Dozens gathered at Hawaii Hall Friday to commemorate Tom Apple’s last official day as chancellor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Apple was fired from the position due to what the university called a less-than-satisfactory performance. He will now be a chemistry professor at the university.
Faculty, students and community members gathered to express their aloha for Apple’s service to the campus community.
“I am just as disturbed as almost anyone else on campus about the dismissal of the chancellor Tom Apple, which I think is totally unfair,” said Uli Kozok, Indonesian language professor. “He has been very supportive of the campus, of faculty, of students, and there hasn’t been any convincing reason brought forward of his dismissal.”
They also voiced frustration with the university’s recent actions.
“I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of what’s happened in the last month,” said Ph.D. student Aurora Kagawa-Viviani. “As students and faculty, we’ve allowed it to happen. We had no choice and when we tried to change things, I think people maybe heard the regents or the president maybe heard what we had to say but did not listen or did not really, for me, adequately address our concerns.”
Many who opposed the termination organized a campus sit-in last month and testified in support of Apple during a Board of Regents meeting last week.
Robert Bley-Vroman will serve as interim chancellor starting Monday.