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Regents, Greenwood agree with Senate panel recommendations

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:52 p.m. HST, Dec 04, 2012



In response to findings by a state Senate investigatory committee, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and president M.R.C. Greenwood said today that oversight, transparency and accountability at the UH will be addressed.

The board, which had come under harsh criticism for its lack of oversight, said policies and procedures would be reviewed to clarify the lines of authority for the president’s office, the flagship UH-Manoa campus and throughout the UH system.

“More than ever it behooves us as leaders of an academic community to respect and maintain a balance between participation and accountability. The board shall inform the committee of the results of its reviews,” the board said in a press release.

Steps that will be taken include ensuring that the requirements of state’s sunshine laws are met, and responding to the legislative committee on its requests for detailed information.

The Senate Special Committee on Accountability, led by Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Halawa), investigated the failed Stevie Wonder concert and its aftermath. When the committee’s report was released Nov. 19, the university said Greenwood was traveling and hadn't had a chance to review the report and the regents had no comment.

The report also raised questions about the university's spending to hire outside attorneys and public relations firms. 

Former Athletic Director Jim Donovan was blamed for failing to provide oversight and ensuring due diligence that would have prevented the university from losing $200,000 in what turned out to be an alleged scam.

In June, university officials announced that Wonder had agreed to an Aug. 18 performance to benefit the UH athletics department. Ticket sales were well under way by July 10 when Donovan announced that there would be no concert because Wonder and his representatives had not authorized the event. About 6,000 ticket holders had to be refunded.

The next day, UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple announced that Donovan and Stan Sheriff Center manager Rich Sheriff were placed on indefinite paid administrative leave while an investigation was conducted. UH officials also explained they had paid $200,000 to a Florida company that purported to be authorized to book the star. Greenwood acknowledged that the university was apparently a victim of fraud.

In August, Sheriff was reinstated and Donovan, whose athletic director's contract was to expire in March, was re-assigned to a new, vaguely defined marketing role in the UH-Manoa chancellor's office. Documents released to the Star-Advertiser under the state's open records law showed that the UH agreed to the deal in return for Donovan agreeing not to sue the school.

The FBI arrested two men last month in connection with the alleged scam.  

The legislative committee blamed the regents for failing to provide sufficient oversight and governance, a lack of openness and for not following board policies over the approval of Donovan's new job in the UH-Manoa chancellor's office as a legal settlement and the approval of a five-year contract for Apple.

“The autonomy and independence of the university are no less essential to the effective discharge of its mission than transparency and accountability,” the board and Greenwood said in today’s press release. “The board appreciates the committee’s acknowledgement that it ‘recognizes that the university has general autonomy over its internal affairs’ while ‘the Legislature has the exclusive jurisdiction to identify laws of statewide concern.’ “







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Kalaheo1 wrote:
"Regents, Greenwood agree with Senate panel recommendations" And they all lived happily ever after in giant buildings paid for by the taxpayers....
on December 4,2012 | 12:51PM
serious wrote:
I don't get it. Well, as far as I know from the media, there was a coverup---no one told the truth and then they hired PR people, attorneys to protect them--isn't there like a budget? Who the heck pays for all this??? They made a mistake--happens, take your marbles and go home. But to coverup--now what the heck is the budget for UH that they can afford this--how about lowering tuition fees?????
on December 4,2012 | 01:07PM
Bothrops wrote:
you and I paid for it. The budget goes for teachers and rooms, and for athletic scholarships. We pay for it.
on December 4,2012 | 08:02PM
gsc wrote:
What a Joke !!!!!!!!!!
on December 4,2012 | 01:25PM
Highinthesierras wrote:
White wash? Until we have the will to sweep out career politicians we get what we deserve
on December 4,2012 | 01:32PM
kuewa wrote:
So the fox agreed with the other foxes to hire still other foxes to guard the henhouse a little bit better. Big deal.
on December 4,2012 | 01:52PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
That pretty much sums up everything that's happened at U.H.
on December 4,2012 | 09:30PM
false wrote:
Hmmmmm..... why in the world would they not. Now it will just go away and life goes on as usual. Incompetence breeds incompetence.
on December 4,2012 | 03:10PM
sudokubreakfast wrote:
". . .the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and president M.R.C. Greenwood said today that oversight, transparency and accountability at the UH will be addressed." Oh! Surely they speak of a brand new organization as any existing, functioning Board of Regents and President of a university would never operate without "oversight, transparency, and accountability.l"
on December 4,2012 | 03:47PM
ichiban wrote:
Yes, autonomy and independence are essential for a university to effectively discharge its mission. But then what's the mission statement of the university and its BOR and the administration. You mention the need for transparency and accountability and I agree they are important . But what happen to INTEGRITY, MORALITY, and HONESTY? Don't they matter? You people that are involved in this fiasco, be it the BOR,administrators, senators, investigative committee== PAY ATTENTION. MOST OF THE PROBLEM BEGAN AFTER THE 200K MISHAP. ITS THE MANEUVERING AND POSTURING THAT ALL INVOLVED DID WHEN THIS INCIDENT WAS MADE PUBLIC. UNBECOMING OF POSITION THAT HAS BEEN BESTOWED ON YOU.
on December 4,2012 | 03:49PM
nitpikker wrote:
what a laugh!! the board dares to call themselves LEADERS?!?! more like followers if you ask me!!
on December 4,2012 | 04:53PM
joshislost wrote:
No one wants you in here either ALLIE
on December 4,2012 | 05:19PM
Masami wrote:
What are they.............KIDS? Now they agree to act like how they were SUPPOSED TO ACT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
on December 4,2012 | 07:12PM
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