Former UH president will soon retire
What ever happened to former University of Hawaii President Albert Simone?
Answer: Albert Simone left Hawaii in 1992 to become president of Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where he remains president today.
In May, Simone announced his intention to retire from RIT next year.
Simone became president of the UH system in 1985, after the Board of Regents' first choice, then-Michigan State University President M. Cecil Mackey, turned down the job.
UH's programs, budget and facilities expanded under Simone's tenure.
Simone said he continues to be proud that he was able to increase both research and teaching at the university.
But all was not rosy for Simone, and he did have his share of detractors during his years as president.
In 1988, state Sen. Malama Solomon, then-chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, called for his firing over his handling of sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.
And he received criticism for getting involved in disciplining student athletes.
Simone said he believes he left behind an improved campus climate with the adoption of a new sexual harassment policy, and that he did the right thing by coming down hard on athletes who went afoul of the law.
"You have to be sure that the athletic program does not compromise the academic integrity of the university and at the same time does not exploit student athletes," he said in a telephone interview.
In 1997, Simone accepted an invitation from his successor at UH, Kenneth Mortimer, to deliver the spring commencement address. He says he has been back to Hawaii a few times since then, most recently in July to attend the wedding of his grandson on Kauai.
He said he has maintained some friendships he formed while in Hawaii and calls some of those friends every year.
This update was written by Nelson Daranciang.
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