UH athletic director’s Twitter rant sparking change on campus

Ben Jay

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That harsh tweet from University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay has sparked a lot of chatter about the poor state of facilities on campus.

It’s a story KHON2 first reported on Tuesday, with Jay tweeting about broken urinals, lights out, and vowing to make some of the repairs himself.

Jay’s tweets certainly were attention grabbers.

KHON2: “When you read a tweet of your AD saying ’embarrassed,’ your thoughts?

UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple: “Well, I’m embarrassed when I walk by some of our buildings that’s are unpainted. When I walk by Heinke Hall and look the building that’s not the kind of caliber the kind of quality I like. Ben is trying to set a very high standard, which I’m very appreciative of. there’s a new AD in town. The message he’s transmitting is really about campus pride. He’s not calling us out.”

Jay made his tweets from Los Angeles, where he was attending meetings.

“I realize now that if you take it in the context of just the tweet itself, you don’t get behind what the real meaning was, what the motivator was. And it’s really the kind of thing we have to be better than this we have high expectations,” Jay said. “I look back at it right now. Probably not the right way to motivate my staff.”

Jay was back on his Twitter account Tuesday night, tweeting, “Chancellor Apple and President Greenwood brought me here to UHM to make a difference and take our program to greater heights. I intend to.”

“You understand where his passion is. I love passionate people and Ben is top-notch. We were really fortunate to get Ben. I see a change already, very apparent,” Apple said.

Apple is talking about the recent completion of the Nagatani Academic Center — a $4.5 million project at the athletic complex that features computer labs, conference rooms, offices, and a brand new, state-of-the-art women’s locker room.

KHON2: “When you look at something that beautiful and then you see light bulbs that are out and toilets that aren’t fixed, it does send mixed messages, and you can understand the frustration.”

UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple: “Absolutely, I understand it completely. I understand Ben’s frustration and it’s frustration that leads to the action.”

“President Greenwood and Chancellor Apple have been extremely supportive,” Jay said. “I know that change isn’t going to happen overnight, but we have to bring some of those things to attention.”

Mission accomplished.

“It’s a way to get change too, it’s had its impact, you’re here talking to me. Actually, it’s an opportunity to get the word out. We do care and the whole campus cares,” Apple said. “We’ve got to make sure we have rugs that don’t have mold and mildew in them so it hits you in the face when you walk into a room. We’ve got to have that pride this should be the most beautiful campus in the country and we’re going to get there.”


UH athletic director on school facilities: #noonecares

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