§304A-104 Regents; appointment; tenure; qualifications; meetings. (a) The affairs of the university shall be under the general management and control of the board of regents. The board shall consist of eleven members who shall be appointed by the governor from lists of qualified candidates presented to the governor by the candidate advisory council, pursuant to section 304A-104.6, and shall be confirmed by the senate; provided that if the list of qualified candidates includes fewer than three candidates at any time during the nomination and confirmation process, the governor may request that the candidate advisory council reopen recruitment for qualified candidates. Members may be removed by the governor. Except as otherwise provided by law, state officers shall be eligible for appointment and membership.
The term of each member shall be five years, except as provided for the initial appointment in section 26-11; provided that the term of the student member shall be two years. Every member may serve beyond the expiration date of the member's term of appointment as a holdover member until the member's successor has been appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate in accordance with article X, section 6 of the Hawaii State Constitution; provided that, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a holdover member shall not serve as a member of the board beyond the end of the first regular session of the legislature following the expiration of the member's term. Members shall serve no more than two consecutive five-year terms; provided that the members who are initially appointed to terms of two years or less pursuant to section 26-11(a) may be reappointed to two ensuing five-year terms. If a member is to be appointed to a second term of five years, the senate shall consider the question of whether to reconfirm the member at least one hundred twenty days prior to the conclusion of a member's first five-year term; provided that if the senate is not in session within one hundred twenty days prior to the conclusion of the member's first five-year term, the member shall continue to serve until the senate convenes for the next regular session or the next special session for which the senate is authorized to consider the question of reconfirmation.
(b) In determining whether to confirm the governor's nominee to the board of regents, the senate shall consider the combination of abilities, breadth of experiences, and characteristics of the board of regents, as a whole, that will best serve the diverse interests and needs of the students of the university system and assist the university system in achieving its strategic goals and performance indicators. The senate shall consider whether the board reflects the diversity of the student population, the various counties of the State, and a broad representation of higher education-related stakeholders.
(c) At its first meeting after June 30 of each year, the board of regents shall elect a chairperson and one or more vice-chairpersons who shall serve until the adjournment of the first meeting of the board of regents after June 30 of the next year, or thereafter until their successors are elected; provided that the chairperson and vice chairpersons shall not be elected prior to the taking of office of regents whose terms shall begin on July 1 of that year. The board shall appoint a secretary, who shall not be a member of the board. The president of the university shall act as executive officer of the board. A majority of the board of regents shall constitute a quorum to conduct business, and the concurrence of a majority of all the members to which the board of regents is entitled shall be necessary to make any action of the board of regents valid. The board shall meet at least ten times annually and, from time to time, may meet in each of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.
(d) The governor shall notify the candidate advisory council for the board of regents of the University of Hawaii in writing within ten days of receiving notification that a member of the board of regents is resigning or has died, or is being removed by the governor.
(e) The members of the board of regents shall serve without pay but shall be entitled to their travel expenses within the State when attending meetings of the board or when actually engaged in business relating to the work of the board. [L 2006, c 75, pt of §2; am L 2007, c 56, §4; am L Sp 2008, c 9, §3; am L 2011, c 50, §1; am L 2013, c 72, §3; am L 2019, c 172, §3]
Boards, generally, see §26-34.
Attorney General Opinions
Subsection (a), providing that a holdover member shall serve until a successor has been "appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate", is constitutional; the state constitution explicitly grants the legislature the authority to regulate the board in this manner. Att. Gen. Op. 16-3.
Respondent's application of the holdover provision of subsection (a) to the six regents whose terms had expired contravened L 2007, Act 56, §§1 and 5 and was contrary to the modified appointment process for regents prescribed by the Hawaii constitution, article X, §6. 119 H. 341, 198 P.3d 604 (2008).
The governor's nondiscretionary duty—pursuant to the Hawaii constitution, article X, §6, §304A-104.5(e), and subsection (a)—to nominate and appoint members of the board of regents of the University of Hawaii, is subject to a reasonable time standard; reasonable time is judged by the totality of the circumstances; the passage of nearly ten months since the governor was presented with the regent candidate list was an unreasonable period of time for the governor to perform this constitutional and statutory duty and the governor was thus subject to mandamus. 119 H. 341, 198 P.3d 604 (2008).