HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After five years in charge of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and a year after former UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple tried to fire him, Dr. Michele Carbone abruptly turned in his resignation Friday, saying he will return to a tenured faculty positon at the center.
In a hastily called faculty and staff meeting at the Cancer Center at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, Carbone said he will remain at the center but concentrate on his research.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished working together with our faculty, UH leadership, supporters in the community, and with our Consortium partners," Carbone said in a statement released just before 6 p.m. Friday. "There are cycles in life. Now my focus is on finding a cure for cancer."
It's unclear if Carbone was forced to step down from the director post.
Carbone has the dubious distinction of having more complaints and grievances filed against him and his administrators than any other unit in UH's 10-campus system.
The faculty union said he was the focus of 25 complaints as of last fall.
Former UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple tried to fire him twice last fall, accusing Carbone of mismanagement and over spending. But Apple was over ruled by top UH officials.
Adrian Franke, a 25-year researcher at the center and a critic of Carbone, was surprised at the news.
"I actually didn't expect this to happen anymore because Doctor Carbone weathered very heavy storms," Franke said.
UH Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman released a statement that praised Carbone for what he called "essential leadership" that led to construction of the new cancer center building.
It's unclear whether Carbone's $412,008 salary will be reduced since he's no longer in charge of the center.
A UH spokeswoman said his new salary is still being determined.
Dr. Jerris Hedges, dean of the UH medical school, will take over as interim cancer center director as a search gets under way for Carbone's replacement.
The following is a statement from UH Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman:
The following is Statement from Dr. Carbone:
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