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Sports & Fitness // Hot Air
Steve Murray

Secrecy Official ‘Fort Manoa’ Policy

To say everything is just peachy at Cal State-Fullerton would be erroneous. Its men’s basketball coach resigned in June, a year after several players threatened to quit the program.

In July, athletic director Brian Quinn was reassigned to the school’s development office, and its softball coach filed a sexual discrimination law suit against the school.

No, things aren’t perfect at the southern California university and it would be risky to read more into the operating and administrative standards at the school. But seeing the openness with which the university is searching for a new athletic director is inspiring, and more than a bit sad.

Fullerton’s publicity of its hiring efforts should be lauded. The unhindered flow of information is critical at a public university, even during the employment process or when potentially embarrassing situations arise.

Unfortunately, the practice isn’t universal.

On the Titan’s website you’ll find, among other things, the complete bio and schedule of former UH athletics director Jim Donovan, who is a finalist for CSF’s vacant AD position. In addition, anyone with the interest can post comments about the candidates, whether supportive or otherwise.

Meanwhile, Fort Manoa is as impregnable as ever. That’s the sad part of the good vs. evil reference that was hinted at 101 words prior.

While Donovan and Fullerton appear to have moved on in a positive direction, Hawaii’s flagship university continues to trudge along the same tired path of secrecy and inefficiency.

After putting Donovan on administrative leave in July, the same month which CSF reassigned its AD, the University of Hawaii is no closer to naming a new athletic director than it was when the search committee to find a new administrator was formed three months ago.

To be fair, UH has made progress in one area: it has successfully put an end to the speculation of blame by finding there is no blame, at least not for anyone at the top of the organizational flow chart.

For a short time It appeared the Board of Regents might act against UH president M.R.C. Greenwood. The original full support withered to mostly support when the political fires got hot, but fireman Dan Inouye has wetted the coals and now everyone is playing nice.

The mishandling of the mishappened concert, and the bungled fallout that cost Donovan his job and the taxpayers thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees, has been officially blamed on procedural problems and simple oversight errors that are as correctable as an uneven table leg. (Sugar packets are the preferred method.) Meanwhile, everyone agrees to get along to go along, and to recommit themselves to the jobs they already have.

“Each (BOR and Greenwood) acknowledged that the concert fiasco and its aftermath created strains in the University’s leadership,” reads the papal bull(—-) on the UH web-site. “President Greenwood apologizes for having sent the letter to the Board of Regents, which she has since withdrawn, and has no plans to bring legal action against the University or the Board. Soul-searching (emphasis added to highlight the apparent inner turmoil necessary to convince education professionals to do the jobs for which they were hired or assigned) has led the Regents and the President to rededicate themselves to the University’s unique role in educating the people of Hawaii as well as serving as a center for productive and innovative research.”

More from the feel-good press release:

“They agree that improved communication and transparency within the University’s leadership is critical to avoiding future mishaps. The Regents are optimistic (emphasis added to highlight the complete mediocrity of expectations which have become a UH trademark) that under President Greenwood’s leadership the University will correct the management failures highlighted by the Advisory Task Group Report on Operational and Financial Controls Improvement.”

The whitewash is complete. smurray@midweek.com Twitter @SteveMurray84

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