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Future leadership at the Bishop Museum remains uncertain


Future leadership at the Bishop Museum remains uncertain following a disagreement between the institution’s Board of Directors and its CEO over an internal personnel matter.

Bishop Museum CEO Melanie Ide and two senior managers at the museum were placed on paid administrative leave by the board to investigate workplace concerns raised by employees.

The board stood behind this decision saying in a statement that it’s in the best interest of the staff and the museum because of “the failure to address and resolve serious workplace issues.”

Ide says she had a plan in place to address those concerns when the board intervened. She is now under a gag order but spoke to HPR prior to the order.

"Let’s just say this. We agree on a lot. We agree that we should be investigating workplace concerns. We agree that we want the environment to be a good environment to work in and that people are behaving as they should in the workplace," Ide said.

"The thing is, I agree with our board on what we need to do. I've never had a beef. You know, I'm extremely fond of our board members, but I cannot go along with something that I fundamentally disagree," she told HPR.

Ide says she is concerned about the impact her removal may have on the organization, including the interference in operations and damage to the museum’s relationships and reputation.

A board member tells HPR that an acting management team made up of longtime museum employees has been put in place — adding that the investigation is anticipated to take weeks and not months.

Ide announced her intent to resign earlier this week if the board did not change course with respect to the investigation. She has not yet offered her resignation.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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