The University of Guam Board of Regents on Thursday night voted for Thomas Krise, a retired Air Force officer who chaired the English department at a Florida university, as the UOG president-elect.
Krise was the chairman of the English department at the University of Central Florida.
The only local candidate, Anita Borja Enriquez, UOG senior vice president of academic and student affairs, fell short of a few votes to land the top job at UOG. Enriquez left the board vote teary-eyed.
Krise initially received four votes, and a minimum of five was required. A revote gave Krise the edge, with six votes, over Enriquez's two votes.
Here's how the board voted:
Elizabeth Gayle, chairwoman – Krise
Jillette Leon Guerrero, vice chairwoman – Krise
Elvin Chiang, treasurer – Krise
Jerold Filush, regent – Krise
Liza Provido, regent – Krise
Annie Fay Camacho, student regent – Krise
Chris Felix, regent – Enriquez
Dr. Hyo Sang Ji, regent – Enriquez
"Our charter requires an affirmative vote so Dr. Krise has been selected as the next UOG president-elect. We will now go into a period of negotiations with Dr. Krise. If negotiations work out, we will have a new president. If not, we will convene again," Gayle said.
In a previous talk with the UOG faculty and student community, Krise said his background at public and private institutions, his time growing up in the U.S. Virgin Islands and his 22 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, where he retired as a lieutenant colonel, make him a wise selection.
Krise mentioned his work history at the University of the West Indies, University of Chicago and the University of Central Florida, and touted his arts and sciences and managerial background. He's still a professor of English as well as president emeritus at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.
Noting strides UOG has made since 2000, Krise said, "For the next level, the university needs to be concentrating on the relationship between the arts and sciences as the centerpiece of any university, and how those interact with the professional schools – nursing, education, business, engineering – that provide the professional training that Guam and the whole region need."
He also said his experience at institutions with exceptional graduate programs could help UOG.
"There is a cultural expectation of graduate programs that should be different from the undergraduate ones, and that's something I can bring."
From his time in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Krise said he was well aware of how the smaller communities really paid attention to what the local school was doing. He said he really came to appreciate the close attention community members paid to their local college.
In discussing his time as the chairman of the English department at the "massive" University of Central Florida, which had 65,000 students and a faculty union, Krise said he'd had a good relationship with them "all the way through."
The two other finalists, Bruce Murphy and Ronald Larsen, did not get any votes.