The following statement was released by the UH system July 27, 2014:
University of Hawaii System President David Lassner has held confidential performance assessment discussions with all the individuals who report to him, in accord with UH policy and good practice. The university does not disclose the details of those conversations. The Board of Regents has been briefed.
Tom Apple is the Chancellor of UH Manoa and President Lassner continues to work with him to address the challenges facing UH Manoa as Hawaii’s research university and the flagship campus of the UH System.
KHON reports July 26:
University of Hawaii President David Lassner has notified Apple of the decision not to retain him as chancellor, and Apple’s lawyer is negotiating with U.H. officials on a potential settlement for the remaining three years of his five year contract with the school, sources familiar with the situation said.
At the time he was hired in May of 2012, Apple’s employment agreement paid him $439,000 dollars a year through 2017.
Apple was traveling in California on official U.H. business on Saturday night....
Ka Leo reports July 26:
...Lassner had asked Apple to step down, citing reasons including unpopularity with deans and community leaders, as well as conflict with JABSOM and the UH Cancer Center. Apple reportedly clashed with medical school administrators because of his desire to remove UHCC Director Michele Carbone.
Apple's tenure has seen him steer the school through the Wonder Blunder (where $200,000 went missing after the athletics department attempted to coordinate a Stevie Wonder concert to benefit the program, only to discover the promotion company had no ties to Wonder) and the subsequent fallout in 2012. He also has struggled through trying to balance the university's notoriously shaky budget amidst legislative scrutiny.
The chancellor made a habit of regular "Campus-wide Conversations" with the university community to openly discuss issues ranging from security to tuition; he also raised graduate assistant stipends to more "competitive" levels and oversaw a number of sustainability initiatives on campus....
HNN: Apple leaving UH Manoa chancellor's post; may remain as professor
July 27, 2014: Two years into what was supposed to be a five-year appointment, University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple will be removed from the position, but he may remain at UH as a professor, sources told Hawaii News Now.
Sources said UH President David Lassner told Apple more than a week ago that the university does not plan to keep him on as head of UH's largest campus.
And negotiations are underway over Apple's exit from the top job, but he might stay at the university since his employment agreement allows him to "fall back" to a tenured bio-chemistry professor position at the UH’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, assuring a salary as high as other senior faculty there....
Sources added that Apple has been told some community leaders "lost confidence" in him when he tried unsuccessfully last fall to fire Dr. Michele Carbone, the head of the UH Cancer Center.
Apple has been concerned about the 25 grievances and personnel complaints filed against Carbone by Cancer Center researchers and professors, more than any other UH department.
Sources said Apple is also worried about the Cancer Center's $10 million annual debt that has been erased by the center's share of cigarette tax revenues that have declined by at least a half million each year, as more people quit smoking.
“They get about 15 million dollars a year from the state cigarette tax,” said UH Manoa Faculty Senate Vice Chair Bob Cooney, a critic of Carbone.
“And all the projections are that it's not going to be enough, and they basically forced Tom Apple to agree to support the Cancer Center as it heads toward deficit,” said Cooney, who was on the panel that selected Apple two years ago.
Ka Leo July 27:
...classics professor Robert Littman criticizes the chancellor, saying that he "wasn't surprised" when the rumor first broke. Littman does not support Apple's recent budget plan that calls for a hiring freeze, arguing that it hurts the campus far more than it helps.
If Apple is gone, Littman would like to see an administrator like Reed Dasenbrock, current vice chancellor for academic affairs, take his place.
Ka Leo has reached out to a number of campus administrators and staff, including athletics director Ben Jay, who works closely with Apple on athletic department issues, and Dave Karl, an oceanography professor who was on Apple's hiring committee. Most have declined comment.
A statement released by UH Cancer Center director Michele Carbone - who reportedly clashed with Apple in the past - said only that Carbone has not "been officially informed" of any change in Apple's position and reiterates that the center is committed to working with President David Lassner in support of the university.
It does make note, however, that the Cancer Center is not directly responsible for any budget shortfall at the Mānoa campus, as its current inability to maintain its debt service is due to decreased income from the state cigarette tax.
Star-Adv: Sources: Apple will no longer be Manoa chancellor
Some state legislators said they didn't know Apple was leaving and said they didn't have complaints about him.
"It's kind of a little bit of a surprise," said Sen. Brian Taniguchi (D, Makiki-Tantalus-Manoa), the chairman of the Senate Higher Education committee. He said Apple has about three years left on his agreement with the university. "I know that there's been some turmoil with his announcement about across-the-board cuts. There was a lot of angst about that."
He said he didn't know why Apple was leaving, but expects the university will have to decide how to find a new chancellor, such as whether to do a national search and who will do the search.
"It's going to keep a lot of things up in the air," he said.
Taniguchi also had questions about the impact on the university.
"They're going through some budget struggles right now," he said. "Without that kind of leadership, I'm not sure how they're going to deal with those kinds of issues."
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