Halt UOG President Selection Process to Ensure Compliance and Transparency
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The Unibetsedåt Guåhan (UOG) is a public land grant university and an institution. Many of our residents depend upon on the UOG in order to explore and develop knowledge and skills that are integral to facilitating and improving the systems that are vital to our economic, social and cultural affairs.
The Government of Guam, including the UOG Board of Regents, must be held accountable to current and former students, faculty and residents of Guam (Public). We join in concerns raised by the Public regarding the selection of candidates to serve as President of the UOG. Specifically, Guam law requires that the President of UOG possess knowledge and understanding of Guam and Micronesia (§16110(b)(1)). Possessing knowledge and understanding of Guam and the broader region is more complex than mere heritage and residency; it requires a committed and demonstrated engagement with our people, our communities, our islands. This may be qualified by research and experience that expressly examines and/or relates to the region and the unique context in which the faculty and students, both present and future, live and conduct their research and studies around.
UOG Presidential Search Committee Chairman, Mr. William Leon Guerrero, stated: "While none of the finalists have Chamorro heritage or have resided on Guam, the (UOG Presidential Search Committee) is confident that all of (finalists) possess the necessary experience, skills, and traits to learn fast, adapt, and work in a unique place like Guam.” However, the Public has LOST confidence in the Search Committee’s ability to select candidates who have substantiated experience that indicates familiarity with or an interest in Guam and the broader region, its people, or the particular historical and contemporary issues that affect us in real and physical ways. While the three final candidates may be qualified, in terms of management and administrative experience, they, unlike the other highly qualified candidates that sought the position, will be inhibited because they do not possess a demonstrated understanding of Guam, Micronesia, and the broader region.
Based on this, we call on the Legislative Oversight Chair, as well as the Board of Regents, to:
- Halt the current hiring process, including scheduled visits by candidates; and
- Convene a Legislative Oversight Hearing to examine and reform the process to improve transparency and ensure compliance with §16110(b)(1) of Title 16, Chapter 16, Guam Code Annotated.
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