HONOLULU (KHON2) — As he embarks on his final year as president of the University of Hawaii System, KHON2 News spoke with David Lassner about what he’s accomplished in more than a decade at the helm.

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And advice for whoever takes over next after he retires at the end of 2024. He said communities across the state can benefit if lawmakers better understand the importance of the school’s work.

“The house generally treats UH pretty well. Many of the senators are quite supportive of UH, but at the end of the day, the results don’t always come out as friendly as we would have hoped,” said Lassner.

KHON2 News asked how can that change?

“You know, I think we just have to keep telling our stories. I think maybe if more people go in and talk with senators about the importance of our work, it’s not about me or the president. It’s really about this university across the state, being able to help the people and the communities across the islands.”

David Lassner, University of Hawaii System president

From keeping tuition as low as possible, to focusing on programs that get students ready for in-demand jobs, Lassner explained UH is committed to being one of the best values in education in the country. He also sees a role in preparing students for Maui’s recovery.

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Lassner also weighs in on the future of division-one sports at UH, confident in not only football’s future, but an eventual return to Aloha Stadium with what he said will be a better deal for UH.