David Lassner says he believes the University of Hawaii has the potential to be the leading public higher education system in the nation and if he were president he would welcome the opportunity to try to make that happen. Lassner, who is Interim President of the U.H. spoke at Leeward Community College Wednesday. He has been at the U.H. for nearly 40 years. The other candidate being considered is retired Army Lieutenant General Frank Wiercinski, who spent 34 years in the U.S. Army. Wiercinski spoke at the U-H Manoa campus on Tuesday night and student protesters carried signs saying they feared the university would become a military research institution under Wiercinski's leadership.