Students: 'UH is broken' after Apple's firing

Students: 'UH is broken' after Apple's firing
Published: Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 21, 2014 at 10:54 PM HST
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MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As University of Hawaii president David Lassner and the Board of Regents listened, testifiers vented their frustration over a lack of information on the firing of former Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple.

"We will continue to call for investigations into the firing of Chancellor Apple," student Bret Polopolus-Meredith said.

"We just have no answers. It's very frustrating because you continue to talk to them. You continue to ask them questions. But all they tell you is it just happened," student Ryan Mandado said.

Many of the students and faculty who signed up to testify at the regents meeting at Windward Community College said they don't trust Lassner or the board.

"They can't articulate a reason because they have no reason. The reasons why he was removed are hidden and they're afraid to actually admit those reasons," UH associate professor Bob Cooney said.

"Words cannot express the disappointment for the blatant disregard of the voice of the students, faculty and community," ASUH president Steven Nishihara said.

Some of the testifiers called on the regents to resign.

"You are not properly managing this university." Polopolus-Meredith said.

Some want Apple reinstated.

"It seems like it's a done deal but we're not going to stop fighting," Mandado said.

"He was the first administrator since I've been on the ASUH Senate to regularly come to the ASUH Senate meetings and talk with us. What are the issues? What would we like to see fixed? How can he better himself?" ASUH Senate member Martin Nyugen said.

Lassner fired Apple after what he called an unsatisfactory performance review. Apple was in the second year of a five-year contract.

"He's one of the most decent, honorable men that I know of. He's humble. He fits Hawaii," Cooney said.

"We just want to be proud of UH. So please help us to have something to be proud of," Nishihara told regents.

This was the first meeting of the full board since Apple's firing last month.

After an executive session, regents returned to announce the approval of Robert Bley-Vroman as interim chancellor at Manoa. He will be paid $275,000. September 1 will be his first day on the job.

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