The University of Hawaii announced a new leadership team today to run the UH Cancer Center, which includes keeping embattled director Michele Carbone at the helm while bringing on a chief operating officer and advisor to help him.
UH said in a statement that it is hiring Patricia Blanchette as associate director for administration and chief operating officer. Blanchette is leaving her role as CEO of a faculty practice organization that supports UH-Manoa’s medical school and other clinical practices.
Carbone and Blanchette will report to Brian Taylor, the interim vice chancellor for research at Manoa.
Former Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, who hired Carbone in 2008, has agreed to serve as a senior adviser to Carbone and Taylor.
The restructuring comes as some faculty have called for a leadership change, claiming the director’s poor management has tarnished the center’s reputation and jeopardized its federal funding.
Interim UH President David Lassner released a statement on the plan ahead of a meeting of the Board of Regents’ Committee on Academic Affairs, where the center’s leadership is to be discussed in executive session.
Carbone was first named interim director in November 2008 before being appointed to the post a year later by Hinshaw. He has been working without a formal employment contract, according to UH.
Carbone has had more than 20 complaints and grievances filed against him through the faculty union during his tenure, which the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly says is the highest number of reported violations it has handled for any university unit.
Years of internal disputes over Carbone’s management came to a head last month as former and current faculty said they were prompted to petition the Board of Regents to remove Carbone after two failed attempts by UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple to terminate him.