UH Manoa Faculty: No Confidence in Vice Chancellor for Research

RJ Brown/Civil Beat

UPDATED 3/21/12 10 a.m.

Editor's note: After this story was published, Manoa Faculty Senate officials said they pushed back a vote on the non-confidence resolution until the group's April 18 meeting "to allow additional time to gather relevant information and permit the administration to comply with the Senate's requests."

The years-long controversy over whether or not to shut down a major research center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has led faculty members to draw up a damning resolution condemning the center's interim director, who they've repeatedly asked to resign.

The Manoa Faculty Senate this afternoon is expected to vote on a resolution accusing Gary Ostander of having "a clear administrative conflict of interest" in his role as both interim director of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center and an administrator for UH Manoa.

Ostrander has been the university's vice chancellor for research and graduate education since 2004, the same year he was named interim director of the research center.

The center is a research unit that focuses on biomedical and biosciences at UH's flagship Manoa campus. Researchers at the center say Ostrander hasn't been a good leader and has undercut the group's work by refusing to fill vacancies and hire new talent. They claim he can't fairly represent the interests of the center since he's been a lead advocate for abolishing the center to save money.

The resolution says the faculty senate has repeatedly asked Ostrander to resign as interim director — as recently as January — but that he has "ignored all of these requests."

"Therefore be it resolved that: The Manoa Faculty Senate has lost confidence in the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education," it concludes.

UH officials since 2008 have supported closing the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, which they say performs redundant work.

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