Latest Articles

  • Meet the University of Hawaii’s Newest Lobbyists

    · By Nick Grube

    The University of Hawaii has enlisted a familiar face to lobby for federal research dollars in Washington, D.C., under a new contract signed last month.

    Jennifer Sabas, the former chief of staff for the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, will be part of a two-person lobbying team from The National Group that will try to secure funds in fields such as astronomy, ocean sciences and food sustainability.

    The $189,000 annual contract also calls for the lobbyists to push for policies that will increase affordability at the university, in particular for immigrants, veterans

  • Former Judge Among New Picks for UH Board of Regents

    · By Alia Wong

    Gov. Neil Abercrombie has selected his candidates for the four University of Hawaii Board of Regents seats that were vacated because of a new law requiring regents to publicize their financial disclosure statements.

    They are Simeon Acoba, a former Hawaii Supreme Court associate justice who would represent Oahu; Dileep Bal, a Department of Health officer on Kauai; Peter Hoffman, a former Hawaii County councilman; and Helen Nielsen, a field representative for U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz who lives on Maui. (Their bios are included below.)

    Abercrombie made his selections from a list of 14 candidates provided

  • National Campaign to End Campus Assaults Doesn’t Involve Hawaii Students

    · By Alia Wong

    The White House unveiled a new public-service campaign today that aims to combat sexual violence on college campuses through a network of student leaders, advocacy groups and corporations tasked with shifting the way people think about such assaults.

    The “It’s On Us” campaign wants everyone to see that it’s his or her responsibility to prevent sexual assault.

    “The campaign reflects the belief that sexual assault isn’t just an issue involving a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim, but one in which the rest of us also have a role to play,”

  • Candidates for Vacant UH Board of Regents Seats Announced

    · By Alia Wong

    The council in charge of nominating candidates for the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents today announced the finalists for the four seats that were vacated because of a new law requiring members to submit public financial disclosure statements.

    Specifically, the law requires that members of the Board of Regents and another 14 boards and commissions publicize their financial interests. Earlier this summer, the measure prompted the resignations of at least 16 members, including four regents: Carl Carlson (Hawaii County), John Dean (Honolulu), Saedene Ota (Maui) and Tom Shigemoto (Kauai).

    The board is made

  • UH Launching Center to Help Commercialize Research

    · By Alia Wong

    A great idea rarely achieves its full potential if it fails to make it into the marketplace.

    That’s the premise behind a new center at the University of Hawaii — the XLR8UH Proof of Concept Center — that aims to connect researchers and startup entrepreneurs with investors, “providing a launch pad for commercialization.”

    Vassilis Syrmos, UH vice president for research and innovation, says the absence of such a center often results in a “valley of death” — “the vast chasm that often prevents a great idea from reaching commercial viability.”

    The University of Hawaii’s

  • Gov. Abercrombie Releases $39M for UH Facilities Upgrades

    · By Alia Wong

    With fall semester classes starting up today, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has announced the release of $39 million to the University of Hawaii for capital improvement projects at various campuses statewide.

    The projects include repairs, maintenance and upgrades “to ensure functional academic environments and accessible, affordable higher education opportunities for the people of Hawaii,” Abercrombie said in a statement.

    A laboratory sink area at Snyder Hall, UH Manoa, on July 9, 2014.

    PF Bentley/Civil Beat

    Here are details on the projects, taken from a press release:

    $29,000,000 – Systemwide Health,

  • Money 101: The State of Fiscal Affairs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

    · By Alia Wong

    Lately the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s finances have garnered a lot of attention as faculty members, students and the public speculate about the firing of Chancellor Tom Apple and its connection with his directive to freeze all hiring in an effort to stop the budget bleeding.

    Talk about the budget has gotten especially heated as Apple supporters and others scrutinize the university’s Cancer Center, a research unit administratively attached to UH Manoa that’s been criticized for its divisive leadership and alleged over-reliance on students’ tuition money.

    In a recent

  • UH Closes All Campuses in Anticipation of Storm

    · By Alia Wong

    The University of Hawaii announced today that it’s closing all campuses on Oahu and Kauai tomorrow in anticipation of the severe weather expected to accompany Hurricane Iselle.

    The campuses include UH Manoa, UH West Oahu and the five community colleges on the two islands.

    UH yesterday announced the closures of all Big Island campuses all day today and tomorrow and all Maui campuses today starting at noon and all day tomorrow.

    A NOAA graphic demonstrating how Hurricane Iselle was expected to advance across the Hawaiian islands as of 12 p.m. Thursday.

  • Fired UH Chancellor Says Cancer Center Politics Sparked His Termination

    · 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

  • Students, Faculty Slam UH President for Firing Apple

    · By Alia Wong

    Dozens of University of Hawaii at Manoa students planned to stage a sit-in Thursday morning at the UH president’s office to protest what they figured was the imminent dismissal of Chancellor Tom Apple.

    They swore they wouldn’t leave until UH President David Lassner formally pledged that he would retain Apple as head of the university’s flagship campus. 

    But then something happened late Wednesday afternoon that changed their course a bit: Lassner handed Apple his termination letter, effectively barring the students from having a say in the decision.

  • Hawaii Monitor: Fallen Apple Has Immediate Practical Consequences

    · By Ian Lind

    The budget meltdown and administrative shakeup at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus have been very much in the news, but I doubt  most people understand just how delicate — to use a polite euphemism — the immediate situation is in the wake of Chancellor Tom Apple’s imposition of an indefinite hiring freeze and the subsequent swirling rumors of his likely administrative demise.

    The practical problems created by the abrupt hiring freeze are dramatic and carry heavy downside risk for the campus.

    In just over two weeks, thousands of incoming students, including

  • Tom Apple’s Ouster: Rumor or Retaliation?

    · By Alia Wong

    UPDATED 7/29/14 6:40 p.m.

    As reports surface that University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple is getting the boot, professors and students are starting to speculate whether inside politics and disputes over the campus’s budget are at play.

    Hawaii News Now broke the news late Saturday that Apple, whose $439,008 salary makes him one of the university’s highest paid employees, is likely being removed from his position as chancellor, a post he has held since 2012. His contract is set to expire in 2017, though it’s subject to