.

John Dean, who resigned his seat on the UH Board of Regents, is on the right on June 2, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The Board of Regents is among the 15 state boards that have been added to the list of of those that have to file public financial disclosure statements. Until now, members of these 15 boards only had to file confidential financial disclosure statements with the state Ethics Commission.

So far, at least 18 board members have resigned because of the law, including the four regents: Saedene Ota of Maui County, Carl Carlson of Hawaii County, Tom Shigemoto of Kauai County and John Dean of Honolulu.

Ota’s term was set to expire in 2015, Carlson’s in 2016 and Shigemoto and Dean’s in 2017.

These four seats will be filled on an interim basis immediately upon appointment, though the duration of the appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Meanwhile, Gov. Neil Abercrombie needs to appoint two additional regents for terms beginning next July. Those regents will fill the seats that are slated to expire in 2015: Ota’s Maui County seat and the seat currently filled by Chuck Gee of Honolulu.

Candidates must reside in the geographic region they seek to represent. The positions are unpaid.

More information is available on the Candidate Advisory Council’s website.

Discussion

Who do you think would make for a good regent?