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Interim President, University of Hawai‘i System

David Lassner

David Lassner was appointed interim University of Hawai‘i president effective September 1, 2013.

As the University of Hawai‘i’s first VP for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Lassner was responsible for supporting academic and administrative computing; distributed learning technologies; and voice, data and video telecommunication. He directed Information Technology Services, which provides technology support to the UH Manoa campus and addresses statewide needs of the university system.

Since joining the University of Hawai‘i in 1977, Lassner has held a series of progressively more responsible technical, management and executive positions supporting the broad use of information technologies across the full mission of the university throughout the State. He is a member of UH Manoa's cooperating graduate faculty and has taught online and in person in the Department of Information and Computer Science, College of Business, School of Communication and College of Education. Lassner has also served on the faculty of management institutes for IT leaders nationally and internationally.

Lassner plays an active leadership role in a number of local, national and international organizations. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Kuali Foundation and EDUCAUSE, where he is a past chair. Lassner is a past-chair of the Pacific Telecommunications Council and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), and has also served on the board of Internet2 and coordinated a variety of education projects for the Internet Society internationally. Locally, he has served on the Boards of Hawai‘i Public Television, the Hawai‘i High Technology Development Corporation where he chaired the Federal Relations Committee, and he chaired the Hawai‘i Broadband Task Force. Lassner was recently reappointed by the Senate President to the State of Hawai‘i Information Technology Steering Committee. Lassner has been recognized by WCET with the Richard Jonsen Award and by Internet2 with the Richard Rose Award.

Lassner serves as principal investigator (PI) for Maui High Performance Computing Center and for the Pacific Disaster Center. He has been an active National Science Foundation PI for almost 20 years, leading projects including the Hawai‘i Education and Research Network (HERN), a demonstration project to apply networking technologies in K12 and higher education in the 1990s followed by major networking projects to keep UH connected to its national and global counterparts, collaborative international networking, and outreach into the Pacific Islands. Lassner is also PI for several major Department of Commerce projects that are bringing fiber optic cabling and gigabit speed networks to public schools, public libraries and UH sites throughout the State and supporting public access to broadband at public centers on all islands. Lassner has written two book chapters and speaks frequently to local, national and international audiences.

Lassner holds an AB summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in economics and an MS in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He earned a PhD in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawai‘i.

Portrait, David Lassner

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