UH president: I am sorry this has become a spectacle

Published On: Jul 29 2014 08:05:54 PM HST
Office Exit

The halls of the University of Hawaii's president's office are empty now.

But they may not be Thursday morning when Chancellor Tom Apple's supporters plan a sit-in.

 They say they won't leave until they get a statement from David Lassner that Apple will remain as chancellor.     

 The students said Apple has fought for them, now it's time for them to fight for him.

 They don’t think it makes sense that Apple's job should be in jeopardy.


“If the chancellor is removed they have to negotiate a settlement which means we pay him, and any as well as any incoming chancellor and I feel more financial burden on the students,"  said Kelly Zakimi, vice-president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii .  

Bachman Hall was where a couple of key UH regents met presumably with Lassner  in the afternoon.

But today no one was talking, including Board chair Randy Moore.

 "I cannot say anything," Moore said has he left campus.

On Tuesday support for Apple came from the School of Hawaiian Knowledge,

and the Kuali'i Council, an 11-year old group of Native Hawaiian faculty directors and graduate students.

"The Hawaiian custom is that you honor and acknowledge good work,” said  council administrator Keali’I Gora.

"Tom Apple has been such a strong supporter of Native Hawaii faculty hires and he has actually given 8 positions to the Kuali'i council at a time that has been difficult for the university. He supports all Hawaiians attending the university and Hawaiians teaching at the university," said senior faculty member Lilikala Kamehemehiwa.

 The Faculty Senate issued a statement late in the afternoon calling Apple's performance over the past two years, exemplary.

Then, the UH president issued one of his own.

It appeared to give the first official confirmation that Apple's job was indeed on the line.

 "...when a chance in leadership is necessary, it is best accomplished with as much dignity as the circumstances permit," Lassner wrote.

"Unfortunately many statements are circulating and the privacy I had hoped for has been compromised with a mix of truths and rumors from many sources. I regret that my attempt at privacy and dignity has been perceived by some as lacking transparency and accountability. And I am truly sorry this has become a public spectacle," said Lassner.

Apple released a statement through his attorney saying he appreciates the overwhelming support he has received from UH students, faculty and community leaders who believe that a change in leadership is not necessary.



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