HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood is recommending the UH Regents hire University of Delaware Provost Tom Apple as the next UH Manoa chancellor, sources said Friday.
Greenwood is asking the Regents to approve a salary for Apple that is nearly $100,000 more than his predecessor.
A chemist by training and one-time chemistry professor, Apple was one of four finalists for the UH Manoa job.
"This is an incredible university with clearly the most unique programs in the world," he said during a talk with UH students, faculty and staff during a campus visit on April 10. "I really believe that leadership at a university is about having constant conversations with the community, with your constituents, and really talking things through."
Apple is the provost at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, which has about 20,000 students, roughly the same size as UH Manoa. He has been the University of Delaware's chief academic officer for three years and arrived there in 2005 when he was named dean of arts and sciences.
Through a spokeswoman at his office in Delaware, Apple declined comment Friday.
If he's approved by the UH Regents, Apple would replace Virginia Hinshaw, who is stepping down at the end of June after five years in charge of the Manoa campus.
Asked if she is recommending the hiring of Apple, Greenwood told Hawaii News Now Friday: "If you've been talking to people in Delaware, then you know that Dr. Tom Apple, who was the candidate from there is highly respected. And that he would be a great choice for our university. But I'm not going to confirm that right now."
Greenwood declined to speak about her recommendation to hire the next chancellor until after the Regents meet to vote on her proposal next Thursday.
"This has been a national process, we've worked hard at it. We've had a great search committee. And I think it's going to have a positive outcome, but I can't pre-judge that," Greenwood said.
Greenwood is asking the Regents to pay Apple nearly $100,000 more than Hinshaw, whose salary is $344,880 a year.
Greenwood's proposal called for UH to pay Apple $439,008, a raise from his last reported salary of $375,400 at the University of Delaware.
Greenwood said the median pay for chancellors of similar-sized universities is $418,000 a year, according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
Apple will begin work at UH Manoa June 18, two weeks before Hinshaw's last day as chancellor June 30.
"The University of Delaware is indebted to Tom for seven years of remarkable service," said University of Delaware President Patrick Harker in a news release Friday afternoon. "The number and caliber of faculty we've hired during Tom's tenure, the academic programs we've added and strengthened, the incredibly talented students we've enrolled -- all of it is a testament not only to Tom's dedication but also to his fundamental belief in the transformative power of higher education."
UH is choosing a new person to lead its flagship Manoa campus even as some people question the need for a Manoa chancellor's office.
State Rep. Mark Takai (D-Newtown, Waiau, Pearl City, Waimalu), a member of the State House Higher Education Committee, a UH graduate and former student body president, introduced a proposal at this year's legislature that asked the Regents to consider combining the offices of the president and UH Manoa chancellor.
He said the school could save millions of dollars if Greenwood -- or whoever is UH president -- functioned not only as head of the entire UH system but also oversaw its largest campus in Manoa.
"I've analyzed the figures and I think six million a year additional funds is necessary to operate the two separate positions with their staff," Takai said.
Takai said when the chancellor's office was created some years back, it was with the claim that the office would not cost any extra money and would amount to only a reorganization of existing staff.
Takai's proposal did not get approved by the State House and was never considered by the State Senate.
Greenwood said there's more than enough work for one person to concentrate on heading UH Manoa, which she called a "billion-dollar operation," with 20,000 students, more than 5,000 employees and a massive physical plant.
"The person who is the chancellor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has a full-time job, and I have a full-time job as the president of the university as well," Greenwood said.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the national group that oversees accreditation of UH, wrote Greenwood a letter in April, saying that a move to combine the chancellor and president's offices by the legislature would be seen as interference of the Regents and could affect UH Manoa accreditation.
"Legislative interference with the governance of the University of Hawaii has been a major issue for the university and a source of significant concern at WASC for over 25 years," wrote Ralph Wolff, the WASC president.
"The substance of the proposed resolution would directly insert the legislature into the governance of the university, sidestep the role and authority of the Board of Regents," and violate two WASC standards of accreditation, Wolff said.
The other three finalists for the Manoa chancellor's position were Robert C. Holbub, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Carlo Montemango, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati; Kim A. Wilcox, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Michigan State University.