UH, Dobelle discuss 2004 mediation deal
By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer
By Beverly Creamer
Attorneys for Evan Dobelle and the University of Hawai'i returned to mediation yesterday, according to UH attorney William McCorriston.
On the table are several house-keeping issues to finalize a 2004 mediation agreement hammered out after Dobelle and the university parted ways.
But sources close to the situation say UH also has held up a payment to the president this month. One source asked not to be named because of his employment position, and the other because of constraints of the mediation settlement.
Under their July 29, 2004, mediation agreement, the university agreed to pay Dobelle $125,000 annually for two years as a nontenured faculty researcher.
Dobelle was scheduled to receive his latest payment yesterday.
After an initial session with attorneys yesterday, continuation of mediation was scheduled for today in the office of mediator Warren Price.
Dobelle is represented by attorney Rick Fried.
Under the formal agreement 18 months ago, Dobelle was to be a nontenured researcher in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. His salary was to be subject to collective bargaining increases and paid through the 2005-2006 fiscal year.
The agreement expressly stated that Dobelle "shall be assigned to a special project to be mutually agreed upon by and between Dr. Dobelle and the Chancellor of the University of Hawai'i Manoa campus."
There is no description of what the expectations were for Dobelle's research.
Former chancellor Peter Englert monitored his research the first year of the agreement and at the end of that year the regents said they were satisfied with the work and the monitoring plan Englert put in place.
When Englert was fired as chancellor last summer, monitoring of the former president's research was transferred to the office of interim president David McClain. McClain would make no comment about the matter yesterday, referring questions to McCorriston.
Under the constraints of the mediation agreement's confidentiality clauses, none of the parties may speak about the issues publicly.
However, the agreement states that if there is any "breach" of it, the parties must first try to resolve any claim or controversy by going back into mediation.
And it states that the costs shall be split equally between the university and Dobelle, with each party bearing its own attorneys' fees.
The mediation settlement occurred after the Board of Regents originally fired the former president "for cause," although the cause was never specified. But in signing the mediation settlement agreement, Dobelle resigned effective Aug. 14, 2004, and all parties agreed there was no fault on either side.
In November 2004 Dobelle accepted a position as the new president and chief operating officer of the New England Board of Higher Education, and began work Jan. 1 of this year.
Reach Beverly Creamer at firstname.lastname@example.org.