Regents to consider new Maunakea internal management structure
From UH News, June 12, 2020
(Editor's Note: This post has vanished from the UH News website.)
The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) will consider the UH Hilo internal restructuring plan for management operations of Maunakea lands at the board’s upcoming June 18 monthly meeting (PDF). The BOR considered and deferred an earlier version of the restructuring plan at its May 21 meeting to allow further consultation with stakeholders and to make clear that the proposed plan is strictly for existing subparts of UH.
BOR Chair Ben Kudo emphasized that key point when he opened the discussion at the May regents’ meeting noting that the vast majority of the testimony received did not speak to the actual plan itself. Kudo clarified that the action under consideration involved only the internal restructuring of existing subparts of UH that have oversight and management responsibilities for Maunakea. He affirmed that larger policy questions regarding governance of Maunakea, including the viability of an entirely new governance framework involving the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, other state agencies, or a new entity altogether, are decisions that have to be made by the State of Hawaiʻi, not just the university or the BOR.
The objectives of the internal restructuring plan under consideration are to improve accountability and transparency regarding lines of authority across internal UH units; to organize management functions around mission-critical activities; to clarify the university’s regulatory, stewardship and advocacy roles by separating these functions within the university organization; to leverage and optimize existing networks and partnerships to maximize resources and expertise; to broaden, diversify and elevate stakeholder input in decision making; and to maximize governance continuity to minimize disruption.
Among the initiatives proposed, the plan calls for the integration of the Office of Maunakea Management and the Maunakea Support Services. This integration was called for in the 2000 Master Plan which is currently in effect and developed with broad community input before being vetted and approved by the BOR 20 years ago. The internal restructuring plan being considered now by the regents would implement this aspect of the Master Plan in a manner that seeks to deliver both balance amongst stakeholder interests (community, astronomy and stewardship), and synergy through connection of the multitude of resources within the university system with those of its community partners.
Since the May 21 BOR meeting, Greg Chun, UH executive director of Maunakea stewardship, on behalf of UH Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin, has continued to receive input from stakeholders regarding the internal restructuring plan. The consultation process itself started November 6, 2019, and has involved more than 89 meetings, presentations and conversations. Based on the additional feedback received since the May board meeting, more revisions have been made to the plan, which Irwin will present at the June 18 BOR meeting.
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