Evan S. Dobelle named 12th President of the University of Hawai'i

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Mar 13, 2001

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents today approved the appointment of Evan S. Dobelle to be the 12th President of the university beginning July 2, 2001.

Dobelle, currently President at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, will succeed Kenneth P. Mortimer, who last year announced his intention to step down from the presidency on July 1.

Approval of the appointment comes after a nationwide search over the last seven months and a review of applicants and nominees by a broad-based advisory committee. Dobelle was introduced following a special regents meeting at Bachman Hall, the university system's central administrative building.

In her remarks, regents chair Lily K. Yao noted that the president-designate was selected after an extensive review of a number of excellent candidates.

"We are most fortunate to be able to welcome Dr. Dobelle to the University and the state of Hawaiʻi," Yao said. "He has an outstanding record of accomplishments at the three institutions of higher learning where he has served. That record and the time we spent with him in the interview process make it very clear that he is eminently qualified to lead the University of Hawaiʻi as we approach our centennial."

Dobelle commented that he was attracted to the unique opportunity presented by Hawaiʻi to return to educational administration in the public sector in a multicultural setting.

"The University of Hawaiʻi system offers a comprehensive higher education program across every level. That in itself presents a tremendous challenge," he said. "But the institution also has a very well-deserved reputation for a wide spectrum of exceptional programs of which we can all be very proud."

"I am very excited about being here," Dobelle added, "and I am grateful for the opportunity to move the institution forward as we approach the university's centennial."

Dobelle has led Trinity College since 1994. He was previously chancellor and president of the nine-campus, 85,000-student City College of San Francisco and president of Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts. Thomas S. Johnson, Chair of Trinity's Board of Trustees, acknowledged Dobelle's impending departure with high praise. "Evan has been an extraordinary leader at an extraordinary time in Trinity's long and proud history," he said. "During his six-year tenure he has presided over the development and implementation of a campus master plan, a neighborhood revitalization plan, and an academic plan that will differentiate and further distinguish Trinity."

Johnson added, "He has worked tirelessly and effectively to advance the priorities identified by the trustees and the goals embraced by the wider Trinity community. The Board is disappointed to see him move on. He's delivered on every promise and met or exceeded all our expectations. Trinity's loss is Hawaiʻi's gain, and we wish Evan - and the University of Hawaiʻi - well."

Aside from his credentials in academia, Dobelle has also had a career in politics. He was twice elected mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and served as that state's Commissioner of Environmental Management and Natural Resources. He also served as the U.S. Chief of Protocol for the White House and Assistant Secretary of State with the rank of ambassador during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Dobelle holds bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in education and public policy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master's in public administration from Harvard University.


Meet the President-Designate
Dr. Evan S. Dobelle

Tuesday, March 13, 2001
8:30 a.m. Kapi'olani Community College
10:30 a.m. Honolulu Community College
1:30 p.m. Leeward Community College and UH West O'ahu
4:00 p.m. Windward Community College

Wednesday, March 14, 2001
11:00 a.m. Maui Community College
3:30 p.m. Hawai'i Community College
4:30 p.m. University of Hawai'i, Hilo

Friday, March 16, 2001
3:00 p.m. Kaua'i Community College