How President Dobelle Politicized the University of Hawai'i Regarding Hawaiian Sovereignty, and How His Successor Continues The Same Policy

Preliminary note and list of items:

On Tuesday June 15, 2004 the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents made a unanimous decision during a 12-hour meeting to fire President Evan Dobelle “for cause.” Part of the unstated reason for firing him was that he had politicized the university by his 2002 endorsement of Mazie Hirono, the Democrat candidate for Governor (she lost). But whether or not the Regents were aware of it, Dobelle had also politicized the university by blatantly and explicitly turning it into a vehicle for promoting a political agenda of racial separatism and ethnic nationalism -- he pledged to make UH a partner in bringing into reality the dream of Hawaiian sovereignty, and he gave unprecedented levels of financial and moral support to the propaganda factory known as the Center for Hawaiian Studies.

(1) Immediately following President Dobelle’s dismissal, Ken Conklin published an article providing a brief general analysis of appropriate and inappropriate politicization of a university, and describing how President Dobelle engaged in inappropriate politicization of UH both internally and externally.

(2) and (3): Conklin’s published article produced two published responses affirming the accuracy of the analysis.

(4) Following the appointment of a new Acting President for UH, a news report in the student newspaper described how he pledged to Hawaiian activists that he would carry forward that politicization of UH on the Hawaiian sovereignty issue.

(5) The following week a letter to editor from a graduate student protested against this pledge to continue that politicization.

(6) On Thursday July 29, 2004 a settlement was reached between President Dobelle and the UH Board of Regents. A Honolulu Advertiser report of that settlement was published on Friday July 30. This article will serve as the tombstone to Evan Dobelle's short tenure as President of the University of Hawai'i.

(7) On Friday August 13, 2004, after thousands of pages of documents were made public, including minutes of meetings of the UH Board of Regernts dealing with President Dobelle’s performance, Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman published an article summarizing the Board’s concerns, and Dobelle’s -pattern of lying and deception, and the slanting of the news by Honolulu Advertiser.


(1) Here is Ken Conklin’s article about how President Dobelle politicized UH regarding Hawaiian sovereignty. For a more detailed review of the short history of President Dobelle’s tenure as President at UH, focusing on his aggressiveness in pushing the agenda of the Center for Hawaiian Studies and his recent pledge to politicize UH even further, harnessing UH as a partner in bringing about a racial supremacist government entity, see:

The following is an article published in the on-line newspaper “Hawaii Reporter” on Friday, June 18, 2004. The URL for that article was originally
and can also be cited as

How Dobelle Politicized Our University and Hawaii Sovereignty

By Ken Conklin, 6/18/2004

Some pundits say President Bill Clinton was America's first "Black" president, though he was caucasian. After leaving the Presidency he even set up an office in Harlem. Using the same logic it might be said President Dobelle was the University of Hawaii's first Hawaiian president. Although he has a fallback tenured position as a professor of urban and regional planning, it might not be surprising to see ex-president Dobelle having an office in September next to Haunani-Kay Trask at the U.H. Center for Hawaiian Studies, and getting his exercise by pulling taro in the CHS loi.

University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle was fired by a unanimous decision of the Board of Regents during a 12-hour meeting on Tuesday, June 15, 2004. Everyone remembers how President Dobelle politicized U.H. in the gubernatorial election of 2002, when he appeared as the star in a TV ad endorsing Democrat Mazie Hirono for Governor. But most readers might not be aware just how deeply Dobelle politicized U.H. on the most important issue for Hawaii's long-term future -- Hawaiian sovereignty. This article first provides a general description of how universities can be politicized externally and internally. The article then reviews how President Dobelle politicized U.H. in both ways regarding Hawaiian sovereignty. Readers might be shocked to learn that Dobelle publicly enlisted the University of Hawaii as a political force fighting for racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians. He pledged that U.H. will work as a "partner" to help Native Hawaiians "redress past injustices"; achieve "self-determination," "decolonization," and "social justice"; and that U.H. will help push the dream of a nation-state into a reality. At the end, the Hawaiian sovereignty activists tried to stop the Board of Regents from firing him. With Dobelle gone, perhaps the U.H. Center for Hawaiian Studies can be converted from a political machine and propaganda factory into a genuine academic department with a balanced curriculum providing strong presentations of all sides of the multi-faceted issues of Hawaiian history and Hawaiian sovereignty.

General Overview of External and Internal Politicization of a University

This section is a somewhat abstract analysis of different modes of politicization. Readers interested only in the Hawaiian sovereignty topic might want to skip this section and the next one.

President Evan Dobelle politicized the University of Hawaii in two ways -- externally and internally. External politicization is easy for the public to see. It is the use of the university for political purposes to influence public policy outside the university. By contrast, internal politicization is directed at what happens inside the university. It is the use of an administrator's power over budgets and subordinates to reallocate resources among the various academic departments and to shape the content of the curriculum. Both external and internal politicization have modalities which may be appropriate or inappropriate. Internal politicization usually goes unnoticed by the general public. Inappropriate forms of internal politicization are like colon cancer, festering deep inside, unnoticed and deadly. External politicization is often easy for the public to see. Inappropriate forms of it might cause immediate revulsion -- like a huge purple wart on the tip of the nose.

One mode of external politicization is appropriate for the president of a state's public university system -- trying to galvanize public opinion to support far-reaching changes in the university. We all remember how Dobelle stunned Hawaii during the first few weeks after he was hired, making one startlingly bold and sweeping proposal after another. Newspapers even poked fun at him, wondering whether he was making serious proposals with the support of the power brokers or whether he was simply being irrationally exuberant in sharing his wildest dreams. Each proposal could only be implemented by massive expenditures of tax dollars, requiring the approval of the Legislature. Each proposal would also require negotiations with the labor unions. Single-handedly announcing such proposals was clearly a political ploy by Dobelle to arouse public opinion to support him in his anticipated political battles with the Legislature and the unions. This sort of external politicization is part of what he should be expected to do and what he was undoubtedly hired to do.

But another mode of external politicization of a university is inappropriate -- using the university to influence government elections, or to influence broad governmental policy in areas that do not directly affect the university. Dobelle used his position as U.H. president to try to influence the outcome of the gubernatorial election of 2002. He was the star in a TV commercial aired just before the election, endorsing Democrat candidate Mazie Hirono. Nearly everyone immediately objected to the inappropriateness of what he did. When Republican Linda Lingle won, there was speculation she would hold a grudge against Dobelle that would be reflected in slashed budgets for U.H. Using the university as a platform for supporting one political party against another embroils the university in partisan politics and makes it fair game for the political spoils system. Losers get punished. That could damage a university's ability to carry out its main responsibilities of teaching, research, and public service.

Internal politicization includes administrators using their power inside the institution to shape university policies and curriculum. It is especially appropriate for a public university to do that when larger social or political developments require a readjustment of priorities. For example, after the Soviet Union succeeded in placing the first man-made satellite in orbit (Sputnik), America woke up to the importance of emphasizing mathematics and science throughout all levels of our nation's education system. Money and faculty positions were shifted from arts and humanities to the physical sciences and mathematics.

Inappropriate internal politicization happens when administrators use their powers over budget, personnel, and curriculum to favor some racial groups over others for admission or financial aid; or to favor the indoctrination of students with a specific viewpoint on controversial public policy issues; or to reallocate a university's resources to favor an academic department that is overwhelmingly focused on political activism on one side of a controversial public policy issue. Inappropriate internal politicization is a major violation of academic freedom for both professors and students: professors who hold disfavored views will find it difficult to express them or to keep their jobs, while students will be unlikely to get exposure to disfavored views.

President Dobelle engaged in a constantly worsening internal politicization of U.H. throughout his three-year tenure. He continuously violated academic freedom for both faculty and students as he explicitly harnessed the university in service to a controversial political agenda of racial separatism and ethnic nationalism.

Let's explore Dobelle's external politicization of U.H. in the gubernatorial election; then his external and internal politicization of UH regarding Hawaiian sovereignty; and finally let's explore what might be done to cure the long-standing academic freeedom problem he made worse.

Dobelle's Inappropriate External Politicization of U.H.

Dobelle's cowboy mentality drew public comment and editorial cartoons soon after he started work on July 2, 2001. He proposed all sorts of dramatic new programs, while simultaneously pledging no increase in demands for taxpayer support. Just like a politician. At the time people were amused but also pleased to have a "big man" proposing big ideas. The bigness of the man had been confirmed by the bigness of his contract -- a minimum of 7 years at a starting salary of $442,000 plus use of the presidential mansion and other perks. So big things were expected of him. The situation was reminiscent of a long-ago TV ad for cosmetics featuring actress Rula Lenska, who was famous only because she claimed to be famous. Sometimes artists of mediocre talent place big price-tags on their work in hope that snobbish and wealthy but artistically unsophisticated customers will be suckered into buying such "valuable masterpieces." So Dobelle demanded a high salary and an exceptionally lengthy contract in return for promising big things, and the regents of a mediocre university with big dreams were eager to believe he could deliver.

Dobelle's strong "connections" in the Democrat Party may also have helped him get the job. On Nov. 10, 2002, Honolulu Star-Bulletin investigative reporter Rob Perez stated that Dobelle had been treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, served as finance chairman for Jimmy Carter's re-election campaign and was a protocol official in the Carter White House. It would not be surprising if Senator Dan Inouye helped him get the job. Certainly Dobelle's Democrat connections would have helped him with the Board of Regents, who were all appointed by Democrat Governors and approved by Democrat Legislatures.

Dobelle's cowboy attitude was shown most dramatically in early November, 2002, when he endorsed Mazie Hirono for Governor in a televised political ad. The ad ran shortly before the election, when polls showed the contest was dead even. Dobelle was the only speaker. His well-known face filled the TV screen while he oozed sincerity and falsely described himself as nonpartisan and independent, urging people to vote for Hirono as the best hope for Hawaii's future.

Public outrage over Dobelle's ad was immediate and powerful. One wag suggested there should be an annual "Dobelle Prize" (sounds like "Nobel Prize") awarded to the administrator or politician who commits the biggest public relations blunder of the year. According to the Perez article of November 10, 2002, Dobelle told reporters "that no one approached him to make the commercial and that he did it of his own accord. Yet he has told faculty members privately that U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, an influential U.H. supporter who helps get millions in federal funds for the university annually, urged him to do the ad." Clearly Dobelle was operating as a politician, and he had flat-out lied to the people of Hawaii when he stated in his ad that he is non-partisan and independent. He was abusing his position of trust as university President, creating the implication that the university's needs would be best served by electing Hirono. There was also an arrogant "father knows best" attitude projected in the ad -- I, Dobelle, am exceedingly intelligent, highly paid, President of the university, so you people of Hawaii should listen to me and vote for Hirono.

In The Honolulu Advertiser article on Nov. 13, 2002 commentator David Shapiro said, "There's no question anymore that University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle made a foolish mistake by endorsing Mazie Hirono over Linda Lingle for governor. The only question left is whether his poor judgment will prove fatal to his presidency." Shapiro continued, "He can't have it both ways: Either U.H. is going to be autonomous or it's going to be run from the hip pocket of the political establishment. Dobelle says he's ready to work as a loyal member of Lingle's Cabinet, but weakens any chance of gaining her trust by saying in the next breath that he'd endorse Hirono again -- all but putting Lingle on notice that he'll likely be campaigning against her once more in four years. His first bit of advice as a loyal member of Lingle's Cabinet was the insulting suggestion that she continue to employ Gov. Ben Cayetano's chief-of-staff, Sam Callejo, hinting that he'll hire Callejo if she doesn't. This sounds an awful lot like a threat to run a government-in-exile out of Manoa ó a haven for Democratic patronage workers who lose their jobs to the new Republican administration. Dobelle moans that he doesn't understand Hawaii politics or the furor he's caused. It's this simple: When he was hired, Dobelle demanded that Hawaii make an expensive long-term commitment to him. It's infuriating that he's so recklessly undermined his ability to fulfill his end of that commitment. Our state university doesn't belong to any political party and is too important to our future for its leader to render himself a $442,000-a-year political eunuch." David Shapiro's prediction that Dobelle would hire Sam Callejo came true.

Inappropriate Internal and External Politicization of U.H. Regarding Hawaiian Sovereignty

U.H. has long had a grossly inappropriate internal politicization on the issue of Hawaiian sovereignty. But President Dobelle took it to a whole new level.

The “politically correct” leftist view has always been that social justice requires racial entitlement programs for poor, downtrodden ethnic Hawaiians. They are portrayed as quintessential victims: the ěindigenous peopleî of these islands, whose nation was overthrown by a U.S. invasion in support of selfish white businessmen, whose land was stolen by an illegal annexation, whose culture and language were suppressed, and who are therefore entitled to huge reparations, self-determination, and perhaps an independent nation.

The state of Hawaii government agency "Office of Hawaiian Affairs" hands out government benefits only to people who are racially Hawaiian. The state Department of Hawaiian Homelands awards one-dollar-per-year leases to "homesteaders" who have 50 percent Hawaiian blood quantum. Kamehameha school, with a multibillion dollar endowment, has admitted only two students without Hawaiian blood in the last several decades, and only after lawsuits forced them. Ethnic Hawaiians have a plethora of special programs just for them, and also get to participate in all the other government programs that other, less entitled citizens receive. OHA has cited in court documents a list of over 160 such racial entitlement programs. A major political effort is underway, financed with government and private funds, to defend and expand such racial entitlement programs by lobbying Congress to pass the Akaka bill.

For many years the U.H. Center for Hawaiian Studies has functioned as a propaganda factory for Hawaiian racial separatism and ethnic nationalism, as described above. For further information about the CHS party line, see

Support for this ideology has become firmly entrenched in every other academic department which has relationships with CHS. Lucrative private grants, federal contracts, research projects, field activities, and academic tenure and advancement are at stake as individual professors and entire departments eagerly seek participation in collaborative projects focusing on the needs and demands of a favored racial group. The CHS octopus has spread its tentacles throughout UH. See:

This longstanding internal politicization of U.H. was taken to a whole new level by President Dobelle.

On July 18, 2001, barely two weeks after starting work, President Dobelle told a Chamber of Commerce meeting "In addition, so not simply to have rhetoric without real commitment, I have directed a full-funding for the historic requests of the UH Hawaiian Studies department throughout the system over the next several years." Two weeks later the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported (September 5, 2001) that at another meeting on campus:

"Dobelle reaffirmed his commitment that 'if nothing else happens at this institution there will be a full funding for Hawaiian studies at this campus and at the neighbor island campuses.' The bill would likely be in the millions of dollars, Dobelle noted. Dobelle also said he was exploring whether the constitutional autonomy the university won in last year's election would allow U.H. to determine how to compensate Hawaiians for the university's use of ceded lands, rather than negotiating with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs over a percentage of the revenue. 'There is no question in my mind that some way -- either through increased resources or tuition waivers -- that the 20 percent level (for compensation for ceded lands' revenues can) be reached,' Dobelle said."

Thus, Dobelle was pledging a huge budget increase to support the political brainwashing of students at the Center for Hawaiian Studies, to recruit more students for CHS by offering them free tuition, and to support an increase in the output of CHS political propaganda.

In May, 2002 it was announced that Peter Englert had been hired to become the new Chancellor of the U.H. flagship Manoa campus, at a salary of $254,000. What makes Englertís appointment to U.H. notable is his strong support from the Maori of New Zealand, who ceremonially handed him over to the ethnic Hawaiians upon his arrival to begin duty on Aug. 1, 2002. The selection of Englert, and the manner of his arrival, leave no doubt that President Dobelleís main priority is to support ethnic Hawaiian racial entitlement programs, affirmative action, and political power. The Star-Bulletin of Aug. 2, 2002, reported: "Three hours of chanting, hula and warm embraces greeted the University of Hawaii-Manoa's new chancellor yesterday. Many said they hoped the ceremonial show of welcome will be a sign of stronger bonds between the university administration and the native Hawaiian community. "Our goal is to have more Hawaiians coming to this university," said Lilikala Kameeleihiwa, director of the U.H.-Manoa Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies yesterday at a ceremony celebrating Manoa Chancellor Peter Englert's official introduction to the flagship campus' faculty. Shona DeSain, associate dean of students at Victoria University ... and five other Victoria University senior faculty members attended the ceremony, which was both a welcome and a farewell to Englert. About 50 UH faculty and staff members also attended the gathering, which featured Hawaiian welcome and Maori farewell chants. "Never before have we had Polynesians bringing to us somebody who they've put their stamp of approval on," Kame'eleihiwa said.

On Sept. 11, 2002, President Dobelle began his second year at U.H. by giving a major speech to the "first annual" convention of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. The CNHA is an umbrella organization of large, wealthy, racially exclusionary government and private organizations and influential individuals. What brings the members of CNHA together is their general desire for additional money and power, and their specific support for the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill in Congress.

In his speech to CNHA, as reported in '''The Honolulu Advertiser''' of Sept. 12, 2002, President Dobelle enlisted the University of Hawaii as a political force fighting for racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians. He pledged that U.H. will work as a strong partner to help Native Hawaiians "redress past injustices"; achieve "self-determination," "decolonization," and "social justice"; and that U.H. will help push the dream of a nation-state into a reality.

That last part is so important, and so radical, it needs a quote from Dobelle's speech to verify that he actually said it (Advertiser, Sept. 12, 2002):

"It seems to me that those of you who are battling to define your people according to self-defined terms have a dual citizenship -- of this state, and of a state yet to come into existence. Of Hawaii and Ha-va-ii," he said. "Ha-va-ii, home of your ancestors, exists now as a state of mind -- and with the university as your partner, the Hawaiian community will turn that into a state of being. ... "

And so we come full circle, back to external politicization. Not only did Dobelle strengthen the longstanding internal politicization of U.H., he went on record pledging to harness U.H. as a weapon in support of the larger political struggle of ethnic Hawaiians to achieve nationhood. For citations and details of Dobelle's statements see:

For many years the party line of the Center for Hawaiian Studies has been so firmly entrenched at U.H. that students and professors who disagree with it have faced harassment and open hostility. Perhaps the harassment began in 1990 when Professor Haunani-Kay Trask, head of CHS, published an outrageously racist harrangue in the student newspaper, directed at a white male philosophy undergraduate who had dared to object to the way she used the word "haole." The student newspaper did a great service by re-publishing the letter on Nov. 15, 2002, in the age of the internet where we can now all have access to the Trask letter. For the letters by student Joey Carter and Professor Trask, see:

And for some of Professor Trask's speeches and commentary in year 2002, see:

The failure of the University to take action against Trask in 1990 encouraged further erosion of civility of discourse, and established a precedent that it's OK at U.H. for ethnic Hawaiians to bash white people. As time went by there was intimidation and property damage to professors who expressed disagreement with the CHS party line. See:

From August through October 2002 there was severe intimidation against the director and students of a small U.H. program called "The Academy for Lifelong Learning" when the director arranged for an opponent of race-based Hawaiian sovereignty to give a series of lectures at the invitation of a group of its elderly students. The course was initially cancelled because of the intimidation and because none of the administrators lifted a finger to assure the director and students that their safety and academic freedom would be protected. President Dobelle, Chancellor Englert, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Karl Kim, and Dean of Social Sciences Richard Dubanoski all either passed the buck or closed their eyes to the problem. The course was rescued after the Honolulu Advertiser published an editorial urging UH to defend academic freedom, and the courageous program director and students re-constituted the course (with larger enrollment). For details see:

U.H. is a very hostile work environment for anyone who dares to disagree with the party line of the Center for Hawaiian Studies. Academic freedom is non-existent for both professors and students regarding Hawaiian sovereignty issues. President Dobelle's dramatic increase in support for CHS, and his pledge to harness U.H. as a political weapon in service to the establishment of race-based Hawaiian nationhood, was clearly a contributing factor to this hostile work environment.

The U.H. Board of Regents got a small taste of that hostile work environment when they were confronted by a very noisy group of activists. TV newscasts showed a group of perhaps 20 activists in the Regents' meeting room just before the meeting of June 15, 2004, trying to intimidate the Regents. They were wearing the same red shirts they had previously worn to Federal District Court to protest the Arakaki2 court case seeking to abolish the racially exclusionary OHA and DHHL; the same red shirts they had worn to march through Waikiki 10,000 strong to protest a court hearing on a lawsuit to force Kamehameha Schools to abandon its racially exclusionary admissions policy. In the Board of Regents meeting room the red-shirts were carrying signs and singing Hawaiian protest chants up close and personal in the faces of the Regents. Later some of the protesters were interviewed. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin of June 16, 2004 wrote:

""I don't believe you're going to find a better man to do the job," said Lilikala Kameeleihiwa, director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies, speaking for the Kualii Council at U.H.-Manoa, a group dedicated to recruiting more native Hawaiians into the university, and to creating a Hawaiian place of learning on campus. Kameeleihiwa said Dobelle is a strong supporter of native Hawaiians. She said he gave $1.5 million for native Hawaiian programs at the University in his first year in office. He has also acknowledged that the university sits on ceded lands and because of that, the university has a responsibility to native Hawaiians, she said. "We don't want him to be fired. We want him here to support us," she said. In a written statement, the Kualii Council also called for the regents to resign unless they can refrain from making anonymous statements to the press. In a Sunday article, the Star-Bulletin quoted unnamed regents who said they expected to discuss whether to fire Dobelle at yesterday's meeting. Kualii Council members also carried signs "Fire Anonymous Regents," "Hawaiians Aloha Dobelle" and "Evaluate Regents.""

Making a TV ad endorsing Hirono for governor was bad. It produced public outrage, even though in the ad Dobelle spoke as an individual, not explicitly pledging the support of the University for Hirono. But in his speech to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Dobelle pledged to make the university itself into a partner in a statewide (indeed, nationwide) struggle to achieve a political agenda of racial supremacy. Surely that pledge is the worst sort of politicization of the University, and deserves the strongest condemnation. The Soviet Union used universities as tools for achieving a Communist ideological agenda. In Germany of the 1930s and 1940s, universities served as propaganda factories for racism; and academic departments like biology, history, art, and music were ordered to produce pseudo-scholarly "research" and publications supporting the racist agenda. Dobelle's external politicization of the University in his TV ad supporting Hirono was mild by comparison with the Soviet Union and Germany, but is the first step down a path leading in that direction. Dobelle's speech to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement took the university a long way down that dangerous path.

Now that Dobelle has been fired, there's an opportunity for the Board of Regents to make a decision regarding the future of the Center for Hawaiian Studies. There are four possibilities: (1) allow it to continue as a political propaganda factory, enhanced with free tuition for all ethnic Hawaiians; (2) make it a place for celebrating the virtues (and ignoring the vices) of Hawaiian culture and for teaching people of all races how to dance hula, cultivate kalo, renovate and operate fishponds, write Hawaiian music, speak Hawaiian language, etc.; (3) shut it down; (4) make it a genuine academic center for the scholarly study and robust debate of the history and culture of the kanaka maoli, and of the pros and cons of various forms of sovereignty including the positive advantages of unity with the United States, unity of all Hawaii's people under a single sovereignty, and equality of all races under the law. Choice #1, to continue present policy, is unacceptable. Choice #2 is probably not appropriate for an academic department in a first-rate university, although it might be workable for a program in the Outreach College. Choice #3 is a real possibility, although it seems unwise because Hawaiian history and culture are the core of what makes Hawaii a special place. Choice #4 seems best, but is unlikely to happen unless the Board of Regents hires a new President who has the courage to stand up against red-shirt intimidation.


(2) A response to the article above was received from a former UH student now living in Beijing China. The response was published in Hawaii Reporter on June 22, 2004. Here is that response:

University Halls Now Partisan

Seventeen Years Later, U.H. Now Hub of Political Correctness, Left-Wing Brand of McCarthyism

By Richard Sjoquist

I read Ken Conklin's column from afar with great interest and agreement. Thanks for providing the uninitiated with a perspective the local newspapers deliberately avoid. As I read Ken's column I was again reminded of what Kors and Silverglate (The Shadow University), D'Souza (Illiberal Education), Thomas Sowell (Inside American Education) and David Horowitz (Left Illusions) have said about the politicalization of our college campuses. Actually, there has been a strong political strain in the halls of ivy since at least the mid-1960s. What has changed is the extent to which it has become so partisan. No longer content to present various viewpoints including the radical left agenda, The University of Hawaii has slowly slid into a position of advocating for it brazenly.

Imagine my surprise when I returned for my doctoral studies at UH after a hiatus of seventeen years to encounter not only political correctness run amok but also a left-wing brand of McCarthyism. Of course, neither the faculty at large or the local media is willing to acknowledge the extent of this creeping partisanship or, if they do, they tend to cloak it in euphemisms like critical theory (re: neo-Marxism) and action research (re: community activism).

The crude reality is that there is no longer much in the way of a scholarly exchange of opposing ideas and opinions in Manoa. If anything, the valley has become a refuge for burned out radicals from the mainland (and more than few homegrown ones as well). Exacerbating this climate of contempt for anything that smacks of centrism or conservatism is a kind of group denial that it even exists. And a cursory inventory of the U.H. bookstore should make it abundantly evident that selected textbooks all lean in one direction: to port. (To be fair, there remain many even-handed and enlightening professors, and I have had the privilege of knowing more than a few. However, their voices are often muted, especially when the delicate issue of sovereignty rears its head.)

In my opinion, Dobelle and his minions represent intellectual arrogance of the worst sort. They not only believe they're right about complex issues such as sovereignity, they also believe they operate with some grand moral imperative (however vaguely conceived).

I was so turned off by the atmosphere in the graduate level courses of certain departments that I withdrew from them and have since avoided reenrollment in them. I can take controversy as well as the next academic, but I deplore the very things you enumerate in your article. This politicalization is not only self-serving, it ignores many viewpoints that would at the very least present a clearer vista which, in turn, might lead to compromise and real social change to everyone's liking. Of course, most of these partisans have no interest in compromise, which is why the campus trend toward politicalization is likely to continue but also why their efforts will continue to be poorly received in the wider community.

Rick Sjoquist is a resident of Beijing, China. Reach him via email at


(3) A further response was published in Hawaii Reporter on June 23, 2004. Here is that response.

Hawaii Reporter, June 23, 2004

BiPartisan Support for Dobelle's Ousting

By Thomas Stuart

In regards to the spectacular flame out of former University of Hawaii President, Evan Dobelle, it seems especially telling that so many of the faculty and students closest to the Dobelle problem have written to express support for the bipartisan decision by the board of regents to flush this guy with the political tin ear ... and can him with such gusto, even to the point of changing the locks.

The exceptionally descriptive guest editorial of Richard Sjoquis "University Halls Now Partisan" -- Seventeen Years Later, U.H. Now Hub of Political Correctness, Left-Wing Brand of McCarthyism; 6/22/2004) makes this point most effectively. He merits an ATTABOY for his very timely contribution to this discussion.

My belief is that this constitutes a wonderful opportunity for U. H. Manoa to strike a blow for academic freedom and intellectual integrity by totally dismantling and reassembling their very own on-campus hate preaching madrassa that is as dedicated to brainwashing the young and preparing them to do battle against America as any Al Qaeda cell, Al Aqsa Martyr Brigade, Al Fatah, or Hizbollah fanatic. The U.H.-Manoa Center for Hawaiian Studies has been, through neglect, allowed to disintegrate into nothing but a fascist, sturmabteilung bunch of brownshirt thugs hell bent on intimidating all those who don't buy into their ethnic cleansing, anti-American propaganda.

A real Hawaiian Studies program -- one with academic integrity of benefit to all students -- would focus on the unrivaled thirst for knowledge and scholarship of those who claim Kanaka Maoli ancestry. For example, less than a century after first contact with the written word, Hawaii led the world in per capita literacy. A real academic endeavor would also focus the scholar on the unique culture of ancient Hawaii that arguably qualifies he proud heirs of this culture to be the best teachers on earth: in a time of increasing ethnic tension world wide, ancient Hawaiian people long ago decoded the secret of how humanity cannot only exist, but thrive as a richly diverse group of people. This is a lesson desperately needed right now by Earth's billions.

The long overdue firing of a witless fat head offers both the University of Hawaii and the state of Hawaii a perishable opportunity to take a commanding leadership role in some much needed healing through scholarship. In our community of those who trace their ancestry to ancient Hawaii, we have a priceless gift ... one that is worthy of genuine scholarship, praise, advocacy, and dissemination. Scholarship and leadership: a winning combination for those willing to seize the day.

Carpe Diem!

Thomas E. Stuart, a public school teacher in Kapaau, Hawaii, can be reached via email at:


(4) News report about the new Acting President’s pledge to Hawaiian activists to continue Dobelle’s policy of placing top priority on supporting ethnic Hawaiians. Although the very brief report of Acting President McClain’s statement could be interpreted harmlessly to mean only that he is pledging to support Hawaiian culture and language as a top priority for UH, the reported reactions of the Hawaiian activists confirm that they heard McClain saying much more than that.

Ka Leo O Hawaii [University of Hawai'i student newspaper]

Focus shifts to UH's Acting President

By Travis Quezon
Ka Leo Editor-in-Chief
June 24, 2004

Manoa faculty and students are watching acting UH System President David McClain's promises and actions at a time when the campus' accreditation and morale are being questioned.

At a press conference Tuesday, McClain reiterated his commitments to Native Hawaiians, to UH students, and to the state of Hawai`i.

"My first commitment is to Native Hawaiians and our host culture," McClain said. "My second commitment is to the students and to their families and our faculty and our staff. And my third commitment, of course, is to the people of the state of Hawai`i."

"I am very confident that McClain could fulfill these priorities," Graduate Student Organization Vice President Kris Kaupalolo said. He sited McClain's previous efforts to develop a "Hawaiian sense of place" at UH. "[McClain] needs to continue what he has been doing."

"[The Native Hawaiian community is] always appreciative, first of all, for the verbal commitment, but always patient to give full approval till action occurs," said Mehana Hind, academic advisor for the Center for Hawaiian Studies. "With past presidents [before Dobelle], no one made verbal commitments."

Hind said that McClain must continue to support Native Hawaiian programs and keep close communication with the Native Hawaiian community. "The key to a smooth transition and longtime success, something Dobelle was good at, is to keep in contact and leave his door open so we can come in," Hind said.

"The staff and the faculty here and the students here, I think, are used to my leadership," McClain said. "And my focus is in leading the university in the days and weeks ahead."

McClain said that he served as acting UH president for 94 days during the past year when former UH President Evan Dobelle was off-island.

"I've met with the Student Caucus on almost a monthly basis almost all of the academic year," McClain said.

[remainder of article not relevant to the politicization issue]


(5) UH graduate student letter to editor protesting Acting President McClain’s continuation of Dobelle’s politicization of UH in support of a racial agenda:

Ka Leo O Hawaii [University of Hawai'i student newspaper]
Letters to the Editor
July 01, 2004

Should McClain put ethnicity as a first priority?

I want to join in welcoming McClain to his new position. But in the interest of free speech, I wish to offer some brief comments on our direction as a university in response to recent comments in the June 24 article, "Focus shifts to UH's acting president."

In that article, McClain was quoted as listing his commitments as follows: "My first commitment is to Native Hawaiians ... My second ... students ... families ... faculty and our staff. My third ... people of the state of Hawai'i."

This is rather disturbing language. McClain's second and third commitments are the job of a university president.

The idea of a university president, acting or otherwise, putting one ethnic group over his own students and faculty is nothing short of appalling.

Any Native Hawaiian student ought to be aided not because of his or her ethnicity, but because he or she is a student of our university.

Our focus on race and ethnicity over economic circumstance has too often led us to ignore the real issues of poverty and suffering.

Would McClain ignore the needs of faculty and staff in order to satisfy or help people unaffiliated with UH who happened to have a particular ethnicity? This is certainly implied by his quoted list of priorities.

Putting an ethnic group or political beliefs above your own constituents' welfare is a telltale sign of dangerous thinking.

I understand the concern raised by Dobelle's removal, and I am advocating no change in policy in this letter. My concern is merely one of language and its implications.

I urge David McClain to consider the implications of placing a specific ethnicity over specific problems, and I apologize to him in advance if he has been misquoted or if I have misconstrued his remarks.

Julian Bukalski
Graduate Student


(6) On Thursday July 29, 2004 a settlement was reached between President Dobelle and the UH Board of Regents. A Honolulu Advertiser report of that settlement was published on Friday July 30. This article will serve as the tombstone to Evan Dobelle's short tenure as Presidentof the University of Hawai'i.

Print version - © COPYRIGHT 2004 The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper , a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Posted on: Friday, July 30, 2004

University of Hawai'i regents, Dobelle agree on settlement

 •  Dobelle position, role of regents questioned
 •  Regents settlement statement
 •  Chronology of Dobelle's time at UH

By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer

An agreement that rescinds the "for cause" firing of University of Hawai'i president Evan Dobelle, finds "no wrongdoing" by either Dobelle or the Board of Regents and gives Dobelle a total settlement package worth $3.43 million was signed yesterday by the board and Dobelle.

In exchange, Dobelle will resign from the presidency effective Aug. 14, the same day he becomes a non-tenured UH researcher for two years at a salary of $125,000 annually.

Under the details of the agreement, Dobelle will:

• Receive $1.05 million in cash.

• Have the university pay his $290,000 in attorney fees.

• Have the university make annual payments of $40,000 for the remaining six years on a $2 million whole life insurance policy. As part of this agreement the Dobelle family must pay back to the university $400,000 in premiums on Dobelle's death, making the policy worth $1.6 million.

• Give up his tenure option but accept an appointment for two years in a non-tenured UH faculty research position.

UH regents attorney William McCorriston had no comment for reporters as he left a meeting in which a settlement between the regents and fired UH president Evan Dobelle was announced.

Photos by Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

The UH Board of Regents yesterday agreed to a settlement that calls for Evan Dobelle to receive $1.05 million in cash and remain at the school as a non-tenured researcher with an annual salary of $125,000.
• Relinquish rights to about $2.3 million from a combination of his salary under his original presidential contract and proceeds from an annual $150,000 incentive fund, including 5 percent interest.

The direct cost to the university comes to about $1.83 million. However, that amount does not include the university's legal fees.

The settlement signaled an end to six weeks of upheaval that began with the abrupt firing of Dobelle on June 15 and clears the way for the university to move forward, leaving behind an ugly chapter that capped more than a year of acrimony between the regents and Dobelle.

However, the regents' failure to reveal what they considered "the cause" for Dobelle's dismissal in the first place leaves behind a lingering skepticism over their actions and unanswered questions about the political overtones surrounding the firing.

In reaching the mediated settlement yesterday after nearly four weeks of negotiations, both parties agreed there was "no finding of wrongdoing on the part of either Dr. Dobelle or the board."

Dobelle, reached in Boston, Mass., where he was attending the Democratic National Convention, said: "I'm sorry I can't contribute to the future of Hawai'i as president of the university, but I have confidence the management team that I hired can finish the job that we started and I will look to contribute in other ways."

Dobelle, 59, came to UH from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., after a yearlong national search and was the most richly compensated president in UH history. He was fired just short of his third anniversary on the job, with four years remaining on his contract.

Regents hinted that there were concerns over his use of a protocol fund.

In a statement released as part of the settlement, both sides agreed "there were indeed several misunderstandings as the result of misinformation, as well as less than optimal communication between the board and Dr. Dobelle that exacerbated this problem."

The statement also noted that the board had fired Dobelle "for cause" June 15 "based on the information the board had at the time."

The statement went on to say:

"Based on the information the Board had at the time, the decision was made to relieve Dr. Dobelle 'with cause.'

"However, the board recognized at the time that it was obligated to apprise Dr. Dobelle of the basis of its 'for cause' decision, to allow him the opportunity to respond, and to reconsider their decision thereafter if warranted. This is the reason why the grounds for Dr. Dobelle's termination were not made public at the time.

"During the mediation process, Dr. Dobelle was apprised of the basis for the board's 'for cause' termination, and Dr. Dobelle was given the opportunity to respond to the issues raised.

"As in any dispute, there are always two sides. This dispute was no exception. However, while there is not an agreement on all issues, there is a deeper understanding of the perspectives of the parties, and how those perspectives came to be."

Board chairwoman Patricia Lee said the board would make no other comments after releasing the two-page statement and the agreement documents that accompanied it.

However, regent Trent Kakuda said, "I'm happy with the agreement."

It was not immediately known where the money will come from to pay Dobelle's settlement, and attorney Barry Marr, one of two firms hired by the board to handle the dispute, would not comment.

"I can't get into that," Marr said later. He also said he does not know what the costs are for the regents' attorneys, including William McCorriston who joined the team as mediation began.

As the agreement became known yesterday, Dobelle's lead attorney, L. Richard Fried Jr., noted that Dobelle "is happy all parties have put the university first.

"He's very pleased the matter has been resolved," said Fried of Dobelle.

"This is a win for all parties," Fried continued. "Protracted litigation is in no one's best interests."

Tom Ingram, president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, which provides guidance on many issues for universities throughout the nation, did not want to comment on the terms of the settlement, but he did say that Dobelle's lucrative contract and firing were "very unusual" for a public university.

He said heads of universities are rarely let go for cause and even more rarely do they reach the point of threatening litigation. In most cases, he said, a resolution is reached so "everyone can leave with their heads up."

"Being a chief executive of a complex university is, first of all, a very tough business and boards know that and in this case felt compelled to offer a very generous package in the belief that this was a person who would bring the kind of leadership that was needed," Ingram said, speaking from his home in Delaware. "But life is what it is and sometimes there are just bad fits and you don't discover that until you work together for a while."

Ingram said the settlement was reached rather quickly and that was in the best interest of the state.

"It's best for everyone that this is settled and that everyone can get along with their lives and the university can get on with its business," he said. "This is really a good thing because these things when they dawdle on too long can be very harmful to the university and its reputation."

Staff writer Curtis Lum contributed to this report. Reach Beverly Creamer at or 525-8013.

• • •

The contract

Salary: $442,000 a year for seven years.

Incentive fund: $150,000 annually plus 5 percent interest.

Buyout: Would have included paying an annual salary for the remaining four years of his contract, plus three years of accrued incentive payments. The total would have been more than $2 million.

The side letter

A side letter signed by both Dobelle and then-regents' chairwoman Lily Yao stipulated that he would also receive:

• Sabbatical leave in his sixth year at his president's salary.

• Tenure as a full professor following his presidential appointment. It states that "after completion of your term as president you may return to teaching at the highest prevailing rate as a professor in your field."

• Protocol money provided by the UH Foundation of $150,000 a year.

• Dues paid for three country clubs as well as two clubs he belonged to at his hire.

• An additional $10,000 from First Hawaiian Foundation in annual travel money or to be used at his discretion.

The settlement

Regents reverse Dobelle's termination "for cause" and there is no finding of wrongdoing on his part.

Dobelle resigns effective Aug. 14 and becomes a nontenured researcher in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Dobelle gets about $1.8 million in compensation: $1.05 million in cash, $290,000 in attorney's fees and a salary of $125,000 this year and next.

Dobelle gets a $2 million whole life insurance policy, with the family required to pay the university $400,000 upon Dobelle's death.

See more.

• • •


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(7) On Friday August 13, 2004, after thousands of pages of documents were made public, including minutes of meetings of the UH Board of Regernts dealing with President Dobelle’s performance, Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman published an article summarizing the Board’s concerns, and Dobelle’s -pattern of lying and deception, and the slanting of the news by Honolulu Advertiser.

University Releases Thousands of Documents Detailing Reasons for President's Firing

Regent Says Evan Dobelle Was a Liar and Extravagant Spender, Lacked Integrity and Used University Resources for His Personal Gain;

Dobelle Breaks State Ethics Laws in Search of a New Position at Five Other Universities;

Documents Show Media Bias in Reports on Dobelle

By Malia Zimmerman, Editor, Hawaii Reporter, 8/13/2004

The University of Hawaii released thousands more documents yesterday to the media relating to the June 15, 2004, firing of U.H. President Evan Dobelle by the University Board of Regents, including long awaited copies of the meeting minutes where the firing of Dobelle "for cause" was debated and ultimately agreed upon.

The information, which documents a number of problems brought upon the University by Dobelle notes a series of violations by Dobelle of state ethics laws, broken promises to regents and donors, what regents call "lies" and "extravagant spending" habits, a lack of leadership and disinterest by Dobelle in the University. Some portions of the minutes remain unavailable to the media.

Also released were a series of emails that show Dobelle, who was hired at the University of Hawaii in 2001 on a 10-year contract for $442,000 a year, was on an aggressive job search for another president position. The emails document his job hunt conducted with the help of his staff (who performed research for him about other universities from work using state facilities), his wife Kit (who used the state email system) and at least three different national search firms.

Dobelle has continuously claimed since his firing that he’s been courted by universities across the country allegedly interested in hiring him. However these emails prove that it was in fact he who frantically sought a job, writing dozens of emails and traveling to events where he could meet with various university leaders. He even discussed with school personnel the age of a sitting president and when he might retire. Yet contrary to Dobelle's story, the Universities essentially ignored him.

But Dobelle's debacles weren't the only ones exposed in these emails.

Regents showed their extreme disdain for him in their comments recorded during the 12-hour closed-door meeting on the day (June 15, 2004) they fired him "for cause." (Note: On July 29, 2004, the board and Dobelle reached a mediated settlement at which time the Regents rescinded the "for cause" firing, allowing Dobelle to resign and receive $1 million in severance pay, $300,000 in salary for a two-year researcher position, and payment on his $2 million insurance policy. His attorneys fees were paid by the state at a cost of $290,000.)

In addition to the Regents baring their feelings about Dobelle in the recently released documents, some members of the media demonstrated their clear bias in favor of Dobelle in emails to him personally.

What the Minutes Reveal

* Cayetano Appointees Waged Campaign to Get Dobelle Fired, Just the Opposite of What Was Speculated by Lingle Critics

Despite Dobelle’s legal handlers and critics of Gov. Linda Lingle waging a campaign to convince the public that Lingle’s appointees on the Board of Regents (5 of 10) were retaliating against Dobelle because he’d endorsed her Democrat opponent in the 2002 gubernatorial election, the minutes prove just the opposite.

It was in fact the Regents appointed by former Democrat Gov. Benjamin Cayetano who were insisting Dobelle be fired, and the Lingle appointees who were siding with Dobelle, offering him chance after chance to redeem himself.

Regent Walter Nunokawa said in the June 15, 2004, board meeting that the board should have taken action a year earlier. He says many Regents were ready at the time, but that the "Lingle appointees wanted to have a chance to work with the president and see if they could do better than we did with him."

At least two of the Regents went on record to say they would resign unless Dobelle was fired. Many of the Regents provided additional comments highlighted in the minutes in the order in which they spoke at the meeting.

* What the Regents Had to Say About Dobelle

Myron Yamasato, who says he has been on the board longer than most of the Regents, noted Dobelle has "no solid support from any stakeholder group … and his appointment should be terminated." He said "other information gathered for the third year review caused him to realize that it is time to terminate Evan Dobelle."

James Haynes noted he tried to "separate style from performance when considering President Dobelle," but in his list of pros and cons of Dobelle, the cons far outweigh the pros. Haynes noted Dobelle’s "changing of facts, selective hearing, and his spin on Atwell’s report are just incredible."

Charles Kawakami noted Dobelle has "no integrity" and "you cannot trust him so it is really impossible to work with him." He noted he could not end his term on the Board of Regents by putting off Dobelle’s firing and forcing another board to deal with it.

Alvin Tanaka took the Dobelle issue further, saying he’d resign if Dobelle was not fired. Tanaka noted his frustration over Dobelle’s lavish spending above his budget and the lack of resolve in refunding money spent by Dobelle personally from the University Foundation. The minutes note: "given all the lies, threats and problems with money, regent Tanaka said personally he would not stay on the board if President Dobelle continued."

Trent Kakuda started off his review of Dobelle saying "he simply could not take another year of the president’s lies and deceptions to the Board and the public." He noted his resentment of all the extra work the board is required to do because "the president is constantly traveling and does not provide leadership for the University." He also noticed the Atwell report showed Dobelle has no positive working relationship with the state Legislature.

Byron Bender, who has been a part of the University family for 40 years, with children who have seven degrees from the University, says Dobelle is "mostly talk" and "does not have the leadership skills to actually get things done effectively." "He has a problem with money and the board cannot allow it to continue," Bender says.

Walter Nunokawa said he was Dobelle’s biggest supporter and gave him every opportunity to succeed, but that Dobelle has "completely lost the trust of the board as a result of his lies and has never attempted to regain that trust. He noted Dobelle’s image as a "visionary" came largely from others and was not in fact true and that he was completely incapable of making what he talked about become a reality. Nunokawa noted his frustration that the University still did not have an operational plan for the University after three years and that many of the contracts for the University were negotiated on the side without the full knowledge or oversight of the board.

Jane Tatibouet says she could not understand "the constant lying from someone who has everything to gain from simply working with the board and moving the University forward." She also noted too much money being mismanaged and misused for his personal benefit rather than for the entire university and that Dobelle has "no respect for the students, their families, the faculty and staff, and the people of Hawaii for who the University and its resources are so precious." "it is about integrity and he has none," Tatibouet says.

Kitty Lagareta, who says she was "shocked" by how strained the relationship between Dobelle and the Regents was when she recently joined the board and wanted to give it her all to see if she could help repair the damage, but failed. She noted the "bottom line for her is Dobelle is a liar – a habitual liar and unfortunately a credible liar." She noted the Atwell Report used the word "duplicitous" in describing the way most stakeholders in the university viewed Dobelle. She said it is "impossible to know some of the things we now know about him and not terminate him."

Chair of the Board Patricia Lee says Dobelle refused to be held to any accountability standards, and that her decision to fire him boils down to a "lack of leadership." "He has problems with trust, integrity, and character and should not be running the university," she adds. If the public knew what the board knows and if these things could be brought to light, the public would be outraged. Lee said she favored a "graceful termination," but Dobelle already said he could not be terminated and that the regents would have to buy him out. Even so, Lee notes buying him out would save the University considerable funds in the long run because his "side kicks" or all of his friends who he’d brought with him to the University who were paid significant salaries, would be terminated.

What Other Documentation Released to the Media Shows About Dobelle Debacle

* Protocol Fund Abuses

The thousands of pages of documents released to the media yesterday show the Regents were specifically concerned about an audit of what they are calling "Dobelle’s protocol fund," which is supposed to be used to fundraise for the foundation, but was instead used as Dobelle’s personal piggy bank. More than $72,000 in expenditures from the fund spent by Dobelle has not been explained or justified -- something for which Dobelle blames his staff.

Some of the funds were spent on mainland travel for his wife and friends, including $4,000 on his wife Kit’s trip to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she attempted, according to emails obtained at the University, to get her husband a job as president of the university. The event -- held at the alma mater of Kit and Evan Dobelle -- also was referred to as a "reunion," which Dobelle’s attorney denied.

In addition, $26,000 was used for personal expenses, and reimbursed at a later date, but regents say that Dobelle took more than two years to repay the money.

Deloitte & Touche auditor Gary Nishikawa called the reimbursement of the fund by Dobelle when he learned it would be audited a "reimbursement frenzy." The auditor noted he is not the entity that should determine whether Dobelle intentionally defrauded the University.

* Political Polling with U.H. Funds?

Regent Kitty Lagareta also questions why two political polls were ordered in 2001 and 2003 by Dobelle through a company called Opinion Dynamics at a cost of $90,000. The money came from the U.H. Foundation -- but those familiar with the foundation’s mission say the funds are supposed to go for student scholarships, students activities, student assistance and University sponsored projects on and off campus.

Beside asking questions about the University, the pollsters asked participants to comment on elected officials in Hawaii.

But before the public could learn about the polls, Dobelle contacted the president of the company and asked him to remove the "sensitive information."

The results of the polling had not intially been released to the Regents, auditors or public, but were made available last week. Dobelle’s attorney claims they do not want to embarrass those elected officials named in the polls.

* Job Hunting on Work Time With the Help of School Personnel, Equipment, Dobelle Called a "Change Agent"

Boxes of emails released to the media yesterday showed that Dobelle was using state resources and personnel and at least three national job search firms to hunt for a new job since October of 2003.

Dobelle sent his four-page resume and letters about himself being a "change agent" to at least 5 universities and lobbied, with the help of his wife Kit and his executive assistant Kristin Blanchfield, to get the position of president of these universities. He sent numerous letters and emails to these five institutions including the Universities of Massachusetts and Wisconsin, Washington College in Maryland, Boston University and Whitman College in Washington State. He also contracted with Korn/Ferry International, Issacson Miller and Russell Reynolds to help him secure another University position. But no university took the bait, despite Dobelle’s claims that he is in demand and that he gets contacted frequently about taking positions at other universities.

In doing so, he used state resources and personnel, and at least one state-sponsored trip to the mainland, which is a violation of state ethics law according to the Hawaii Revised Statutes, though Regents did not document the estimated amount of money essentially charged to the taxpayers for his job search.

Despite clear evidence to the contrary in Dobelle’s own emails, his attorney said yesterday that it was Dobelle who was sought after by mainland universities and that Dobelle did not seek out positions or follow up on them.

Dobelle’s Response to Accusations of Regents

Dobelle was out of town yesterday and not available for comment, but his attorney Rick Fried told the media that the firing was a result of "misunderstanding based on a lack of communication." He noted the Regents had backed off on their original claim that Dobelle should be "fired with cause," and that has cleared his client of any wrongdoing.

Big sections of the minutes are blacked out including the area that specifically says why he was fired originally for cause, preventing the public from making up their own mind about the reasons for the Regents’ actions.

Media’s Bias Toward Dobelle

The Honolulu Advertiser appeared biased in its reporting of the recent firing of University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle -- at least in the stories by some of its reporters (not investigative reporter James Dooley who did write some of the best pieces on Dobelle since he was hired).

A series of emails obtained by Hawaii Reporter from the hundreds of documents at the University of Hawaii released to the press may reveal why.

In an April 5, 2004, email from Honolulu Advertiser Education Reporter Bev Creamer to Dobelle, Creamer coddles him. She boasts that Honolulu Advertiser Editorial Page Editor Jerry Burris told her "everyone in the editorial department said they thought the regents looked like fools" after they released a poor review of Dobelle that week.

She admits to manipulating her story so it discredited the evaluation and the Regents. She says she stuck with one student "voice" in her story because she believed "it completely took apart the whole evaluation." "With the voice of one-third of the people interviewed saying the document said the opposite of what students told them, that completely invalidated it and took away any credibility. Readers will always believe a kid over a professor. I think you read it (her story) on line in the middle of the night after a harrowing week and you felt betrayed. You weren’t."

Creamer also noted she had been getting correspondence from readers telling her that they believe the Regents are "full of petty politics" since she wrote the story on the evaluation.

Dobelle wrote a lengthly email in response to Creamer saying he feels he is being treated unfairly by the media who are portraying him as "spending recklessly," "untruthful" and "not living up to promises in fiscal matters." He also says that the "negative spin that continues to be repeated has repercussions." "Painting me as a big spender discourages giving," Dobelle tells Creamer.

Reach Malia Zimmerman, president and editor of Hawaii Reporter, via email at


You may now visit any of the following:

Expanded introduction explaining how all the below-listed pieces fit into the big picture at the University of Hawai'i

(1) A look at the racial supremacist doctrine which is the CHS party line and which President Dobelle actively supports; and a comparison with the fundamental democratic principles of unity, equality, and aloha for all.

(2) A discussion of the UH propaganda factory known as the Center for Hawaiian Studies, and why its monolithic party line in support of racial supremacy has become the unchallenged orthodoxy in every academic department that shares students and curriculum with CHS

(3) A review of the short history of President Dobelle’s tenure as President at UH, focusing on his aggressiveness in pushing the CHS agenda and his recent pledge to politicize UH even further, harnessing UH as a partner in bringing about a racial supremacist government entity

(4) The first exchange of e-mails between the director of the Academy for Lifelong Learning and Dr. Conklin which then resulted in the newspaper article and editorial

(5) The Honolulu Advertiser article of Thursday September 5, 2002, the Advertiser editorial of September 6, 2002, and the articles published in the UH student newspaper “Ka Leo” September 30, 2002.

(6) Other examples of threats, intimidation, property damage and career damage caused by CHS activists and timid administrators



(c) Copyright 2004 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved