Donovan Back at University of Hawaii After Being Cleared of Wrongdoing in Stevie Wonder Concert Debacle

Jim Donovan (Photo courtesy of UH)
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Jim Donovan (Photo courtesy of UH)

REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII – The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) has learned that the internal investigation into the cancelled Stevie Wonder concert will show that there was no wrongdoing on the part of Athletics Director Jim Donovan, who was put on paid administrative leave on July 11, while the investigation took place (the final written report is still being prepared).

UHM Chancellor Tom Apple, and Donovan, today reached an agreement on Jim’s future with the University.  Beginning on Monday, August 13, Donovan will return to full duty status and will report directly to Chancellor Apple.  Mr. Donovan will have significant responsibilities in designing, creating, articulating, marketing and communicating to the community, including assisting with the evolving land grant mission of the University, as the University continues to serve and help meet the needs of Hawaii and its people.


The parties mutually believe that Mr. Donovan has served the University well throughout the 21 years he has worked on the Mānoa campus, beginning September 3, 1985.  Donovan moved up through the athletic department ranks as baseball stadium manager, then sports marketing director, assistant athletics director, associate athletics director and finally as athletics director since March 23, 2008.  From 2002 through 2008, he served as executive director of the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl.

In his new position, Chancellor Apple believes Donovan’s considerable and diverse talents will be best utilized to help UHM move forward while serving the University in another capacity.

Donovan’s base salary will remain the same through the term of his current contract ending in March 2013.  He will then be reassigned to a new position and will be recommended to receive a three-year appointment at a salary of $211,200 (temporarily reduced to $200,640) that will be subject to customary reviews and approvals in accordance with established policy.

Chancellor Apple stated,  “Jim is a gentlemen who has conducted himself with great honor during this difficult period. I am delighted that we have agreed to his return to full duty status and we are looking forward to a long term relationship.   Jim served the University well as our Athletics Director, and I know that his considerable talents are an asset to the University which will benefit from his continued service.”

Mr. Donovan stated,  “I am very pleased that I have been cleared of any wrongdoing as I have always acted in the best interests of the University.  I appreciate Chancellor Apple’s efforts and the cooperation of the University administration to return me to active status and I look forward to working with Chancellor Apple.”