Tom Apple has been dismissed as chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, his attorney, Big Island lawyer Jerry Hiatt, said Wednesday night.
He was offered a tenured faculty position in the chemistry department for an 11-month salary of $299,000. The university is also offering him a total lump sum payment of $100,000, including attorney’s fees.
Rumors surfaced last weekend that Apple, who was hired in 2012, was being dismissed as chancellor — three years before his employment agreement was set to expire. He made about $439,000 a year overseeing the university’s flagship campus.
It’s unclear why exactly he was let go, though some faculty members speculate it has to do with Apple’s conflicts with the UH Cancer Center and its director, Michele Carbone. Apple’s controversial approach to the university’s budget deficit could also have been a factor.
Apple’s term was supposed to last through 2017 but was contingent on annual satisfactory performance reviews. According to a letter to Apple earlier today from UH President David Lassner, Apple’s performance was deemed “less than satisfactory” — a conclusion that Lassner apparently discussed with Apple in person July 18. Apple was offered a tenured faculty position in the anatomy, biochemistry and physiology department at the university’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, effective this September, but he declined the deal, instead taking a job as a chemistry professor in the College of Natural Sciences.
Here’s a statement from Apple released by his lawyer, followed by the termination letter and the settlement offer:
Late this afternoon President Lassner handed me the termination memorandum …