Friday, August 28, 1998

Bishop trustees
asked to support
school president

The Kamehameha ohana
wants Chun to stay on

By Rick Daysog


Members of the Kamehameha Schools ohana called on Bishop Estate trustees to reaffirm support for school President Michael Chun, whose tenure as head of the Kapalama Heights campus has been a subject of much speculation.

But one trustee dismissed as a distracting rumor reports that Chun would be fired.

In a joint news conference yesterday, representatives of the Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association, the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association, Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi and Na Kumu o Kamehameha labeled the estate's majority trustees "arrogant" and abusive for failing to clarify Chun's status.

Since Monday, the Kamehameha Schools campus has been rocked with speculation that trustees Richard Wong, Henry Peters and Lokelani Lindsey intended to fire Chun today, just as school students are returning for the 1998-1999 school year.

"We, as constituents of the greater Kamehameha ohana, decry the continuing dysfunctional management of the estate by the majority of the board of trustees," said Jan Dill, a Na Pua first vice president. "The fact that the trustees did not act immediately to squelch the rumor of Dr. Chun's removal represents a serious, harmful and baseless disruption to the start of the new school year."

The estate has said it has no plan to fire the popular school president. Yesterday, Bishop Estate trustee Peters issued a news release responding to the speculation. "Rumors do not benefit this institution or our students. Rumors only serve those who spread them," it said. "Our faculty and staff will rise above this distraction -- as we have before -- to serve our children for another successful school year. If people put our children and institution first, they will never have any problem with me."

Chun's job at the Kamehameha campus has been on shaky ground for more than a year. Many critics of the Bishop Estate trustees said that board members have usurped his duties and micromanaged school affairs.

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