Military Ties Are Cause for Concern As UH Searches for New Research VP

Courtesy of the University of Hawaii

Three of the five finalists being considered to head the University of Hawaii's research efforts, including the UH initiative to create a $1 billion-per-year research industry in the state by 2022, have close ties to the military.

The powerful high-paying position — called the vice president for research and innovation — has significant discretion over the university's research priorities, and some UH professors and students worry public education could take a back seat to lucrative classified defense-related projects.

University officials won't discuss the candidates, citing personnel rules. But the five — who were interviewed and selected by a search committee — have already made the rounds of UH Manoa in public presentations that were filmed and posted online.

A UH spokeswoman said the search committee and university president are still reviewing input on the candidates and don't yet have a timetable for when they'll hire the new executive.

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