KAHULUI - On the heels of the release of a report by a University of Hawaii Board of Regents advisory task force investigating the $200,000 Stevie Wonder concert scam, the board and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood agreed Thursday that she would keep her job and that their partnership "will continue and remains strong."
"Each acknowledged that the concert fiasco and its aftermath created strains in the university's leadership," a statement from the board Thursday night said. "Soul-searching 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."
The statement from the Board of Regents also said that Greenwood apologized for having sent a letter to the board through her attorney Oct. 2 asking for a $2 million payout to be released from her duties and citing political pressure from state officials that interfered with her ability to do her job.
"President Greenwood apologizes for having sent the letter to the Board of Regents, which she has since withdrawn, and has no plans to bring legal action against the university or the board," the statement said.
The decision to retain Greenwood came after a board meeting Thursday at the University of Hawaii Maui College, where regents accepted a task force report essentially accusing multiple administrators of showing poor judgment and a lack of oversight.
Regents left the Maui meeting without making any decisions publicly, other than to accept the task force reports. They met privately Thursday for several hours in a closed executive session and emerged without public comment.
The independent Operation and Financial Controls Improvement Advisory Task Force Group produced the 61-page report. The nine-member panel is a combination of regents and business leaders. Maui Regent Saedene Ota, a local businesswoman, is a member of the task force.
Investigators repeatedly put much of the lack of judgment and responsibility on Greenwood, administrators, and former UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan and his staff for not following existing protocols and policies.
The report says that the UH Athletic Department exercised a great deal of control over the process and in areas that are typically within the administration's purview, according to the task force findings.
The concert scam touched off a firestorm over the effectiveness of Greenwood and Donovan.
The department tried to put on a Wonder concert in August as a fundraiser. The school paid $200,000 to a promoter as a deposit but learned after tickets went on sale that neither Wonder nor his representatives authorized the show.
A North Carolina man is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court next week on charges that he scammed the university.
The cash-strapped athletic department evidently jumped at the chance for a high-profile fundraiser. But the school, in fact, was dealing with shell company Epic Talent LLC. The university now is on the hook for renting out the Stan Sheriff Center and reimbursing ticket buyers, in addition to other costs.
Donovan was responsible for an agreement with local promoter BPE Promotions Inc. to lease Stan Sheriff Center for the concert, the report concludes.
Donovan authorized Carl Clapp, the university's associate athletic director for administrative services, to sign the agreement on his behalf. Stan Sheriff Center Director Rick Sheriff was directly responsible for ensuring compliance with the agreement, the report said.
Both Clapp and Sheriff were responsible for ensuring that the department had the authority to authorize the $200,000 payment, it said.
The task force wasn't able to determine who authorized the school to print and sell tickets. No documentation exists on the matter, the report said.
The report can be viewed online at www.hawaii.edu/offices/bor.
* The Associated Press contributed to this report.