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Mauna Kea: University of Hawaiʻi, its President and Board of Regents

Page Overview

This tab includes resources published by or about the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) in regard to the university's role in the TMT project and Maunakea. Also included are videos from the UH Board of Regents meetings, including public oral testimonies.

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents

Where can I found out who are the regents that serve on the BOR? 

The Board has 12 regents that represent Hawai'i County, Kaua'i County, Maui County, Honolulu County, you can view photos and short bios of the regents in full here

What are the committees of the BOR?

  1. Committee on Academic and Student Affairs
  2. Committee on Budget and Finance
  3. Committee on Planning and Facilities
  4. Committee on Personnel Affairs & Board Governance
  5. Committee on Independent Audit
  6. Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics
  7. Committee on Research and Innovation

The function of the seven committees are to assist the BOR in acting on policies by making recommendations. More information on the committees can be found here.

What gives the BOR authority? 

Title 20 of the Hawai'i Administrative Rules creates the regulations, limitations, and other guidelines on how the BOR operates including the role of the regents and actions they can enact. 

In addition to the Administrative Rules, the Board of Regents follows a specific set of policies and procedures which can be found in their entirety here. Each specific policy section is outlined below: 

  1. General Provisions
  2. Administration
  3. Organization
  4. Planning
  5. Academic Affairs
  6. Tuition, Financial Assistance, and Fees
  7. Student Affairs
  8. Business and Finance
  9. Personnel
  10. Land and Physical Facilities
  11. Miscellaneous
  12. Research

The BOR also has bylaws in addition to the policies and the Administrative Rules that outline duties of the officers (i.e. what does the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson(s) do) in the BOR. The BOR Bylaws also explain the frequency of meetings and what constitutes as a conflict of interest.

  • The language in the bylaws is reader friendlier than most of the BOR documents and it is a great place to start in understanding how the BOR operates. 

What is the Sunshine Law?

What does the Sunshine Law do?
The Sunshine Law is Hawaiʻi's open meetings law, the intent is to make government processes and public policy transparent to the public. The The Office of Information Practices administers the Sunshine Law for the State of Hawaiʻi. The law explains rules and procedures on both county and state boards and how they must carry out their official business and open meetings.  The law also covers how public agencies handle government documents like notices, board materials, and meeting minutes.

What is an open meeting?
An open meeting where members of the public are allowed to attend any meeting and any person has the opportunity to submit their views in person or in writing about agenda items - more general information about what open meetings are is available here. Generally, if the board calls for an executive session, that part of the meeting is closed to the public - more information on executive meetings can be found here.

Hawaiʻi Sunshine Law Wikiō

Hawaii State Office Of Information Practices from Mark Wolf on Vimeo

When does the Sunshine Law apply? 
Applies to members of boards when the board member's are talking about that board's business. (Refer to 00:01:57 of the video) 

What is a "board"? 
A body that is of the state and/or the county, is created by a statute, charter, ordinance, an executive order or constitution. A formal act by the state or the county to create this body or give authority to a department head to create a body. (Refer to 00:02:15 of the OIP video) 

What is board business?

Specific matters that are within the board's authority, either on the board's agenda and/or is reasonably going to come on the agenda in the foreseeable future. (Refer to 00:03:40 of the OIP video)

Here is a document that goes further into depth with additional examples of what is and what is not classified as board business. 

The Office of Information Practices has two guides available written in user and reader friendly manner:

These guides also cover many FAQs further in depth such as how testimony is handled by the BOR, procedural requirements, and permitted interactions that board members can have with one another and others. 

More information about how board members of state and/or county boards who are members of multiple boards (roundtable discussions) are to comply with the Sunshine Law, check it out here

UH Board of Regents Meetings

Dr. Noe Noe Wong-Wilson's (also speaking on behalf of Dr. Kanahele) testimony at a UH Board of Regents Meeting on Nov. 6, 2019

Big Island Video News links and highlights four other testimonies from the Wednesday, November 06, 2019 meeting - access here

Meeting materials that were released for the November 06, 2019 UH BOR meeting can be found here

University of Hawaiʻi BOR meeting on August 2, 2019 on Oʻahu on Agenda Item D.  Appointment of a Permitted Interaction Group to Investigate Issues and Make Recommendations Related to Maunakea Governance.

  • Written testimony for the August 2, 2019 meeting can be found here and late written testimony can be accessed here.
  • Meeting materials for the agenda items from this meeting can be found here.
  • Minutes from the meeting is available here
  • A few timestamps for the oral testimony video:
    • Dr.Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa - (00:31:20)
    • Kahele Dukelow - (00:35:05)
    • Kaleikoa Kaʻeo (00:37:58)
    • Kealani Sonoda Pale (00:45:29)
    • Nikki Kepoʻo (00:50:45)
    • Kim Compoc (00:54:10)
    • Katherine Achacoso (00:57:04)
    • Joy Enomoto (00:59:41)

FULL HEARING: Mauna Kea Admin Rules in Hilo (June 4, 2019)


UH Regents Special Meeting On Mauna Kea (Feb. 22, 2018)


Lanakila Manguil's testimony at a UH Board of Regents meeting (April 16, 2016)

Edited Wikiō about the Management of Mauna Kea

The President of the University of Hawaiʻi

Who is the President of the University of Hawaiʻi (UH President)?

The current UH President is David Lassner, who has a background and education in information sciences and has worked in the UH system prior to his position as president. He is the 15th president to serve in this capacity. Lassner was initially approved as UH's interim President by the Board of Regents (BOR) in 2013 and following a split-vote in 2014 he was selected as the permanent UH president. In 2016, the BOR approved of Lassner as UH Mānoa's interim chancellor.  Lassner's bio can be found here.

What does the UH President and the Office of the President do?

The Office of the President manages and provides leadership to the 10 campuses in Hawaiʻi which now includes UH Mānoa in a greater capacity. The UH president works to promote UH as a leader in research internationally and to strengthen Hawaiʻi's economy. Part of Lassner's focus as UH president is to advance "...UH’s commitments to sustainability and becoming a model indigenous-serving university".

In April 2019, the BOR approved of a new UH Mānoa leadership structure that re-combines of the position and duties sof the UH president and chancellor of the UH Mānoa campus into UH CEO. Further re-organization is set to occur.

You can find more information about the Office of the President here.

Messages from UH President David Lassner and UH Leadership

University of Hawaiʻi President Lassner visiting Maunakea and greeting kūpuna with gifts of blankets on day 14 of demonstrations. 

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner addressing the UH Board of Regents at the July 18, 2019 meeting on the recent activity on Maunakea

BOR Agendas, Testimony, and Meeting Minutes

Where can I find the BOR agendas, meeting minutes, and copies of the written testimonies? 

The BOR has meeting materials, meeting minutes, written testimony, and agendas from 1980 to 2019 available online. The archive of previous meetings can be accessed here

I want to write to the BOR, how do I turn in written testimony?

The BOR has an open "window" of accepting written testimony for agenda items after an agenda is posted (usually this is done online) until 24 hours before the specific meeting you're writing in about. Written testimony that is submitted during this time period will be provided to the BOR for their review. 

Written testimony on an agenda item can be submitted after the 24 hour period before the meeting, however, it will be noted as late. Also, the regents get the late written testimony within 24 hours of when the BOR received the documents. Subchapter 2 of the Administrative Rules (page 9 of the PDF file) has further details on meeting proceedings.

Anyone (members of the public, students, etc.) interested in writing to the BOR about an agenda item can do so and written testimony is accepted by:

  • Mail 
    • 2444 Dole Street, Bachman Hall, Room 209
      Honolulu, HI 96822
  • Fax -  (808) 956-5156
  • Email -

You can access the official BOR website for here for more information on the BOR staff and their contact information here.

What if I want to speak in front of the BOR, how does that work?
When a person wants to speak in front of the BOR it is considered oral testimony. Testifiers have a time limit of three minutes for their oral testimony . Registration is required in order to present an oral testimony to the BOR. Additionally, if you submitted written testimony there is no automatic process to sign you up for an oral testimony. 

Oral testimony registration happens at the physical location where the meeting will take place and that information can be found on the meeting agenda and online. Registration opens 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. Once the meeting starts, registration is closed. 

Additional Information

If someone submits oral and/or written testimony (this includes by email and fax too not just mail) it is considered public record. Public record means that the information is not considered confidential and it will be posted online to the BOR website. 

Currently, neither video nor audio of previous BOR meetings are available online. Oral testimony provided during a BOR meeting is summarized with the testifier's name and a brief reference to the item the testifier is speaking on. The summarization record of that oral testimony is released in the meeting minutes online at a later date.