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The University of Hawaiʻi‘s core mission is education and the broadening of minds. Bigotry is antithetical to that mission, and is condemned by the university. The statements of individuals cited do not represent the positions or views of the University of Hawaiʻi or its leadership.

UH has clear policy that prohibits “any work related or workplace violence against its students, faculty, staff, visitors and contract employees which materially and substantially interferes with an individual’s work, academic performance, and/or workplace safety and/or otherwise subjectively and objectively creates a hostile environment. Such prohibited violent acts may involve physical attack, property damage, as well as written or verbal statements or non-verbal gestures that, to a reasonable person, express or suggest the intent to cause physical or mental harm to another person.”

I have directed that the responsible officials at UH review the materials provided to assess appropriate next steps under applicable UH policies and procedures.

At the time of the email exchange noted, I issued a message directly to the entire list that concluded: “It is my deepest hope that we can all find ways to learn from what is happening today to become a stronger community of learners, teachers and scholars. We donʻt all need to agree. But we all benefit when we commit to civility and respect for one another, especially those with whom we disagree.”

Statement by President Lassner on comments made by a faculty member regarding Kamehameha Schools

The University of Hawaiʻi and I strongly denounce the hurtful and wholly inaccurate statements made regarding Kamehameha Schools. Kamehameha Schools is a trusted and valued partner to the University of Hawaiʻi in our shared mission of improving education across the entire state. Their dedicated work is deeply appreciated on every island and on every UH campus. Kamehameha students are among the best in the state and enroll with great success across the UH System and at other great universities across the country. UH welcomes every Kamehameha graduate who we are fortunate enough to bring into our campuses. We apologize to the entire Kamehameha Schools ʻohana for the disparaging remarks of one faculty member who does not represent the positions or views of the University of Hawaiʻi or its leadership.

David Lassner
UH President

Apology statement by Professor John Learned

I would like to sincerely apologize for my comments about Kamehameha Schools and to every member of the Kamehameha Schools community. My remarks were inappropriate. I have apologized to the UH faculty member who is a Kamehameha Schools graduate and was present when I made the comments. I will truly never know the extent of the pain my words have caused her and everyone connected to Kamehameha Schools. As President Lassner said, Kamehameha Schools is a trusted and valued partner to the university, and I am very sorry for causing such distress in both institutions. I cannot undo what has been done, but please know that I regret it deeply.

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