Chancellor Hinshaw puts forth future campus directionUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr. 1, 2010
Aloha! I am writing about the direction UH Mānoa needs to take to weather these uncertain times, while also building excellence for the future. This direction emerged over the last 12-18 months from my listening and learning from people within and associated with our university. I appreciate your input and support of the direction.
We all recognize that this campus, as a major research university with a land, sea and space grant mission, is charged to provide educational access for a broad population of students, generate research advances that benefit society, locally and globally, and provide compassionate service for the community – all of these activities contribute to the well-being of Hawai‘i. In reflection of that mission and our unique capacity to provide “a multicultural global experience in a Hawaiian place of learning”, I had earlier derived three goals from our strategic plan, i.e., to serve as: a destination of choice; a global, leading research university; and a respectful, inclusive community. I believe those goals fit UH Mānoa and our actions should reflect our efforts to fulfill those goals.
Moreover, like universities across the nation, we are challenged with significantly reduced state support to accomplish our broad mission. We must deal with that reality and, during such times, we especially need to focus on answering one question –
How will UH Mānoa invest to insure that this university excels into the future?
The following topics describe actions I believe are needed to ensure that outcome.
Investing in campus priorities:
I believe we need a different approach to investing the resources we generate and those we already have. By January 2011, the deans/directors of all Mānoa units must present an annual budget plan to the Mānoa vice-chancellors related to the hiring of faculty and staff with the goal of meeting core needs and creating partnerships (described below) for our future. Effective January 2011, all newly vacated faculty positions and their funding will be held centrally and distributed based on unit plans and partnership investments as described below. Typically, 75-80% of the positions would be returned to the unit based on those plans; however, 20-25% will be reinvested based on shared criteria, as explained below.
I recognize that, in the 1990’s, a reallocation of positions was conducted by the system president/chancellor and left many people at UH Mānoa with the feeling that the positions “disappeared”. Our situation is quite different now as the Mānoa campus has a separate chancellor. I assure you that these positions will stay on the campus and be distributed to the academic units, not to administration. As we go forward and accumulate positions to reinvest, criteria for allocation of resources and the review process will be clearly defined and shared with all. I have a current list of criteria shown below which I have discussed with some campus groups.
Criteria for investment:
1. Ensuring student success – from increasing financial aid to strengthening academic support
services to providing courses required for timely graduation.
2. Building academic excellence, especially to meet cross-campus needs, including:
a. Increasing faculty who are Native Hawaiian and from other underrepresented groups.
b. Meeting instructional needs for core courses required and wanted by students, and
supporting investment in faculty to address present needs and future student growth.
c. Meeting workforce needs in areas that UH Mānoa can uniquely provide.
d. Supporting cross-campus priorities, e.g. sustainability.
e. Advancing knowledge through maintaining areas of unique strength and excellence – ocean
sciences, astronomy, Asia and Pacific studies, and increasingly in programs related to
health and well-being.
f. Building research productivity, from strengthening infrastructure to increasing opportunities for
g. Sharing our scholarship with the broader community through increased civic engagement.
3. Providing an environment that meets the needs of our students, faculty, staff and community by
continued focus and investment in our campus infrastructure.
Hiring approaches to fulfill campus priorities:
Our most important investment is clearly in the people who can accomplish campus priorities. One example of a hiring approach which I am initiating is “cluster hiring”. Cluster hiring refers to hiring faculty who will reside in different units across campus but are connected and committed to accomplishing a shared campus priority. This does not mean formation of permanent centers, but rather virtual intellectual centers, that will connect our campus programs. To start this effort, the campus will invest five faculty positions each in two priorities that have continually emerged in campus planning and discussions: (a) faculty who are Native Hawaiian and from other underrepresented groups and (b) faculty whose scholarship and teaching are focused on sustainability efforts that enable UH Mānoa to model and lead such efforts for Hawai‘i and beyond. Investments, such as this initiative and others generated by the campus, can only be accomplished if the campus recovers/generates
resources, so those efforts are central to building this endeavor.
Partnering, both internally and externally:
I believe partnering is key to our campus’ success – we must use all that is available to us. I frequently refer to the Native Hawaiian saying, “By working together, we make progress”, because it is so very true. So I’m focused on creative partnerships for our campus. By partnering internally and externally, we can magnify our impact, recover time and money, and generate opportunities for new resources for Mānoa.
Such partnerships certainly can take many forms and many are already underway on our campus. I believe it is critically important to invest in current/new efforts that connect multiple campus programs related to our unique strength, i.e., providing a multicultural global experience in a Hawaiian place of learning. Responsibilities related to that strength include: (a) creating educated citizens; (b) generating benefits related to our unique environment; (c) improving health and well being; (d) driving economic development; and (e) connecting globally, especially with Asia and the Pacific. One example already in place is the Mānoa Sustainability Grant (http://reis.Mānoa.Hawaiʻi.edu/reis2/reis/news/reis-proposal-wins-uh-sustainability-grant) – a one million dollar effort involving multiple Mānoa programs joined together to meet our responsibilities as a research university, while contributing to Hawai‘i’s needs in this area.
By utilizing creative partnerships across and beyond the campus, we can also generate excitement and awareness about what we are doing and create additional opportunities to generate new knowledge and resources.
Generating more resources:
To support our core mission and initiatives, such as “cluster hiring”, we actually need a stimulus package for UH Mānoa, so a valid question is “how do we secure resources for such efforts?” Resources come from a variety of sources, such as tuition, research, development, prioritization, legislative support (particularly to “rebuild Mānoa”), and internal reallocation. We will focus on the recovery of resources, as well as the generation of new resources in those areas.
A number of effective efforts are underway and already having a significant impact, for example:
(a) tuition – increasing enrollment, as improved articulation with UH community colleges to recruit more students.
(b) research – cross-campus efforts to secure stimulus money and large program grants.
(c) development - public-private matching for donors.
(d) prioritization – implementing the recommendations from the prioritization process and budget workgroup (see current update on that activity posted at http://www.Mānoa.Hawaiʻi.edu/ovcafo/newprocess/prioritization.html). The Budget Workgroup has made a number of recommendations (http://Mānoa.Hawaiʻi.edu/ovcafo/newprocess/MemoChancellor121509.pdf that could generate/recover resources, ranging from increasing enrollment to eliminating any general fund subsidies to revolving fund operations. Each of those recommendations will be examined by the responsible vice chancellor who will report to me by the beginning of summer on implementation.
(e) legislative support – focusing our message on their responsibility and capability to eliminate current budget reductions in the years ahead and also provide appropriate facilities for learning and research. Such outcomes will generate more support from tuition and increase the return from our research indirect cost rate.
(f) internal reallocation - Currently the filling of any faculty positions must be recommended by the relevant vice chancellor and approved by the chancellor and that will continue. Beginning January 1, 2011, as retirements and resignations occur, units will be authorized funding sufficient to fill at the junior/assistant level. In this way, faculty numbers can stay strong and the difference between entrance and exit salaries can be directed at helping meet the current budget deficit.
Facing Reality and Staying Focused:
In the short term, we all know that the money we are recovering or generating is directed at covering the deficit created by state reductions of $66 million. All of us are striving to recover such funding and the stimulus resources and salary savings provide some temporary relief, but don’t change the reality of the cuts still looming for us. In addition, many of the changes we have made to recover costs are not sustainable in the long run, so it is critical that we stay focused on both generating savings and new resources.
Focusing on that reality and staying the course of investing in campus priorities both require discipline. We must take the actions needed to support what we can do well. To do that requires: recognizing the reality that we lack the resources to continue to operate in the same way and to appropriately support all current programs; prioritizing and making choices, including tough decisions, about what we stop doing; and being humble in recognizing that UH Mānoa serves others and the good of the whole university has to be foremost in our actions. Without that focus, one outcome is clear - continuing in the same direction in the face of reduced support will lead to mediocrity, rather than the excellence people want as Mānoa’s destiny.
Mānoa is blessed to have many people who care deeply about this university. I continually hear from campus and community members, alumni, friends, here and around the world, that they care about all aspects of the university. I always encourage all of us to share those views with others, particularly state decision-makers as they deliberate on support for UH Mānoa. The reason many people care deeply is because UH Mānoa transforms lives through educating students, creating research advances and providing compassionate service. There is a recognition that we all contribute individually, but what we accomplish together is what transforms lives. Our chosen destiny is excellence and working together we can fulfill that destiny.
Mahalo for all that you contribute to making excellence UH Mānoa’s reality.
Virginia S. Hinshaw
Chancellor, UH Mānoa