Education

Fired UH Chancellor Says Cancer Center Politics Sparked His Termination

Tom Apple had defended his leadership in a letter to UH President David Lassner, who wrote a performance evaluation that faulted Apple's "decision-making."

·By Alia Wong

Tom Apple, who was removed as head of the University of Hawaii at Manoa this week, wrote in a recent letter that his job was at risk because he ruffled the feathers of a small group of powerful people who didn’t like his approach to the campus budget.

Apple wrote a rebuttal letter late last month to UH president David Lassner, who on July 18 had handed Apple a negative annual evaluation claiming he failed to unify leadership on campus and failed to ensure its financial stability.

It was this evaluation that prompted Apple’s high-profile dismissal. (Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the evaluation being based on comments from 360 people.)

Tom Apple, former chancellor of UH Manoa.

University of Hawaii

Apple on Thursday provided Civil Beat with several internal memos he exchanged with Lassner, including the rebuttal letter, that shed further light on the circumstances behind his termination. Apple said he had intended for all the names cited in the documents to be redacted, but the redactions were inadvertently removed because of a technological error,  revealing the names of people Apple believes precipitated his firing.

They include Michele Carbone, director of the UH Cancer Center, and former UH Board of Regents Chairman John Holzman. Apple’s memos also reference other individuals without naming them.

Lassner gave Apple his termination letter Wednesday, along with a settlement offer that includes a $299,000 tenured faculty position in the school’s chemistry department and a

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Alia Wong

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