President's Statement: Will not bring any UARC proposal to Regents until October 1, 2005 at earliest - No UARC contract will be signed without Board approv

University of Hawaiʻi
Contact:
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: May 3, 2005

As I said in my communication to you on Monday, May 2, there is much in your Monday request with which I can agree. Let me be more precise.

1. I will not bring the proposal to establish the Applied Research Laboratory — University of Hawaiʻi at MaŻnoa (ARL-UHM, that is, the U.S. Navy University Affliated Research Center, or UARC) back to the Board of Regents for a decision until October 1, 2005 at the earliest.

2. If and when I bring the UARC proposal back to the Board of Regents for a decision, I will insure that both proponents and opponents have an opportunity, through testimony before the Board in a public meeting, to present relevant information, a fair analysis, and a complete picture of the UARC.

In order to present that complete picture, I will require that any recommended contract be available to proponents and opponents, as well as to the Board, for their review. I note that this commitment is the same that has been made by MaŻnoa Vice Chancellor for Research Gary Ostrander.

Further, since no contract for a UARC can be signed without Board approval, my commitment not to bring the UARC back to the Board for a decision until October 1, 2005 insures that no contract will be signed before that date.

3. I support the request for the release of relevant UH documentation concerning the UARC, consistent with the provisions of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 92F, which sets forth by law the information which is appropriate for public disclosure and the procedures under which state government agencies disclose that information to the public. A number of Office of Information Practices ("OIP") Opinions may be applicable in this instance, and the University of Hawaiʻi will act in accordance with the law.

4. Concerning the request for the release of RCUH documentation concerning the UARC, as President of RCUH I have apprised RCUH Executive Director Michael Hamnett of my support for this request, again consistent with the provisions of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 92F. RCUH receives legal counsel from the State Attorney General‘s office, and I anticipate Dr. Hamnett will consult them in the same fashion as I have consulted University counsel.

5. Concerning the request to rescind the action memorandum presented to the Board of Regents on November 19, 2004 for the approval of the ARL-UHM (UARC), which memorandum (dated October 15, 2004) originated with then-Interim UHM Vice Chancellor for Research Kudritski, and was then signed by UHM Chancellor Englert, then-Chief of Staff Sam Callejo, Interim Vice-President for Research Jim Gaines, and by me as Acting President:

I am advised by counsel that this request is moot, since the Board of Regents has already acted on this memorandum in giving provisional approval to the UARC. Further, according to minutes of its November meeting, the Board stipulated -- as a remedy for incomplete consultation — that "full consultation is to take place and that the administration shall be required to bring this matter back to the Board for final approval."

Thus, I endorse the position of the Board as articulated at the close of discussion in November: more consultation is needed, and final approval requires another Board action. I assure the Coalition that my position on the UARC will depend on the content of the still-to-be-finished consultations with both proponents and opponents of the UARC, as well as on the specific details of the contract.

6. I trust that these statements address the Coalition‘s concerns, and that the group will vacate Bachman Hall. As the debate over the UARC continues, I call on the members of the Coalition to pledge themselves to insuring that this dialogue is civil and respectful to all involved, no matter what their point of view.