The University of Hawaii at Manoa has a new face on its campus.
Tom Apple begins his new job as Chancellor this week. His appointment has been controversial because of his $439,000 salary, but his vision for expanding research at the university could pay big dividends in the future.
Apple wants the amount of research done at UH to increase during his five-year appointment.
During his years at the University of Delaware, researchers at the school sold their technology and company called Fingerworks to Steve Jobs and Apple Computer in 2005.
That kind of a research-driven economy, which benefits universities in the long run, is what Apple also envisions at Manoa.
"We want to partner with local businesses and non-profits and build research teams to help build out these new economies," said Apple. "We want to use intellectual property to generate new businesses and ideas and create a more diverse knowledge based economy."
Apple believes building the school's current $300-plus million per year research enterprise and doubling it within five to ten years is within reach.
He's hoping new changes at the university will quiet critics who point to his $439,008 annual salary.
"It's important that I prove to people that the investment made in me is a good one, and that there will be a big return on that investment. I intend to do that," said Apple.
Increasing the university's bottom line will be a challenge, but it's Apple passion for creating an environment for students to learn and grow that draws him to his new job.
"Students that come to Manoa will be successful. They will find their passion here and once they find their passion, they'll be successful," said Apple.
According to Apple, the University's student endowment is below $200 million. He says that needs to grow.
Apple added by increasing the endowment, the University can keep tuition costs down, even during times of decreased funding from the state.