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UOG presidential candidate fields questions about background, vision

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 4:51 PM Updated:

By Salome Vuki

After a controversial selection of finalists, the first of four candidates for UOG president made his visit to the Mangilao campus. Dr. Thomas Krise, currently a professor of English and former president of Pacific Lutheran University in Washington, takes on questions from the Triton community.

He's the first to step foot on campus, in spite of a petition to halt the presidential search where students cited concerns three of the now four candidates are non-local. Dr. Krise graduated from high school in the U.S. Virgin Islands and served for 22 years in the US Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

As a professor he dedicates his life to study early Caribbean literature, saying, "When this opportunity came up, I thought it immediately of it being attractive because I went to high school in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I paid a lot of attention to Guam as one of the territories. I've been interested in the cultures of small-island territories for my whole career."

When asked about Guam's unique position, he says programs like Chamorro studies set UOG apart, and can attract interest from abroad, adding, "I think Chamorro studies is a very important signature program. I think everything to do with the marine biology and climate science, environmental science. I think those are two such obvious things that matter.

He also added that his background can help manage scarce resources. "So, I think it's important to have the mindset of a private institution in a public institution. There are resources, there are way of organizing the university that could be more efficient or a little bit more nimble in the way of a private university. I think having some of that mindset is helpful," he stated.

Dr. Krise envisions UOG creating a culture for continuing education, such as graduate programs.

Participants were encouraged to send their thoughts on Dr. Krise through an online survey open until Thursday.

Forums for the other three candidates continue this week with Dr. Anita Borja Enriquez, the only local candidate, set to answer questions Tuesday at 12:30 PM in the UOG Lecture Hall.

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