Friday, September 5, 2003

Groups want more
details on McCubbin

The former CEO
of Kamehameha Schools
is being considered for
a position at UH

University of Hawaii officials should seek and reveal the facts behind allegations that Hamilton McCubbin has been involved in questionable conduct with women in his two previous jobs, campus and community advocates say.

University of Hawaii If proven, the accusations would make him unacceptable as UH's vice chancellor for academic affairs, a position that handles sexual harassment grievances, says a letter being circulated by women's rights activists.

"We assume that at least these very public allegations of sexual misconduct were thoroughly investigated ... and discussed as well with Dr. McCubbin, prior to placing him on the short list of finalists," said the letter signed by women's studies professor Meda Chesney-Lind, social work professor Kalei Kanuha, Christine Quemuel of the Women's Center and Annelle Amaral, a former state legislator now on the staff of Planned Parenthood.

"However, such private discussion cannot allay the personal and professional concerns and understandable fears of women on this campus who would have to deal with Dr. McCubbin should he be appointed."

The letter addressed to Chancellor Peter Englert and the search committee will be delivered next week.

The chairman of the search committee, Michael Forman, said the issue of the accusations "is certainly not foreign to us" but he declined to describe the extent of its scrutiny into McCubbin's history.

Because personnel matters are involved, linguistics professor Forman said: "I'm not going to talk about details of the process. I will respond when it is appropriate and legal for me to do so.

"It is a part of the process for that letter to be circulating and for the faculty to raise those concerns. I'm pleased to see faculty participate in the search and seek to have their views known to the chancellor. If they desire to influence the decision, it won't happen unless they communicate with the chancellor."

McCubbin did not return calls yesterday seeking comment on the letter.

In another letter sent to Englert and the committee, the Social Justice Council of the First Unitarian Church of Hawaii said: "We have grave reservations about the hiring of Dr. McCubbin. Due diligence requires that Dr. McCubbin's candidacy be thoroughly and carefully reviewed, and that candid and pointed questions be asked of him."

McCubbin, the first of the four finalists to meet with campus groups, faced pointed questions on the subject from faculty members at a Tuesday forum.

"What you read in the press is false," he told the crowd.

A 1959 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, McCubbin resigned from his $350,000 job as the estate's chief executive officer in May, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. But the move came after several employees alleged that McCubbin was having an improper relationship with a female co-worker.

He said Tuesday that he and the school have an agreement not to talk about each other and "you can draw an inference that Kamehameha Schools and I had a difference of opinion."

McCubbin came to Kamehameha from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a dean for 14 years.

A female professor there accused him of sexual harassment and a university investigation revealed no misconduct. However, the woman received a financial settlement upon leaving the university.

McCubbin said Tuesday the accusation came after he declined her request to overturn a decision denying her tenure.


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