The exit of MRC Greenwood as UH president was not a surprise. But, if it were, it would have been a pleasant surprise. The key to success in the eyes of the public is not found in the details of administration and management, but it’s in the perception. Now, that can be either fair or un-fair. Regardless, it’s the reality.
Supporters would dismiss the Stevie Wonder debacle as just a distraction that shouldn’t tarnish the reputation or the school. Really? What we common folk do, who are not paid a gabillion dollars from the taxpayers wallets, is expect the basics to be done. If you’re going to get the dollars, title and benefits, then you need to demonstrate that you’re grateful and capable. The perception of MRC Greenwood is that she was neither. There’s no doubt that UH faced some tough times during her tenure. But, when isn’t there a crisis or two with an organization as massive as the UH system? The bottom line is that people who vote for politicians felt like they had been hoodwinked by a group of well-moneyed people who dismissed the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars as a non-event (read Tom Apple, Chancellor, UH Manoa). The exorbitant salaries of outgoing Chancellor Virginia Henshaw, incoming Chancellor Tom Apple and the $400,000-plus salary for Greenwood with the placing of tarnished AD Jim Donovan occupying the chancellor’s office as a $200K or so PR hack was just too much to accept. This in light of reports of professors and instructors struggling daily just to make ends meet. Un-acceptable perception.
The incoming president will have one primary job. To restore the confidence in the institution and financially reset the direction of the school. Nothing less with be tolerated.