UH faculty group demands Lassner’s resignation

A coalition of University of Hawaii faculty calling itself “Mauna Kea Protectors at the University of Hawaii” said Saturday it sent a letter July 22 to UH President David Lassner calling for his resignation if he doesn’t meet certain demands of the group.

In a statement, the group said the letter, signed by over 800 UH faculty, students and staff, was sent again Friday and expressed disappointment they have not received a response. The university manages the lease in the Maunakea Science Reserve, where a consortium is attempting to build the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project, but has been stymied by protesters, who call themselves “protectors,” blocking Maunakea Access Road, the only access to Maunakea for construction trucks.

The statement demanded a termination of the TMT sublease, asked Lassner to “explain the benefit of the TMT arrangement to the university” despite opposition to the project from faculty, staff and students, asked if the reason for not terminating the lease is fear of litigation by TMT and for Lassner to issue a public statement acknowledging the construction of TMT is unethical and to call upon Gov. David Ige to “make it possible for (UH) to exit its arrangement with TMT.

The group, whose media liaison is Associate Professor of Anthropology Ty Kawika Tengan, demanded Lassner’s resignation “failing a meaningful response.”

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