University of Hawaii President David Lassner announced today that he plans on recommending that the Board of Regents appoint the dean of the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature as interim chancellor of UH Manoa.

Robert Bley-Vroman has served as a faculty member at UH Manoa since 1987.

Robert Bley-Vroman

UH President David Lassner plans on recommending the appointment of Robert Bley-Vroman, dean of the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, as interim chancellor of UH Manoa

University of Hawaii

UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple was recently dismissed in a dramatic upheaval that has garnered widespread criticism from faculty members and students.

Under a settlement, Apple will remain at UH Manoa as a chemistry professor, a job he starts on Sept. 1.

“It is now time to look forward to stabilize UH Mānoa finances and operations for its future as Hawaiʻi’s only research university, the flagship campus of the University of Hawaiʻi System,” Lassner said in a statement.

Lassner said he selected Bley-Vroman after getting feedback from various stakeholders including the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, the Kualii Council and the Council of Deans and the Vice Chancellor.

He’ll be recommending the appointment of Bley-Vroman on Aug. 21. The interim position would become effective Sept. 1.

According to Lassner, Bley-Vroman “leads a vibrant high-quality program of teaching and research while navigating the financial challenges faced by the campus on a daily basis.”

Here’s a link to his resume.

More from Lassner’s statement:

Dr. Bley-Vroman is committed to maintaining the high standard for campus communications that our students and faculty have made it clear they expect and that we all believe they deserve. We have also discussed key immediate and short-term activities that are necessary.

First, Dr. Bley-Vroman will work with the campus community to ensure that the steps being taken now to clarify and implement the campus “freeze” are well understood and fully protect students and the courses they need to advance to graduation.

Second, Dr. Bley-Vroman will work closely with the Mānoa Vice Chancellors, Deans and the campus community to address the significant budget challenges that have developed over the past two years. There is no immediate fix, but structural and strategic changes are necessary to adapt to today’s fiscal realities, and these changes must be developed by the campus.

Third, Dr. Bley-Vroman will launch an objective, forward-looking review of how the UH Cancer Center can be strengthened to ensure that it maintains its National Cancer Institute designation and can contribute to the fight against cancer and improved health care in Hawaiʻi.

Fourth, together we will initiate an assessment of the administrative structure of UH Mānoa and its relationship to the UH System and other campuses to improve management, decrease administrative costs and increase focus on academic excellence.

Dr. Bley-Vroman did not seek this position but has agreed to assume the interim chancellorship in service to his campus. I hope the UH Mānoa campus community is as pleased as I am that he has agreed to take on this role and will support his leadership over the next year as we work through both challenges and opportunities.

Over the past weeks a colleague shared with me an ʻŌlelo Noʻeau that I found particularly appropriate for the path ahead:

ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia.

No task is too big when done together by all.

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