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Abuse of Power

There are no limits – When there is no challenge

It appears that making a statement about legislative interference and/or influence over the selection of the next UH President comes at a cost.  After watching the debacle, vicious character attacks, and hard-line criticism of BOR Chair Alapaki Nahale-a over a biased view of a lack of authority over UH President David Lassner and the administration, Senator Donna Mercado Kim and the Senate Committee on Higher Education is now prepared to stick the final dagger by sending the confirmation to the Senate floor on Tuesday, March 5th as it was announced today.  

It’s no surprise because anyone who displays calm, professional, and collaborative leadership doesnʻt get the nod of approval.  What the committee seems to be looking for is candidates who display a more combative, argumentative, hostile, and contentious attitude and behavior to get the confirmation.  There were three (3) candidates up for confirmation that day.  One candidate had all positive testimonies on their behalf.  The other two (2) had mixed reviews.  Yet, one gets the nod and the other one doesnʻt.  The only difference, that candidate spoke out against the Senator.

So here we are again.  A move by Senator Donna Mercado Kim to reshape the Board of Regents into her name, image, and likeness so that finally the Senate can get what they have long desired – control over the UH.  It appears that the advise and consent process is contingent upon being controlled.  While we hope and want to believe otherwise, the writing was on the wall way before Governor Josh Green submitted his list of nominees.

The vote will be close for sure because there are still some Senators who believe in an honest, open, and collaborative process of government that does not succumb under political pressure or performance politics.  This vote is not about Alapaki Nahale-a.  This vote is about abuse of power.  If you are frustrated now about not being at the table for the UH Presidential search or concerned about threats over your tenure, academic freedom, and decreased funding, there will be darker days ahead on the horizon. 

With the vote being scheduled so quickly time is of the essence.  UHPA urges all its members to email or contact your State Senator and ask them to keep an open mind and to objectively review a candidateʻs qualifications and block out the noise and speculative biases.  “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence” – Leonardo da Vinci