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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Regents Discussed Firing Greenwood, Apple
By Andrew Walden @ 5:36 PM :: 14046 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment


HNN: Greenwood, Apple apologize to regents for concert fiasco August 23, 2012

University of Hawaii Board of Regents admonished UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple during a day-long closed-door meeting Wednesday when the two officials also offered their apologies to the board, sources said.

Behind closed doors with UH regents yesterday, Greenwood also apologized to regents who admonished Greenwood and Apple for the way they handled the aftermath of the failed event.

Greenwood told reporters there was a great deal of discussion with regents in executive session about, "How do we make it right? We made a mistake. Our employees made mistakes. We want to go forward and do the right thing."

But sources said Greenwood also told the regents if they wanted her to reverse any decisions that have been made, such as removing Donovan as athletics director, she would follow the board's wishes and try to convince Apple, who is Donovan's boss, to reverse his decision to remove Donovan as athletics director.

"We do not want to micro manage the university," said one regent. "If we do not have confidence in the way things are being done, then we have to replace the president," the regent said.

But according to those familiar with the discussions, there was not any detailed conversation about replacing Greenwood. (In other words, there WAS a discussion.)

read … Greenwood, Apple apologize to regents for concert fiasco

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UHPA: Jim Donovan Letter Raises Concerns About UH Stevie Wonder Concert Investigation

From UHPA August 24, 2012

Yesterday, a letter from Jim Donovan’s attorney was released which casts doubts on the actions taken by the UH President and Board of Regents and the completeness of the investigation. The issues raised in the letter that the UH failure resides within the offices of General Counsel Darolyn Lendio and VP-Administration Howard Todo, has not been addressed adequately. UHPA is very concerned that the decisions made by President Greenwood and the Board of Regents, including the transfer of Mr. Donovan to another job will encourage legislative scrutiny of all UH funding creating significant uncertainty for our students and faculty. This situation is a grave distraction illustrating a failure to assert responsibility and leadership at the highest levels at UH.

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Report finds no criminal wrongdoing by UH employees

News Release from University of Hawaii August 23, 2012

The University of Hawaiʻi was most likely a victim of a fraud in a failed effort to raise money for the UH Mānoa athletics department through a concert.

A detailed report by the Cades Schutte law firm investigators, identified as “factfinders” in excerpts from the report, was presented to the UH Board of Regents at its regular monthly meeting on August 22.

“Factfinders have not found any evidence that anyone at UH committed fraud,” the report said in its executive summary of findings. “It appears to Factfinders that all UH employees were motivated by a desire to help Athletics raise revenue.”

The fate of the missing $200,000 was referred to federal law enforcement.

“We are cooperating with the federal authorities in every possible way,” UH President M.R.C. Greenwood said. “We understand everyone wants to know where the money went and so do we. But the answer to the question awaits the work of the authorities.”

“The factfinders didn’t find any intentional misconduct among UH employees nor did they find that any employees benefited financially or otherwise as a result of the benefit concert,” Greenwood said. “We did document avoidable mistakes in judgment. We are correcting that by putting into place policies and procedures to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Greenwood said some employees will have their actions reviewed during annual performance evaluations. Employees involved in financial transactions will undergo additional training. Greenwood has also revoked a policy that provided the athletic department with significant delegation of authority in financial matters.

The report determined there was insufficient vetting of the local concert promoter and companies that represented themselves as agents of Stevie Wonder, one of which was wired $200,000 in proceeds from advance ticket sales.

UH leaders say this has been a challenging time for the university.

“We all understand that the UH athletic program is one that generates pride and excitement throughout Hawaiʻi, and our athletes have the ability to lift our state in so many ways,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Tom Apple.

“This has been a sad episode for the University of Hawaiʻi, our fans and the public. We are sincerely sorry this happened,” Greenwood said. “It is understandable that some of our employees wanted to do something to help enhance the resources of the athletic department. We are grateful to those who stood with us, including the many faculty and students whose own achievements and success stories are being overshadowed by this controversy. With your help and understanding, we will emerge from this a stronger university.”

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UH Releases Athletics Investigation Report

News Release from UH BoR August 22, 2012

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents issued the following statement today after a multi-hour closed door session.

We apologize for the university’s handling of this matter and are deeply sorry for the concern and upset it has caused in the community. We approve the release today of the redacted report of the investigation and the key findings of the investigation. The report shows a failure of management in the Athletics Department and additional issues with financial controls at several levels.

We ask that everyone remember that the university is the victim in this whole unfortunate incident. We have lost a significant amount of money, and could face litigation.

We want to first emphasize our strong support for the leadership of university President MRC Greenwood and UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple.

We also expect and support the public’s demand for accountability in this matter. We recognize that the concert issue was mishandled and anticipate making significant changes to procedures and oversight so that this cannot happen again.

The Board of Regents will oversee these changes and has asked the administration to report back to the board on these plans to improve oversight and procedures.

We are in full support of the university’s decision to move former Athletic Director Jim Donovan to the UH Manoa Chancellor’s office and affirm President Greenwood and Chancellor Apple’s actions in this personnel change. We concur that Jim’s service in this new role will be a suitable and appropriate use of his talents and we look forward to his future contributions to the university.

We are entrusted and committed to improving and growing the University of Hawaii.

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EDITOR'S NOTE August 21, 2012: MRC Greenwood makes public comment on the Stevie Wonder imbroglio, and her story (below) is that she had been planning to dump Donovan all along. With the BoR preparing to meet tomorrow, the obvious question is whether Rockne Freitas con-vinced Greenwood to deploy such a stupid story in hope of the BoR firing Greenwood and putting him in the top job.

President’s letter to the UH ohana

Letter to UH Students, Faculty and Staff, August 21, 2012

Dear University ʻOhana,

It’s the start of a new school year and we have much to celebrate with the opening of the new UH West Oʻahu campus and other successful programs to advance our system of public higher education.

The last few weeks, however, have cast a cloud over our accomplishments and we’ve been unable to publicly refute much of the inaccuracies due to employee confidentiality and other concerns. This Wednesday, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents will have a full and complete discussion of the facts leading to the cancelled Athletics benefit concert, examination of the university’s subsequent actions, and our recommendations for moving forward. We have tried to follow, and I hope you agree that we have followed, a thoughtful and transparent process first with our Regents and then with the general public. I will be available after the meeting to answer questions and respond to concerns, and we ask for your understanding so that these matters can be handled with the appropriate attention, gravity and consideration.

Let me recap a few key facts:

  1. Stevie Wonder Concert: We believe we were scammed. When we became aware that we may have been the victims of a fraud, we immediately reported it to law enforcement and fully cooperated with law enforcement. We also initiated our own internal investigation. The results will be presented to the Board of Regents this Wednesday. In order for the investigation to proceed freely and fully, employees closely connected with the planned concert were removed from the workplace and placed on paid leave. Because we felt it unfair to make statements before facts were available, we have declined to engage in the widespread speculation about blame and accountability.
  2. UH Athletics Department: At the same time, and almost coincidentally, UH Mānoa administration had determined that after 4½ years of a 5-year agreement, it was time to search for a new Director of Athletics. Plans for the process and timetable for this action would have commenced regardless of the concert cancellation and ensuing investigation. The discussions regarding this personnel decision were in the early stages and not yet public, but the attention of campus leadership had already turned to the recruitment process.

Unfortunately, these two separate issues collided and became entangled in the public’s perceptions. Personnel actions related to the future of the Athletic Department are not a result of nor derived from the investigation over the concert, and the two events should not have become so connected in the way that they have.

Please know we are deeply grateful for your concerns expressed over the last two weeks. We value your trust and pledge to continue to be transparent and open as we move forward as a university community and ʻohana.

I look forward to reporting back to you after the Regents meeting, and I thank you, as always, for the privilege of serving you, our students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and the people of Hawaiʻi.

M.R.C. Greenwood
University of Hawaiʻi System




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