Undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are staging a sit-in on Thursday to protest the dismissal of Chancellor Tom Apple.

They say they won’t leave Bachman Hall — the administrative building where top UH executives are expected to meet that morning and discuss Apple — until UH President David Lassner pledges in a written statement to retain him.

Hawaii News Now broke the news on Saturday that Apple is being dismissed from his position three years before his term is set to expire. The university won’t confirm the news, though a number of professors and others privy to UH affairs told Civil Beat yesterday that his termination is imminent.

Students walk on UH Manoa campus February 2, 2014.

Students walk on UH Manoa campus February 2, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The protest is being organized jointly by the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii — the undergraduate student government — and the Graduate Student Organization.

Students plan to gather in front of Hawaii Hall at 7 a.m. and march to Bachman Hall at 8 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear university colors: green, black or white.

“Students are outraged that Chancellor Apple, who has been selected for this position by a committee of administrators, faculty, and students, might be removed after being in office for less than two years of a five year contract,” a statement from the ASUH says. “The Chancellor is commended for his student-focused leadership and carries wide support amongst faculty and students. Terminating his contract early would be unwarranted and extremely costly.”

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