From the Chancellor, published in Their Views for April 13, Hawaii Tribune Herald.
I thought it was important to respond to Bart Wright’s column on Monday (Tribune-Herald, B1) about the University of Hawaii at Hilo Athletic Department that focused on recent staff turnover. Whenever there is a time of transition, it can lead to concern about change, and that is understandable.
The column notes that a number of individuals left the department for a variety of reasons. Three left for personal reasons, as happens with other organizations and entities in East Hawaii. Another three left to accept positions at Division I schools. This speaks positively about our athletics program: working here can help advance people’s careers. I am pleased these people succeeded as much as I regret losing them.
It is disappointing that the column speculated that UH-Hilo Athletic Director Pat Guillen’s mainland origin and management style are responsible for the staff changes. Pat has proven to be a tireless worker dedicated to our university, the athletic department and our community. I feel he has truly embraced Hawaii’s culture, values and people. His recent report to the Board of Regents was received very positively, along with the news that UH-Hilo athletics is in the black. He continues to have my full confidence — as do his staff and coaches.
Pat and his staff and coaches are working to improve UH-Hilo athletics. I thank everyone for the amazing support of our athletic department, and hope you can continue to support UH-Hilo athletics so it can be the very best for our student athletes and our community.