UOG president finalist values island culture
Updated: May 13
By Frank Whitman
If LeGene Quesenberry is selected to be the next president of the University of Guam, she would bring with her experience in academia – as an instructor, as an administrator and as a practicing attorney for the past 35 years.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Washington State University and a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law. She has worked in Hong Kong, Texas, China, Hungary, Pennsylvania, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, and as interim president of The American University in Nigeria.
She has published more than 50 articles and has “a significant grant acquisition history.” She has also been an entrepreneur, having founded a pearl import business in 1981, according to her curriculum vitae which is available on the UOG website.
“She is adept at building meaningful partnerships with government, civic and business entities that are essential for community development,” her biography states.
On May 10, she responded to questions from a small group of UOG students, faculty and staff who attended a question and answer session in the UOG fine arts theater. Media was permitted to attend but not to ask questions, at Quesenberry’s request.
She said she is attracted to UOG by its inclusion of local indigenous culture in its curriculum and its research. She is not aware of any other universities in an area with an indigenous culture that treat that culture with the same amount of respect, she said.
If selected to be president, she would promote the use of the university library, theater and other such facilities for community activities.
In response to a question about a possible budgetary shortfall affecting faculty salaries, which are to be raised in the upcoming year and are considered to be long overdue for an increase, she said that she would first determine what cuts could be made in other areas. If needed, one option may be to raise the salaries incrementally. Another option she might consider would be a tuition increase, though she acknowledged the importance of keeping the university affordable and tuition at its current level.
She also indicated she would likely favor the inclusion of union leaders, the faculty senate head, student government leaders, staff representatives and similar individuals on her advisory council and in any similar bodies.
A participant in the session asked whether she would favor the construction of a hotel by UOG or engagement by the university in some other entrepreneurial activity. While she thought a hotel would probably not work out well due to the large number of hotels already on Guam, she said she favors some business activity and a tourism-related activity would be logical.