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By Tanya M.C. Mendiola Pacific Daily News

HAGATNA, Guam (July 24, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---A graduate of Guam's George Washington High School has been chosen as the next president of the University of Guam.

Harold Allen was chosen as the college's ninth president during a UOG Board of Regents meeting Monday, which was a continuation of a meeting that began last Friday.

Allen, senior vice president for research, strategic partnerships and economic development at Cleveland State University in Ohio, was selected by five regents -- the number of board members needed to carry a vote.

The meeting room in the Mangilao campus' library was quiet after the vote, unlike the mood that has followed the search process in the past month, during which criticism was levied by members of the university community about the presidential selection process.

"The process was done the best way we could," said board Chairwoman Marie Nelson, who was a member of the presidential search committee. "We hope that (Allen) will be here for the convocation . . . before classes begin August 20."

Allen moved to Guam at age 7, attending public schools until completing high school here, and was the only off-island applicant of three candidates chosen as finalists for the job. The other two, who did not attend last night's board meeting, were Mary Spencer, dean of the UOG College of Arts and Sciences, and Arthur Jackson, director of the UOG Financial Aid Office.

Regents Nelson, Donna Muna-Quinata, John Beamer, Kenneth Paulino and Mark Mendiola voted for Allen. Finalists' names were called alphabetically, and once those five voted in favor of Allen, voting ended. Regents Franklin Quitugua and Enrique Castro were present, but did not vote for Allen.

"Moving forward is what our intention is," said Regent Muna-Quinata. "The university has other issues to deal with. I think now the whole university community is going to feel like 'Now we have something to look forward to. Now we have leadership.'"

After the meeting, UOG faculty members and staff congratulated board members for making the decision to hire Allen for the position, which has been vacant since December 1999.

"The incoming Student Government Association is ready and willing -- excited -- to work with the president that they have chosen," said Michael San Nicolas, SGA president-elect.

San Nicolas, who refused to leave the last board meeting until regents agreed to let him speak, said he hopes the selection of a new president will have only positive consequences for the institution.

"I'm relieved that the regents made a decision, but I am not satisfied that the process had been followed," said Sallie McDonald, UOG Alumni Association president and one of three advisory members to the presidential search committee who has expressed concerns about the selection process.

In April, a presidential search committee was appointed by David Shimizu, former board chairman, after Peter Lee of San Jose State University in California withdrew his candidacy for the job.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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