UH announces plans to keep controversial Cancer Center director

Published: Jan. 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii Board of Regents said Thursday it plans to keep the university's Cancer Center under the leadership of Dr. Michele Carbone, despite continuous efforts by faculty members to have him fired.

Carbone, the Cancer Center's director since 2009, has been credited with the success of the Cancer Center's construction in Kakaako. But in the last year and a half, he has also faced nearly 25 complaints and grievances filed against him by faculty members, more than any other UH entity.

Among the complaints were claims of harming faculty members' reputations, removing one researcher from an $8 million grant without notifying him and a "hostile work environment" at the Cancer Center, according to the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, the union representing UH faculty statewide.

Despite this, the university said in a statement that it recognized the need to strengthen management support and believed the first step would be to solidify and clarify the leadership team.

Dr. Patricia Blanchette will join the Cancer Center as associate director for administration and chief operating officer. She will leave her role as chief executive officer of UCERA, the faculty practice organization that supports clinical, academic and research activities of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and other clinical practices.

Blanchette and Carbone will report to Dr. Brian Taylor, interim vice chancellor for research for UH Manoa. Dr. Virginia Hinshaw will serve as senior advisor to Taylor and Carbone.

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