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Donovan to return to UH in new position after concert debacle

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 04:35 p.m. HST, Aug 12, 2012

<br />Bruce Asato / basato@staradvertiser.com<br />Jim Donovan, University of Hawaii athletic director, has been placed on indefinite leave after announcing there would be no Stevie Wonder concert. Also on indefinite leave is arena manager Rich Sheriff.<br />

University of Hawaii officials said today that athletic director Jim Donovan has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Stevie Wonder concert debacle and will return to the school in a new position Monday.

They did not specify the title of his new position but said he “will have significant responsibilities in designing, creating, articulating, marketing and communicating to the community, including assisting with the evolving land grant mission of the university,” according to a press release issued today.

"I am very pleased that I have been cleared of any wrongdoing as I have always acted in the best interests of the university,” Donovan said in the release.

Donovan was placed on paid administrative leave on July 11, a day after it was announced that a planned Wonder concert to benefit the UH athletic department had been cancelled. UH said it put down a $200,000 deposit from athletic department funds for the planned Aug. 18 concert, but the money had gone missing. officials said they had learned that the event was planned without Wonder's knowledge and that they may have been a victim of fraud.

UH vice president Rockne Freitas, a former UH assistant athletic director in the 1980s, was named acting athletic director as the UH commissioned an outside investigation of the canceled concert.

Today’s news release did not mention the fate of Sheriff Center manager Rich Sheriff who was also placed on indefinite paid administrative leave on the same day.

In the release, the UH said “Donovan’s base salary will remain the same through the term of his current contract ending in March. He will then be reassigned to a new position and will be recommended to receive a three-year appointment at a salary of $211,200 (temporarily reduced to $200,640) that will be subject to customary reviews and approvals in accordance with established policy.”

Donovan will report directly to Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple, the UH said.

 "Jim is a gentlemen (sic) who has conducted himself with great honor during this difficult period. I am delighted that we have agreed to his return to full duty status and we are looking forward to a long term relationship,” Apple said in the release. “Jim served the university well as our athletics director, and I know that his considerable talents are an asset to the university which will benefit from his continued service."

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igrinds wrote:
Wow, talk about using a random event to better things. Rock Freitas was the true power behind the throne and now he's moved into to position and Donovan gets a job somewhere in marketing. All works out for the better.
on August 12,2012 | 02:53PM
1local wrote:
$200,000 for a marketing position - More than the governor gets paid...
on August 12,2012 | 05:49PM
OldDiver wrote:
Sounds like firing Donovan would have exposed upper campus incompetence. I agree, Rockne Freitas is a power broker who has maneuvered his way into the AD position.
on August 12,2012 | 06:31PM
bobbob wrote:
To me, it makes no sense that he would be in a new position after being cleared. If he really did nothing wrong, he should have his job back.
on August 12,2012 | 10:52PM
808comp wrote:
Sounds like their creating a new position for Donovan. What a waste !!!
on August 12,2012 | 02:55PM
bullturd wrote:
Rocky Freitas has been passed by for the Athletic Director for many years. It's now his time, and It's about time.
on August 12,2012 | 03:04PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
“will have significant responsibilities in designing, creating, articulating, marketing and communicating to the community, including assisting with the evolving land grant mission of the university,”Great job description. Might as well just say "he'll be busy doing....uh....stuff." I guess basically it was decided that nobody did nothing to anybody to cause any problems and oh what the heck it was just taxpayer money anyway.
on August 12,2012 | 03:24PM
st1d wrote:
at least the u.h. will keep him busy until his current contract lapses.
on August 12,2012 | 03:50PM
aunav wrote:
If Donovan is cleared of any wrongdoing, he should be reinstated as athletics director.
on August 12,2012 | 03:52PM
uh4eva wrote:
on August 12,2012 | 07:24PM
islandsun wrote:
Donovan was over his head with the AD position, thats been easy to see. Nice guy and was rewarded with a nice complimentary position. UH should move on now.
on August 12,2012 | 07:28PM
OkiDawg wrote:
And be given back pay for the time he was put on leave
on August 12,2012 | 08:24PM
fstop wrote:
What back pay?
on August 12,2012 | 11:11PM
bobbob wrote:
he was on paid leave....
on August 12,2012 | 11:19PM
casper400 wrote:
Jim is a good man and should be retained.............yet boy this University is getting excessive in administrative salaries .......can somebody tell me the budget of Lynn Waters communications department- it must be $750,000 in salaries alone for just 5 people and can somebody tell me what they do- please Tom Apple- get involved with this blog and explain what all these departments do at the school. We know everybody wants a job at UH for lifetime employment and state of Hawaii benefits which are unheard of anywhere else in the country. Lets just accept that fact- that is what Hawaii is all about- state employment- yet if your going to get one of the these sweet jobs......at least do something for the students and citizens of Hawaii ....that is the least you can do and we can ask of you.
on August 12,2012 | 03:53PM
aunav wrote:
Any progress on finding the money. The taxpayers of Hawaii deserve to know what progress has been made if any.
on August 12,2012 | 03:59PM
mr808surfguy wrote:
At what point do the clowns at UH stop tp ask why do people and other universities treat us like we are D-4(yes I know there is no D4) and not a real university.Somebody please fire the whole lot of them and start over.
on August 12,2012 | 04:05PM
SandBar wrote:
I sometimes wonder what someone in a union needs to do to get fired.
on August 12,2012 | 04:21PM
casper400 wrote:
Looks like I just answered my own question on Google on the web- The scary part about this 5 minute research I did is see the job description below from the university of hawaii web site-it sound eerily the same as Jim Donovan - with a little twist - must be the standard descriiption when giving out jobs . Please Lynn- give back to the university and the students and make the UH PR first class- you should know how to do that and that is the least you can do for this kind of money- make a difference- don't just coast! JOB DESCRIPTION "Lynne Waters joined the university in 2011 with responsibility for strategic communications planning, community relations, creative services and marketing and brand management as they relate to advancing the university’s mission, goals and major initiatives. Waters is the wife of state Sen. Clayton Hee, Judiciary and Labor Committee chairman. Waters' salary is officially set at $150,000 but is subject to a temporary six per cent restriction because of university budget cutbacks."
on August 12,2012 | 04:07PM
PCWarrior wrote:
1. Where is the $200,000? If it wasn't Jim, what happened? 2. If JD is innocent, then why he is not getting his old job back? 3. So now, til March 2013, taxpayers will foot the bill at UH for another $200,000 plus job plus whoever is the athletic director. This is after Hinshaw's ridiculous golden parachute, as well as unreal salaries for Greenwood and Apple, who do a job that Al Simone did alone - for much less pay. They sure do play fast and loose with our taxpayer money at UH. 5. So when JD contract is up, he's getting a 3yr deal worth $200,000 plus, BUT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO YET BUT ALREADY GARANS THE CASH. Sorry, but UH attorneys have got to be the laughingstock of the nation.
on August 12,2012 | 04:07PM
inverse wrote:
Actually UH students and supporters are the laughing stock in the nation. Not only does UH have a Univ of California system reject as president of the university, UH athletics gets scammed for $200,000, the person in charge gets suspend, then found innocent of any wrongdoing, HOWEVER is not given his job back yet will receive the same salary for a new make work position, all at UH students and supporters expense.
on August 12,2012 | 10:53PM
niimi wrote:
Just like when school principals mess up on the job they get reassigned to a position in the DoE central office where they can't do too much damage apart from collecting their same high pay for years before retiring.
on August 12,2012 | 04:18PM
Bdpapa wrote:
I am happy for JD. Heʻs an honest man and always tried to do the right things. Itʻs alright that he gets another assignment but pease donʻt just pass the torch to Rockne Freitas.
on August 12,2012 | 04:19PM
nippy68 wrote:
so why didnt he get back the title of a.d.? he did a lot for the program.
on August 12,2012 | 04:37PM
nj24 wrote:
I have nothing against Rock Freitas, but he never came up through the ranks so to speak. He was too go to play for the University of Hawaii in football. Donvoan played football and worked through the system to where he is now. I remember him running around the baseball stadium when it first open doing odd jobs for the UH athletic program. This is so policitical and have nothing to do with merit.
on August 12,2012 | 04:57PM
OkiDawg wrote:
I worked 3 years for Jim at the stadium. I knew one day he would be AD. He worked extremely hard and made sure things were done right. JD is a man of character. I learned a lot from his professionalism
on August 12,2012 | 08:30PM
busthalfnut wrote:
Sounds like rail logic, and the taxpayers again foot the bill.
on August 12,2012 | 05:13PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
If any one would like to pay me $240,000 to make stupid errors, please call promptly.
on August 12,2012 | 05:21PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Phone ring yet? :)
on August 12,2012 | 08:21PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
I also applied for that position...i could also make stupid errors for that kind of salary.
on August 12,2012 | 08:37PM
bumba wrote:
Cleared of wrong doing but reassigned. Sigh, big shibai. Get Marion Higa up there and clear out these people who are WASTING OUR MONEY!
on August 12,2012 | 05:22PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Aw Shucks, all is forgiven. Why don't they just go ahead and make him Govenor! He has already proven that he can LIE, CHEAT, STEAL, MANIPULATE, and be Reappointed to his previous position with ZERO Punishment or Accountability of past Transgressions. Lucky he Live Hawaii!!
on August 12,2012 | 06:15PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
OK, I got no calls. Anybody want to pay only $200,000/yr for me to make stupid decisions? Still available!
on August 12,2012 | 06:39PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Too late, we all applied yesterday!
on August 12,2012 | 08:21PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Read the article. He did not do anything wrong, got it. Someone above him is the culprit.
on August 12,2012 | 08:22PM
jshawaii wrote:
JD was and is being paid HUGE $$$$ as a Manager of an Athletics Department of a major State University. To be hired his job desciption included being trained as a Professional Manager. That is what an AD is. As such, he did not do his job. He is the top. He should resign or be fired. Bob Peyton is the lowest rung of promoters in Hawaii. Due dilligence would of clued JD in. He didn't do it. He should not be allowed to retain his job, period. To promote him to a $200k job for failing at his last job. The Peter Principle strikes again. js
on August 12,2012 | 09:10PM
false wrote:
"Jim is a gentlemen (sic) who has conducted himself with great honor during this difficult period." In other words, he kept his mouth shut. "I am delighted that we have agreed to his return to full duty status and we are looking forward to a long term relationship,” Apple said in the release. From someone who really doesn't have a clue. “Jim served the university well as our athletics director, and I know that his considerable talents are an asset to the university which will benefit from his continued service." If I was Jim, I'd tell them to kiss my --- and be on my way. What a bunch of losers.
on August 12,2012 | 08:13PM
PCWarrior wrote:
They just garanteed him $700,000 why would anyone leave. Plus, if you screw up, you get reassigned and keep 90 percent of your huge pay. Somebody got to stop the spending on salaries at UH.
on August 12,2012 | 09:53PM
sloturle wrote:
so what happened to the money?
on August 12,2012 | 08:32PM
pridon wrote:
Cleared of wrong doing but not stupidity.
on August 12,2012 | 09:34PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
Something really stinks in Same old Same old Hawaii Democrat state government and its Politics.
on August 12,2012 | 09:58PM
Bothrops wrote:
Hinshaw (Chancellor), the university chief financial officer and the UH lawyers all approved the financial deal. Greenwood? She is so closely involved in the football team that it is hard to believe she didn't know. Hard to make Donovan a fall guy under such circumstances. He was a good AD and should have his job back. NCAA will be investigating UH within five years if Freitas is AD.
on August 12,2012 | 10:31PM
flyingpigs wrote:
So many backseat drivers commenting on how "stupid" mistakes are made and how they can do the same for that amount of money. Always easy to criticize after the fact. These same people would be to paralyzed to make a decision period. Idea was good, execution was poor. The debate now is will Rockne stay on as AD or will there be a "national" search for the replacement. This would be the first big hire for Chancellor Apple. Stay tuned.
on August 12,2012 | 10:35PM
elee wrote:
Well put flyingpigs. As you can see, there is no minimum IQ requirements to make a comment. Funny how some people think that calling others "stupid" somehow makes them smart. There's a lot to criticize on this issue, but there doesn't seem to have been any dishonesty involved within the UH staff. And as much as people want to think UH is big time, it's really not, relatively speaking.
on August 12,2012 | 10:57PM
inverse wrote:
Idea was NOT good. Most concerts in Hawaii are NOT moneymakers. Also was Stevie Wonder doing the concert for free to maximize UH's profits? Rhetorical question, the answer is NO. Did Donovan ever had a conference call with Stevie Wonder himself or have a contract in hand with Stevie Wonder's signature? Did Donovan and any of the UH administrators question why UH had to wire $200,000 to some unknown account, knowing once they wire the money, they would no way of retrieving or tracing the money if there was a problem or something went wrong? No, UH administrators were desperate fools looking for a quick score, and then got conned by a scam artist and his scam.
on August 12,2012 | 11:20PM
yojimbo wrote:
he was cleared of wrong doing, which means he was cleared of criminal activity, like personally benefiting from his incompetence. so, in sop at uh, he is rewarded with an opportunity to continue employment at uh at $200k plus, plus a three year contract after is contract expires in march 2013. now, i understand marketing, but wth is land grant programs.? uh, like other state universities were established under the land grant programs, so thats why they had rotc programs. but now that has changed. so, what is jd going to do in the sector?? so, uh continues to reward bonehead staff, but why not? why change? just look back and see all the screwup rewards that dobell, bolla, and herman got? now donovan joins this esteem group. not to mention the sweetheart deal hinshaw got for "retiring" as chancellor instead of bucking heads against mrc. what a state. now, lets see what sweetheart deal rich gets. maybe a percentage of the gross at the stanley, to quietly go away. why not? ride his harley into happy retirement. i think we need mufi as the ad. good thing we got alot of money for all these rewards for clowns.
on August 12,2012 | 11:11PM
tsboy wrote:
upper campus was not happy with JD. he would not have been retained as AD, that is why he is not going back to his old job. he did nothing wrong, so they can't fire him. its all politics. looks like Mazie and Hanabusa, Inouye's lapdogs, are going back to congress, so why should anything else in Hawaii change.
on August 13,2012 | 12:15AM
stevelaudig wrote:
"Never fire the incompetent" could be carved in stone above the entrances to most [perhaps all] large public institutions in Hawaii. I wonder where this 'aloha' for losers comes from when is results in damage to those who simply want a reasonable level of competence. The results of this ethic of tolerance of ineptitude is that most [perhaps all] large endeavors by public institutions have been poorly imagined [Alawai], designed [H-1] built [Alawai], and maintained [Natatorium]. The list of failures is long. Successes, not so long. It comes in the form of continuing to employ incompetents and capital improvements [water and sewer lines] the next big failure will be rail which will put homeowners upside down. We've avoided the disaster in the US but a different disaster is coming.
on August 13,2012 | 12:25AM
ftaele83 wrote:
on August 13,2012 | 10:41AM
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