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Mystery Remains on Hearing’s Details

Re: SB 3269 SD 1

Where is Jan Sullivan’s Missing Testimony?

While an NFL Superbowl LVI Champion was crowned, restaurants and florists inundated with reservations and deliveries on Valentines Day meet the challenge, and as the US moved up from 6th place to 3rd place on the 2022 Winter Olympic medal counts, there is still no posting, access, or availability on the Hawaii State Legislature’s website to obtain former Board of Regent member Jan Sullivan’s testimony on SB 3269, SD 1.  Since former Regent Sullivan continued to reference her written testimony during the hearing, inquiring minds are interested to read the contents of her written testimony as it was referenced many times during her testimony and questioning.  

Does Oceanit Have An Interest Here?

It’s perplexing that this is supposed to be an open public hearing and not just a one way listening session.  While the majority of all testimonies were posted on the website, including LATE testimonies, so how is it that former Regent Sullivan’s testimony remains elusive and missing?  As the Chief Operating Officer for Oceanit, we do recognize that former Regent Sullivan has a vested, if not, personal interest in all matters surrounding the UH.

Who Asked Who?

Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Donna Mercado Kim continues to stand by her statement that this isn’t an act by the Legislature to impose their will on the Board of Regents (BOR). The only Republican on the HRE, Senator Fevella, supported HRE Committee Chair Kim’s statement that, “we did not come up with this Bill as stated by Ms. Sullivan.”  (1:08:08) Chair Mercado Kim explained in an email to a UHPA Faculty Member that:

“This measure was introduced for a couple of reasons: 

(1) Outlining the recommendations of the Board of Regents’ “permitted interaction group” (PIG) that was charged with evaluating the institution’s tenure system and set forth ideas for reform and improvement to allow public discussion on the Regents report

(2) The UH administration failed to meet the deadline of January 4, 2022 (10 days before the convening of the Legislature) to report on SCR 201 Report to Examine and Assess the University of Hawaii’s Tenure System so it could not be introduced in a bill as the bill introduction deadline was Jan.26, 2022.”

Where’s The BOR PIG Written Testimony In Support Of SB 3269?

At the hearing, Chair Mercado Kim stated that SB 3269 was proposed by the BOR PIG (32:50-32:56).  In review of all the testimonies posted on the Legislature’s website, there were no written testimonies available from any of the BOR PIG members.  Again, the BOR PIG consisted of BOR members Jan Sullivan, Ben Kudo, Ernest Wilson, Robert Westerman, UH officials Deb Halbert, Bonnie Irwin, Erika Lacro, Brennon Morioka, Velma Kameoka, and UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern.  

Other than BOR PIG member Jan Sullivan verbally testifying in support of the bill, there were no other individuals of the BOR PIG who submitted written testimony in support of the bill or at least there was none posted, referenced, or recognized by Chair Mercado Kim.

Again, who asked who to introduce this bill?

Where is Ben’s Testimony?

Former BOR Chair Ben Kudo (Attorney Ashford & Wriston) only provided oral testimony on the proposed SB 3269, SD 1, and was cut off before he had a chance to state his position in support or opposition. He only got as far as testifying that the BOR did NOT act on the PIG recommendation. 

Are You For, Or Against This, Ben?

UHPA asks that Regent Kudo clarify his position over SB 3269, SD 1, and whether he was speaking on behalf of the BOR, a member of BOR PIG, or as an individual.  As a standing member and current Vice Chair of the BOR, Regent Kudo’s position needs to be identified to determine his standing when testifying on this measure.

In solidarity we stand!