- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - A decision to fire the chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa has the backing of UH Regents Chairman Randy Moore despite continued protests from students.

UH President David Lassner on July 30 removed Tom Apple as chancellor two years into a five-year contract. He had been earning about $439,000 annually. He agreed to be reassigned as a fully tenured chemistry professor at a $299,000 annual salary and will receive a $100,000 payout.

The UH-Manoa Graduate Student Organization and the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii on Tuesday called for Gov. Neil Abercrombie to investigate, calling Lassner’s action corrupt and nontransparent, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://bit.ly/1urVyYU) reported.

Moore had not heard of the request Wednesday, he said.

“Speaking for myself, I think I understand what happened, and I don’t think an investigation would inform me,” he said.

He fully supports Lassner’s decision, he said.

Students on Wednesday asked regents to reinstate Apple.

“Our chancellor was fired without the approval or even input of students and faculty,” ASUH Vice President Kelly Zakimi said. “This suggests that the core of our campus is not important in this important decision-making process (and) our voices were blatantly disregarded. Our chief administrative officer, the first chancellor in recent history both students and faculty have believed in and trusted in, was removed by a process that implies micromanaging and ignorance of our campus values.”

Lassner has said he was concerned about Apple’s abilities to turn around a fiscal crisis and inspire campus leadership to carry out strategic goals. He said on Wednesday his decision is final.

“We have a signed settlement agreement signed by Chancellor Apple,” he said.

Apple has said he was given an unsatisfactory job rating. In a rebuttal letter, he noted that his firing may be connected to push-back from the dean of the medical school for funding cuts and his failed attempts to remove the director of the Cancer Center.

Regents may consider an interim replacement Aug. 21.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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