UPDATED 7/29/14 5:40 p.m.

University of Hawaii President David Lassner released a statement today defending the secrecy that’s shrouded the truth about Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple’s employment.

News surfaced this past weekend that Apple, who oversees the university’s flagship campus, is being dismissed from his post three years before his employment agreement is set to expire.

David Lassner at a public forum in May.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Rumors are circulating as to why exactly he’s facing a possible termination, including theories that he ruffled too many feathers at the university’s Cancer Center or that his contentious efforts to cut spending on campus made him unpopular among too many top administrators.

The university has refused to confirm the news, drawing criticism from faculty members and students who are lambasting UH for refusing to release any information to the public.

Dr. Tom Apple, the University of Hawaii at Manoa chancellor.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Lassner defended the university’s handling of the matter and lamented that it’s become a “public spectacle,” noting that “when a change in leadership is necessary, it is best accomplished with as much dignity as the circumstances permit.” He went on to highlight the university’s efforts to recover its budget and boost morale on campus.

UPDATE: Jerry Hiatt, Apple’s attorney, responded to Lassner’s statement in an email to Civil Beat this afternoon: “Tom Apple would simply like to state that he greatly appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of support he has received from UH faculty, students and community leaders who believe that a ‘change in leadership’ is not necessary.”

Here’s Lassner’s statement in full:

As a matter of policy and in accordance with Hawaii public records law, university personnel matters are confidential and we abide by that commitment to confidentiality out of respect for our employees. Experience teaches that …

Loading UH President Explains Secrecy Surrounding Chancellor Apple

Follow Civil Beat on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for Civil Beat’s free daily newsletter.

About the Author