New university administrator faces questions about $439,000 salary

Published On: May 18 2012 09:46:14 PM HST   Updated On: May 18 2012 06:46:00 PM HST

Tom Apple was trained as a chemist, and approaches his new job as head of the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus through that lens.

"I am a scientist. I like to take data and then analyze it," said Apple.

But Hawaii taxpayers will be looking at Apple under a microscope.
Apple will make a salary of $439,000, which about four times more than what the governor makes.

In comparison, UH president M.R.C. Greenwood’s starting salary is $475,000.

She, however is under a temporary ten percent reduction and currently receives $427,512 annually.

UH spokeswoman Lynne Waters confirmed those figures.

That would have Apple drawing a higher salary than his boss at least temporarily.

During a Friday video-conference with news reporters, President M.R.C Greenwood tried to shield Apple from reporters’ questions about his record-high salary, although he did acknowledge his new job is more a lateral move than a boost in pay.

"I feel pressured, and I like that. I work best a little scared," said Apple.

The new chancellor is being tasked to raise student achievement and to increase the university's research dollars.

Apple said it was a deal with the company that shares his name that taught him a valuable lesson.

The finger swipe technology of the iPhone and iPad was developed at the University of Delaware and sold to Steve Jobs' company during the year Tom Apple took over as provost. Unfortunately, the institution made very little off the deal.

"We really only recouped $5 million from that, and obviously we learned from the experience, in my first year at the University of Delaware, and we put in a much stronger intellectual property office based on that," said Apple.

The university’s faculty has already increased federal and private research dollars tremendously in recent years. The new chancellor hopes to do more to support their efforts with technology and innovation.

“Ideas, such as incubators and technology parks, and more partnership and getting licensing opportunities with established companies to take projects to the next level,” said Apple.

Greenwood will work with Apple to bring in strategic hires in the next six to eight months. It is not clear where the money will come from.

Apple is to start his new job June 18.


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