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Concert fiasco sinks public's view of UH officials in poll

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:25 p.m. HST, Oct 30, 2012

Embed code: Oct 2012 Hawaii Poll Tables

University of Hawaii officials' standing with the public isn't faring well in the aftermath of the Stevie Wonder concert debacle this summer, the latest Hawaii Poll indicates.

The poll asked respondents for their opinions of UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, former athletic director Jim Dono­van and the UH Board of Regents. A significant number of respondents said they either had never heard of or did not know enough about the UH officials. But for those who did offer an opinion, none of the officials received high marks.

Donovan, who was transferred to another position at UH-Manoa, had the highest favorable rating at 26 percent versus 32 percent unfavorable. Greenwood was viewed favorably by 18 percent compared with 37 percent unfavorable, while the regents had the lowest favorability ranking at 17 percent versus 34 percent unfavorable.

The Hawaii Poll was taken Oct. 15-22 by Ward Research Inc. for the Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now. The questions were asked of 786 residents statewide; results have a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. It was the first time the poll asked about UH officials, so there is no previous data for comparison.

The poll also asked whether respondents were confident that UH could handle its own affairs well or needed more oversight by the state Legislature. More legislative oversight was preferred by 43 percent, while 39 percent had faith in UH. The rest of the respondents did not know or did not answer the question.

UH autonomy has become part of the public discussion in the aftermath of the concert trouble. In July, UH announced that it apparently had been scammed out of $200,000 wired to a Florida business to book Wonder for a benefit concert for UH athletics. The business had no connection to the pop star, and UH had to return money to ticket buyers. UH officials also spent tens of thousands of dollars for outside lawyers and public relations consultants to deal with the aftermath.

In response, a legislative investigatory committee held two high-profile hearings in which Dono­van, Greenwood, several regents and other officials were questioned on the scam, university procedures and administrators' response to the debacle.

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MalamaKaAina wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 01:42AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 02:54PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Mistakes happen, even $200K mistakes. But spending over a million additional dollars on outside legal counsel (when UH has a legal staff), additonal PR staff and consultants is ridiculous. MRC and TA needs to vacate UH ASAP.
on October 30,2012 | 03:29AM
Nevadan wrote:
Disagree. The $200K mistake should never have happened.... not in a professionally run organization. Obviously UH administration is operated by incompetents.
on October 30,2012 | 05:11AM
loquaciousone wrote:
You must be perfect. How can anyone live with someone so perfect?
on October 30,2012 | 06:36AM
cigaripo wrote:
Needn't be perfect, if they had done their jobs, they would've caught the scam. No one background checked and no one's accountable for sending payment. Multi failure points.
on October 30,2012 | 08:25AM
allie wrote:
True..they needed to have strong systems in place to protect against fraud. We to this day still do not know how this blunder happened and where the money is.
on October 30,2012 | 12:44PM
frontman wrote:
How Can you get lower than O confidence in their ability to use taxpayer money without graft and corruption????
on October 30,2012 | 08:36AM
maafifloos wrote:
Next time your brain surgeon tells you that you need surgery, make sure you have this same attitude "mistakes happen" before you go under. I demand perfectiom for professional services, mowing the lawn or brain surgery!
on October 30,2012 | 10:42AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 30,2012 | 06:17PM
Nevadan wrote:
Comments from those close to the scenario are valuable. Thanks.
on October 30,2012 | 11:16PM
firewizard wrote:
MRC Greenwood and the regents should pay back all the money, including the contracts for investigations into the shameful fiasco. Then they can all avoid being fired in disgrace. This shows the flaws in appointing politically connected persons to the bor.
on October 30,2012 | 05:17AM
mcmukai wrote:
These guys are the new Bishop Estate Trustees
on October 30,2012 | 05:26AM
jomama wrote:
Except they are unpaid. Keep that in mind.
on October 30,2012 | 11:31AM
allie wrote:
BOR may be silly and iocompetent. But the Estate trustees were crooks and were very dangerous people Very different
on October 30,2012 | 12:45PM
false wrote:
Hey wait, I thought you weren't from Hawaii.. The Bishop Estates trustee thing happened several years ago. Oh well.
on October 30,2012 | 04:21PM
turbolink wrote:
Do the math. Allie says she's under 20, the Bishop Estate episode was over 14 years ago. So Allie was about 5 years old then. That would normally be suspicious, except Allie just revealed she has a high IQ...which doesn't always equate to common sense.
on October 30,2012 | 05:22PM
Nevadan wrote:
She thinks.
on October 30,2012 | 06:41PM
frontman wrote:
Your right.........under Hawaii protocol they are due a promotion with paid leave of absence and a huge raise, with a job that lets you do NOTHING.
on October 30,2012 | 02:42PM
Nevadan wrote:
Amazing that almost half the population have not followed, or have not kept up, with what went on. Sad. Says volumes about citizens in our state. UH should be everybody's pride.
on October 30,2012 | 05:40AM
turbolink wrote:
Allie speaks for them.
on October 30,2012 | 05:53AM
Shh wrote:
UH can speak for UH
on October 30,2012 | 10:57AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 12:45PM
Venus1 wrote:
The Star Advertiser contributed to the negativity as did Sen. Donna Kim! Mistakes were made! No excuses however, there was 'piling on'!!!!!!
on October 30,2012 | 06:15AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Ah, SA has the skills to state the obvious. No poll needed. Wasted time and effort.
on October 30,2012 | 07:12AM
ready2go wrote:
When will the public learn about the FBI investigations into this scam? When will the UH give us their final report? Why this delay?
on October 30,2012 | 07:48AM
Nevadan wrote:
Why should the FBI be involved? They do not investigate incompetence.
on October 30,2012 | 06:48PM
false wrote:
wiring $200,000 into the blue was an amateur hour mistake. But, you know, mistakes happen. Sometimes something, even something big, slips through the crack. That said, the train wreck that occurred in the aftermath of the blunder gave us true insight into the cast of characters we're dealing with at UH. And the view isn't good. Inept, arrogant, and out of touch are just three descriptors for the crew up there, particularly the closer you get to the top. In sum, there's reason to believe we might be better off by putting a new (locally grown) team in place and making the expectations clear for them, starting with no more carte blanche on spending.
on October 30,2012 | 07:55AM
kainalu wrote:
Our legislature is exponentially more crooked than the UH administration - are you kidding me? And how is it that Donovan isn't being held more accountable by the public? He was the highly-paid Athletic Director that made the executive decision that cost tax-payers $200K and counting. And now he has held the process hostage via an attorney. Other than Bob Young the ignorant promoter, and the scammers that suckered him in, it's Donovan that's responsible for this whole mess.
on October 30,2012 | 08:28AM
Nevadan wrote:
Correct! That $200K would not have gone out without his order. If it did, someone in his department would have been fired by now. Common sense.
on October 30,2012 | 06:56PM
lowtone123 wrote:
I think most people can accept that mistakes happen, you correct the mistake or you change policy to avoid making the same mistake again. What gets me and many upset is how this whole affair was handled in the aftermath. UH has dumped a ton of money to avoid admitting to a mistake and that there was a failure of leadership. They didn't nned to conduct a poll to tell all of us what we already know.
on October 30,2012 | 09:19AM
turbolink wrote:
Poll...probably got a group rate along with the other not-very-convincing polls we've been seeing for the last three days.
on October 30,2012 | 10:41AM
lowtone123 wrote:
I think this whole fiasco has opened a lot of people's eyes to the amount of politics that goes on in and around UH.
on October 30,2012 | 09:22AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 12:45PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Wait a minute, 45% of the people polled either had never heard of or didn't know enough about the Regents, Greenwood, or Donovan to give an opinion; but only 19% deferred on giving an opinion about Legislative oversight? If they don't know enough about UH affairs to be able to give an opinion about the major players, then they certainly don't know enough to say that the Legislature either should or shouldn't have more say at UH. By the way, they should NOT. It's their interference that has helped to create this whole mess.
on October 30,2012 | 02:23PM
allie wrote:
It is amazing how uninformed people are out here. One needs to read all the time as I do to keep up with things and understand the historical context!
on October 30,2012 | 02:55PM
turbolink wrote:
You are indeed as amazing as you are humble.
on October 30,2012 | 03:43PM
ross13moon wrote:
the people included in the "never heard of" group must be "brain dead"...one in five of us are "zoombies", just in time for Halloween!!!
on October 30,2012 | 02:25PM
Nevadan wrote:
High paying jobs do not come to Hawaii. Why? The answer is right there.
on October 30,2012 | 09:38PM
Ronin006 wrote:
A significant number of respondents said they either had never heard of or did not know enough about the UH officials. And these same people vote in elections without knowing the candidates or for what they stand. It is no wonder the state and country is so messed up.
on October 30,2012 | 06:23PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
My view of UH management sunk long before the concert fiasco.
on October 30,2012 | 07:27PM
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