E-MAILED FACULTY & COMMUNITY OPINIONS & CONCERNS REGARDING UH MANOA UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED RESEARCH CENTER PROPOSAL
Interim report & supporting documnets presented to the Mānoa Faculty Senate on August 31, 2005 & on September 21, 2005 as informational items
|Date||Document & Link||Committee|
|November 16, 2005||SEC|
|November 16, 2005||SEC|
|October 19, 2005||
|September 9, 2005||Vice Chancellor for Research
Ad Hoc Committee on the Proposed UARC
|August 31, 2005||
||Ad Hoc Committee on the Proposed UARC|
E-Mailed Faculty & Community Opinions & Concerns Regarding UH Manoa UARC Proposal
- Pete Britos, Assistant Professor, English, posted October 20, 2005
- Open Letter to President McClain regarding President McClain's recent recommendation to the Board of Regents for a UH System contract for a UARC.
- Vincent K. Pollard, UHM Lecturer, Asian Studies Program, UH Alumnus, posted November 21, 2005
- I generally liked the approach taken in the "Nine Myths about UARC" leaflet. On balance, it significantly contributed to educating all of us about the proposed UARC and the militarization of the University. The Q&A addresses concerns on the minds of a range of audiences and constituencies -- faculty, staff, students and local communities.
CONCERN. Permit me to share one of my concerns stimulated by the response to "Myth #6. UARC research will aid the US war on terrorism."
FACT: With an eye to applying UH-Manoa research results to the US-Iraq War, the U.S. Navy *has* found a way to use faculty expertise in the social sciences. And, having made headway on this very multicutural campus, the Navy has found a way to benefit from UH students' knowledge of diverse cultures. Of course, that's old news. Early in 2005, this was reported by Terrence Sing in _Pacific Business News_.
A link to Mr. Sing's summary of Navy research entree is http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2005/02/07/story3.html. to consider this in a broader context, see commentary at http://www.kaleo.org/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/08/11/42fba5a6a2cb2
QUESTION: If the Board of Regents were to approve a contract with UARC in spite of the 31-18 Faculty Senate vote on 16 November 2005, why should anyone believe that, in a future renegotiation of the contract, the Navy won't try to bring that research under the UARC umbrella?
ANSWER: There is *no* reason to make that assumption.
- John Madey, Professor, Physics, posted November 3, 2005
- With respect to the question of whether the proposed UH UARC contract could be used to route contract funds from other agencies to support research unrelated to the proposed Center's "core competencies" (which has obviously attracted the interest of many of the faculty in medicine, molecular biology, linguistics, .....) it might be worth reviewing the attached DoD memo specifying the kinds of research that could be funded in that manner at the Missile Defense Agency's UARC at Utah State University ((Use of UARC Contract (Utah State University Research Foundation), updated July 19, 2005 (PDF))
Although the MDA is not the Navy, the very clear and strict guidance provided in the attachment to the effect that only research related to the Utah UARC's core competencies could be funded through the UARC's contract with the MDA ought to give pause to those here at UH who might have been led to believe that the UH UARC contract could be used as a source of "easy money" for areas of research unrelated to our designated "core competencies".
The language of this attachment - dated July 2005 - also clearly mirrors the restrictions imposed on the DoD's UARCs by Paul Kaminski in 1997. Indeed, the management plan prepared at Kaminski's direction is specifically cited in the attachment as the basis of the constraints imposed on the use of Utah State's UARC contract for research funded by other agencies.
- Beverly Keever, Professor, Journalism, posted November 1, 2005
- FOIA documents reveal UARC's security plan--and much more (PDF) Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, October 30, 2005.
UARC contract avoids key questions (PDF) Honolulu Diary in the Honolulu Weekly, October 12-18, 2005.
- Mimi Sharma, Professor, Asian Studies Program, posted October 26, 2005
- The UARC Case May be Closed to UH Administrators, Ka Leo, October 13, 2005 (PDF) or html link to article
- Ruth Dawson, Professor, Women's Studies, posted October 24, 2005
- Nine Myths About UARC by Dawson, Sharma, Fischer, & others of SaveUH/StopUARC coalition. (PDF)
- Karl Kim, Professor and Chair, Urban and Regional Planning, posted October 24, 2005
- Costs of UARC Outweigh Pluses, Commentary, Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 23, 2005.
- Beverly Keever, Professor, Journalism, posted October 20, 2005
- The UH-USN Contract: Uncertain Dollars, Certain Censorship (PDF). Comments by Beverly Keever to Faculty Congress, October 19, 2005.
- Hector Valenzuela, Extension Specialist, Tropical Plant and Soil Science, posted October 20, 2005
- UARC Statement for Manoa Faculty Congress on October 19, 2005
RE: Opposition to UARC at UH
My name is Hector Valenzuela and I am a Specialist at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
Today I would like to vote or say NO concerning the establishment of UARC at UH-Manoa. I would like to say that I am ashamed at the lackluster response that has been shown by many of my faculty colleagues at UH and in the Faculty Senate, for failing to show outrage and resist the type of relationship that UH is proposing to establish with the military.
The university, as the name implies is a Universal place without borders, without boundaries, and without secrecy to expand knowledge and goodwill with the rest of the world. A second foundation of the University is education, and sharing with our students about societal values that they will carry and share throughout their lives, as alumni-ambassadors of their alma matter.
But today, we are discussing a proposed university contract with the US military- an institution that stands against everything that a University stands for.
The military is an institution that openly discriminates based on sexual orientation, and based on country of origin. The military is also well known for its poor treatment of women, with its own internal report released two months ago acknowledging that its "academies tolerate sexual abuse and harassment" of its female cadets, with 50% of female cadets suffering some form of harassment.
The US military in the past has used Hawaii as a spring-board to conduct illegitimate wars of aggression against our sisters and brothers of Asia, in the Philippines and Indonesia, but especially in Vietnam, just as it is doing so today in Iraq. In Vietnam, we created our own holocaust, killing perhaps over 4 million of our sisters and brothers- all of them killed on false pretenses.
The US military has lied and mislead the US public about its activities abroad. The way the US mislead the public about Vietnam was recorded in the Pentagon Papers and in the public record, and its lies about the need to invade Iraq have already been well documented.
In the name of national security, the US military today has apparently institutionalized extra-judicial kidnappings and torture as a standard protocol to interrogate innocent civilians. Throughout the last century the US military was already responsible for training its military counterparts throughout Asia and Latin America in the art of torture and interrogation techniques, an art that apparently it has now adopted for its own interrogations.
The press reports today that Spain has issued arrest warrants against soldiers of the US military for murdering a journalist in Iraq- without provocation- crimes that are another clear violation of the Geneva convention.
With respect to the issue of secret research, we now know that the US military, not long ago, conducted secret biological and chemical weapons research on the US population, by releasing these materials on the out-shores of Oahu, the Big Island, and over several cities in the US. This materials included anthrax, sarin, VX, and of course radioactive materials.
Although secret, some of this research may have been conducted in collaboration with some of the same academic departments that are now eager to establish a UARC center in Hawaii. We do know that UH researchers, including some in my own College of Agriculture, collaborated with the military to improve the effectiveness of chemical weapons that were applied in Vietnam, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians that continue in rural areas of Vietnam to this day.
So with this history of lies and deception, how can we know that this time we can trust the military with its proposed research at UH? And how can we trust an administration that has not been forthcoming about past and future research?
By seeking to become a UARC center I am afraid that the University is going in the wrong direction, and that it will continue to stray further apart from the community. Hawaii is a land of peace and Aloha, and we should honor its forefathers and the Hawaiian culture by rejecting the increased militarization of the state and our university.
- Joel Fischer, Professor, School of Social Work, posted October 20, 2005
- DEAL WITH THIS UARC ISSUE IN 2 WAYS (PDF). Remarks delivered to the Faculty Congress, October 19, 2005.
The Little Contract that Couldn't (PDF). Comments about the draft contract for the UARC.
- Pete Britos, Assistant Professor, English, posted October 20, 2005
- Comments delivered to the Faculty Congress, October 19, 2005 (PDF)
Presentation to the Faculty Congress 10-19-05
My name is Pete Britos. I teach in the Department of English. Before returning to my alma mater two years ago, I spent the previous 12 years at the University of Southern California as a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow and faculty member.
While at USC I had the opportunity to experience first hand the controversy over establishing a UARC. It was presented as a done deal--USC being a private institution.
But eventually after tremendous opposition from faculty and students, the UARC was moved miles away from the main campus to accommodate faculty and student concerns about our educational environment and mission.
I worked at the USC-UARC, the Institute for Creative Technologies, in 2002 and 2003.
I want to be clear that I think establishing a UARC at the University of Hawai'i would be a travesty. In the mid-to-late 80s when I was a student here, the standing pedestrian wisdom was that UH was the last great bastion of occidental colonialism in Hawai'i. We laughed about that then. But one can laugh no more.
U.S. Military presence has assured that the physical space of Hawai'i, it's political processes, and now it's intellectual autonomy would be co-opted. This is a legacy made up of institutional processes like the one we are witnessing unfold at our university.
Patriotism, of course, is an inappropriate criterion for establishing a UARC at UH, though some have argued for it on these nationalist terms.
To so totally make our university complicit with the kind of overarching agenda that goes on in a UARC is criminal. It would be a historical black mark on everyone who has the power to effect a decision. A university needs its intellectual autonomy. Like its professors and students, the institution needs to be able to take the right path, not the path of least resistance, not the path greased by cold hard cash and calculated militarism.
I worked at the institute for Creative Technologies in Marina del Rey as a writer, consultant and project coordinator, so I know something about how an organization like this works. I handled task orders and think tank sessions with the military and its agents. I wrote the Executive Summary and Final Report of the ICT-DMSO, Defense Modeling and Simulation Organization conference from 2003, which sketched out the future for UARC and industry involvement with war and military pedagogic simulation.
Let me tell you that once you are in the system, there are few rules about pursuing projects. It's open competition for whatever contracts or side deals come up. All the guarantees about safety, or non-weapons systems research are irrelevant once the iron curtain is established. You must work in tandem with the point of the spear, so to speak.
This is a dangerous environment for students. Students will do what they think is cool, without necessarily understanding the ramifications of and overall objectives of the project.
Consider the Chancellor and President's suggestion that they are agnostic. I think the description is apropos, in that a UARC would require a religious, faith-based adherence to military doctrine. I ask, what kind of indoctrination will be required in order for our students, faculty and civilians to work in the UARC? What kind of oath, what kind of faith in the military solution is required?
As you know, should we make our state university a military enclave, we will be asking our students and faculty to compromise themselves in order to work. Many of my colleagues at ICT, world class scientists, linguists, critical studies analysts, etc., felt terribly compromised by the kinds of projects they were forced to interact with and abide by. Some refused to have their names associated with certain projects.
The military mind you is about building the most effective killing machines possible. And at the point of the spear is an individual; and on the other side of the spear are families and individuals. From where the UARC sits, involvement with being part of the military industrial complex can appear to be an antiseptic experience. It may seem innocent, even aesthetically beautiful, as in the bomb. Almost like a video game where there are no real casualties or collateral damage. But opting for the military solution as THE solution is no game.
There is an alternative future for Hawai'i available besides the militaristic one proposed by UH administration. Let me diverge for a moment here. Look at who is pushing the UARC. I don't mean to insult anyone, but let me just say that from a kanaka maoli perspective the University of Hawai'i is made up largely of a culture of outside experts. Most of these people/experts are good people. I know: I've had many of you as teachers and as colleagues. But there's an interesting predatory dynamic going on with outside experts wanting to turn UH into a military appendage.
A university ideally should be about the search for truth, knowledge, peace and the wellbeing of our environment, our families and our neighbors around the world.
I encourage you to do the right thing for our territory and our ohana. Look beyond the short-term cash incentives. Vote No on the UARC.
- Eric Szarmes, Associate Professor, Physics, posted October 19, 2005
- The Conundrum of Incompatible Missions (PDF) Slides prepared by John Madey, Professor, Physics, for Faculty Congress, October 19.
Organizational Conflict of Interest in the Proposed UH ARL UARC (PDF) Slides prepared by Eric Szarmes, for Faculty Congress, October 19.
- Eric Szarmes, Associate Professor, Physics, posted October 18, 2005
Organizational Conflict of Interest and the UH Manoa proposed UARC
Through the specific language of a single clause in the contract, the Navy places all of the onus on UH to avoid organizational conflict of interest. Clause C.8(b) of the draft UARC contract states: "Upon award of this contract, the Contractor warrants that to the best of its knowledge and belief, and except as otherwise set forth in the contract, the Contractor does not have any organizational conflict of interest(s) as defined in FAR 9.5 and consistent with this Special Contract Requirement stated herein." By its proposal to operate the UH UARC as a "new kind" of UARC, integrated as a virtual center among Manoa's other academic and research units, there are only two possible means by which UH could make and uphold such a warranty:
1) Terminate all activities on the Manoa campus which are not compatible with the activities of the UARC, or
2) Establish the methods and structures necessary to explicitly manage organizational conflict of interest.
The first option would be inconsistent with the administration's promise that UH faculty are free to decline participation in the UARC and otherwise pursue their ongoing research without consequence, and would also be incompatible with the mission of the University. Nevertheless, public testimony by UH officials to the State Legislature in February 2003 (page 9, lines 8-14 of the transcript of The Senate 22nd Legislature Regular Session, February 4, 2003) strongly suggests that this option is the most likely possibility, and as the faculty have been given no assurances that this course would not be pursued it remains of grave concern to many of us at Manoa.
Since the second alternative is also an option, it seems appropriate to examine to what extent it could be implemented under the proposed UARC model. What methods are available to manage organizational conflict of interest? A general and concise explanation of the meaning, repercussions, and management of organizational conflict of interest has been compiled by the Contract and Patent Law division (JAQ) of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, and "firewalls" are cited as a standard procedure to mitigate such conflicts. Even RCUH uses precisely the same procedures and safeguards to manage organizational conflict of interest. The specific procedure cited by RCUH is to establish such a "firewall" that includes, at the minimum [Section 1.001, RCUH Policies and Procedures]:
a. segregation of employees from all other RCUH and UH employees,
b. the execution of non-disclosure agreements by all employees on the project, and
c. an annual briefing of project employees of their obligations and responsibilities regarding conflicts of interests.
The consequences of neglecting the necessary safeguards are clearly understood by RCUH: "The organization service ordering the project to RCUH shall provide adequate information to ... insure to the satisfaction of the Executive Director of RCUH that adequate "firewalls" are in place to avoid disqualifying RCUH or other organizations utilizing RCUH's administrative services from qualifying for federal awards in the same subject area." [Section 1.001, RCUH Policies and Procedures]. These are, of course, precisely the reasons that all other UARCs established to date are segregated to avoid organizational conflicts of interest.
If UH establishes a "new kind" of UARC by integrating it with the rest of campus, then UH would either have to isolate those of our colleagues who might work within the UARC from the rest of us, or establish a firewall around the entire Manoa campus and discontinue all activities which are not compatible with the UARC. Assuming that UH is committed to continuing its present programs, special measures would be clearly needed to effectively isolate the faculty and facilities funded by the proposed UARC from UH's pre-existing programs in order to resolve the obvious conflicts of interest resulting from the integration of the UARC. Would UH be able to devise and implement the necessary measures?
If there is a plan to so isolate the participants in the proposed UARC from their colleagues, it would seem a priority to describe how that isolation will be accomplished. If there is not a plan to so isolate the participants in the proposed UARC, then we can only conclude that the ultimate impact of the proposed UARC will be to force the termination of those existing programs which would create an organizational conflict of interest for UH given its contractual commitments to the UARC.
In absence of this critical piece of the UARC proposal, and with the information that we as faculty currently possess, our only course of action is to reject the UARC proposal.
- Transcript of February 4, 2003 Informational Briefing of Joint Legislative Committee Meeting (PDF) introduction of the UHM UARC to Hawaii legislators
- RCUH Conflict of Interest Policy Statement (PDF)
- Organizational Conflicts of Interest (PDF) prepared by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
- Transcript of February 4, 2003 Informational Briefing of Joint Legislative Committee Meeting (PDF) introduction of the UHM UARC to Hawaii legislators
- Tom Ramsey, Professor, Mathematics, received October 19, 2005, posted October 21, 2005
Gay and Lesbian Issues Related to UARC
There can be no doubt that the Department of Defense actively discriminates against gays and lesbian. This is the infamous "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" policy. Despite the policy's moniker, much asking and intimidation takes place and productive military personnel are routinely discharged for being gay or lesbian. This occurs even today, in the face of unmet enlistment needs, despite news stories to the contrary that the policy has been somehow "relaxed". Put bluntly, any gay or lesbian person should stay away from military service. Their less-than-willing discharge from service can do lifelong damage to future employment elsewhere in the American economy.
This active discrimination damages our students very directly via the ROTC programs on campus. As much as I disagree the "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" policy, I do not support banning ROTC on campus. In the past, students have testified in favor of keeping ROTC despite the "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" policy. I have no doubt that some of our students need the scholarship funds that ROTC provides. My main concern about ROTC is that UH should strongly advise gay and lesbian students, annually and in every possible way, to avoid ROTC. Never underestimate what students don't know, about what a discharge paper can do to them 10 to 20 years in the future.
Remarkably, on the civilian side of the Pentagon, there is no specific, Department of Defense policy of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Security clearances are granted to gays and lesbians who are open about themselves, who thereby cancel the "you-can-be-blackmailed" argument against the granting of clearance. When Vice President Cheney was the Secretary of Defense, his chief aide was gay. The same would apply to any UH persons involved in a UARC: being gay or lesbian does not in itself prevent equal participation in the activities of the UARC.
At a more general level, the U.S. government actively discriminates against gays and lesbians in at least 1000 ways: social security benefits, immunity from testifying against your life partner in court, no immigration rights for life partners, etc. With more of the federal "discretionary" funding for social needs being funneled through fundamentalist Christian organizations, the embedded discrimination is probably double or triple what it was in the mid-1990's. These discriminatory policies are woven into the fabric of federal governance; the Department of Defense (and any UARC) will be no exception to that.
- Michael Jones, Professor, Physics, posted October 18, 2005
- Vice Chancellor Ostrander:
Here are some questions and comments about the draft UARC contract.
1) Section H.5 on pages 32-33 discusses disclosure of unclassified information deemed by the sponsor to be "sensitive and inappropriate for disclosure." What criteria are used to determine whether information is in this category?
2) It is stated on page 33 that, "The individual Task Sponsors have the ultimate responsibility for the release of information under their programs." Because this provision would apply to unclassified information, it seems inconsistent with the goal expressed in UH policy to "press for maximum openness among agencies -- governmental or private -- that place any kind of restriction upon access to information of a scholarly character."
3) The contract seems not to address disclosure of information from task orders whose results are classified from the beginning. Does this imply that such information is subject to Dept. of Defense declassification procedures? If so, such task orders seem inconsistent with the 16 March 2005 Manoa Faculty Senate resolution which affirms that UH Manoa "support only research for which there is a reasonable expectation that timely publication of the results of the research will not be restricted by its sponsor."
4) Section H.11 on pages 39-40 implies that the UARC requires three people to deal with presumably classified Dept. of Defense intelligence information -- Scientific and Technical Intelligence Liaison Officer (STILO), Senior Intelligence Officer (SIO), and the Special Security Officer (SSO). The SIO is stated to be the ARL/UHM Director but the STILO and SSO positions seem to be missing from the UARC Business/Management Plan. Shouldn't they be included as part of the UARC administrative positions? Do all of these positions require security clearances?
- David Chin, Professor, Information and Computer Sciences, posted October 17, 2005
- I am generally in favor of the UARC and my own research has been supported for decades by various DoD sources (ONR, DARPA, US Air Force). However, I have a strong reservation about the potential for UH getting shut out of investigating academic fraud on our own campus due to secrecy laws and regulations. Think it can't happen? Well think again, because it is happening right now to MIT and if it can happen to a top tier institution like MIT, then it can certainly happen here. I would recommend that UH negotiate with the Navy a procedure for UH to investigate all UARC classified research without exception before it accepts the UARC. Here are some relevant articles from The Tech (the MIT campus newspaper), the Boston Globe (one of the two local Boston newspapers) and Technology Review (a magazine published by MIT Press):
- David Duffy, Professor, Botany Department, posted October 11, 2005
- Dr. Joel Fischer wrote:
"Currently, UH researchers compete individually for government contracts. Further, the current pattern is for researchers to compete for contracts knowing what the final product will be. The proposed UARC, however, is a radical departure from that pattern, involving as it does, a contractual relationship with the University, called the contractorin the proposed contract, rather than the individual researchers who previously were only sponsored by the UH. Moreover, UH researchers now will be at the beck and call of the Navy, conducting research on task orders as the Navy directs. These are not small or subtle differences. They mean the UH itself, not individual researchers or programs, will be bound contractually to the Navy, with all the baggage that implies for a University. They also mean that UH researchers will become small cogs in the Navy machinery, churning out products(as the contract calls them) rather than engaging in the independent pursuit of knowledge. This contract, then, asks the question, are these the directions in which the community, faculty and students wish the University to move?"
Without addressing the other questions about UARC, there are numerous federal blanket agreements (contracts, cooperative agreements, grants or contracts) with the university (not with individuals, although individual faculty are principal investigators). These agreements may not have any money attached to them and do not describe except perhaps in general terms the "products" expected, but set general terms for a relationship. If the feds had a really good idea of the products they wanted, they would have written one big contract, spelling out deliverables.
These agreements serve as individual umbrellas under which subagreements (also known as work orders or task orders, depending on the agency) are negotiated to do individual projects. For the feds to initiate a subagreement/ task order, they have to find a faculty member willing to serve as PI on that particular project. If the faculty don't want to work on a task order, that's the feds' problem, or maybe the university's. It would not be a career move for an administrator to sign a task order on behalf of the university without having someone capable of doing it. And with out recent record of hiring people swiftly. . .
As to what is produced, some may be basic research, some may be very specific end products, but the process used will be "engaging in the independent pursuit of knowledge" which we do well and the military doesn't do well, or arguably do at all. They recognize that fact which is probably the main reason why they want the agreement.
Anyway, there are ethical and organizational issues to discuss about UARC, but UARC is not going to make UH into a scientific Gulag nor I suspect is there any more than a vague research agenda going in. If you do want to look for the second gunman on the grassy knoll, then what will be the activities of the intelligence officer mentioned in the UARC contract? Cheers--David
- Roger Lukas, Professor, Department of Oceanography, posted October 11, 2005 [response to message from Joel Fischer, which is in italics]
Joel, your distortions and misstatements about the proposed UARC contract should not go unchallenged, even though most senators will be able to detect them without my help. I'll only address those regarding research at UH, however. (Those of you who do not do research might be tempted to believe what Joel has written, because he is so assertive in his writing style.)
At 02:48 PM 10/10/2005 -1000, jfischer@HAWAII.EDU wrote: The administration's long-standing argument that the UARC is simply a continuation of the way UH researchers have been doing research is completely destroyed by even a casual reading of the contract.
It is very clear that you actually know little about how research is actually done at the University of Hawaii, despite your many years here.
Currently, UH researchers compete individually for government contracts.
Currently, UH faculty help the University of Hawaii to obtain federal grants and contracts on individual, small-group, and large-team bases. Not all funds are competitively awarded. Note that all grants and contracts are awarded to the University, not to the faculty member(s). Those faculty members are Principal Investigators and co-Investigators, responsible for conducting the research as best they can. But, the faculty are constantly reminded by the UH administration that the funds are provided to the researchers through the University, subject to all the institution's rules and regulations. The faculty researcher does not "own" the grant or contract funds. Sometimes, but now always, when faculty move to another institution, the award (and some equipment) may follow them. But, that is a decision based on negotiation between the University and the sponsor.
Further, the current pattern is for researchers to compete for contracts knowing what the final product will be.
Very few UH research contracts specify "deliverables" at a level that is consistent with your statement above. The most common deliverable is a report on the progress of the research. There is a big difference between research and engineering, and in research we have more-or-less clear ideas of an intermediate product might be. We have great hopes that we will be innovative enough to achieve some breakthrough understanding. We do not assume that we will do this, but we promise to make a sincere effort based on our experience.
The proposed UARC, however, is a radical departure from that pattern, involving as it does, a contractual relationship with the University, called Òthe contractorÓ in the proposed contract, rather than the individual researchers who previously were only sponsored by the UH.
This is simply wrong. The University of Hawaii is the contractor for all contract awards that are received by the University. Individual faculty members are not contractually responsible; the University is. As faculty, under the UHPA contract, and as State employees, we are not even allowed to directly enter into a contractual arrangement with an outside sponsor except during our "consulting period" and subject to State ethics and conflict of interest rules.
Moreover, UH researchers now will be at the beck and call of the Navy, conducting research on task orders as the Navy directs.
I've read the draft UARC contract. I don't see anything that obligates individual faculty researchers as you state. There is nothing in the contract that could make me agree to take on a research task for the Navy. That would be a violation of the UHPA contract with the State, and it would violate my academic freedom to pursue research of my choice.
These are not small or subtle differences. They mean the UH itself, not individual researchers or programs, will be bound contractually to the Navy, with all the baggage that implies for a University.
UH is presently bound contractually to various federal agencies for all of the grants and contracts that are awarded to the University. No awards are made directly to individual researchers or programs. The University of course wants to facilitate the success of the grant or contract by supporting the faculty involved in obtaining the award to conduct the research as effectively as possible. The considerable liability and compliance "baggage" is already being borne by the University for all aspects of the UH research enterprise.
They also mean that UH researchers will become small cogs in the Navy machinery, churning out ÒproductsÓ (as the contract calls them) rather than engaging in the independent pursuit of knowledge.
Given very tight current and pending federal funding, many UH researchers feel like mice running in their wheels trying to keep their employees and themselves paid. Some would gladly take a chance on being a "small cog in the Navy machinery" if it meant more secure funding for the research that they otherwise want to do. The success rate on federal grant/contract proposals is dropping so quickly that some colleagues are writing far more proposals (and being asked to review those of their competitors) than ever before, with the result that we are reaching a point of diminishing returns on effort. Even some of the most successful UHARI members write more grant proposals than papers these days.
The contract calls for conducting research on underwater noise sources on marine life and mammals. Given the widespread deaths of dolphins and whales around the world that allegedly is due to Navy underwater noises, will the products of UH research now be used to continue the carnage? There are no safeguards in the contract that will prevent the UH from engaging in this most abhorrent of practices. Is that the type of research in which our communities want the UH expertise in oceanographic research to be engaged?
Pure fear-mongering here.
UH faculty members have conducted research on acoustics and marine mammals for many years. They are subject to federal law regarding marine mammals, which have become much more specific and restrictive in recent years. So much so that it is becoming very difficult to anything "noisy" in the ocean, no matter how innocent. Much of that research, by the way, has to do with acoustic signaling initiated by marine life. Not all of it has to do with human sources of underwater noise.
The UARC contract is silent on many subjects that are addressed by federal, state and local laws. The UARC contract has appended to it many regulations that apply to the contract, but that is certainly not an exhaustive list. There is nothing in the contract that exempts anyone from applicable federal, state and local laws.
No products are specified in the contract. The Navy and the UH administration argue that this is because all products will be task orders that the Navy will direct UH researchers to produce.
This is not accurate. The Navy cannot direct UH researchers to produce anything. There is nothing in the contract that requires an individual faculty member to agree to work on a task.
Is it really possible that two organizations like the Navy and the UH would willingly engage in a contractual relationship without a clue as to what the outcomes will be? Such an assumption seems unbelievable since it would assume that both parties, and particularly the UH administration, are na•ve at best and incompetent or duplicitous at worst.
Again, this illustrates your ignorance of what research is. If we know the outcome exactly, then it is engineering not research. The UARC contract asks for "best effort" towards an agreed-upon objective, which is not uncommon in research contracting. In fact, it is the basis upon which all research grants are made.
- Joel Fischer, Professor, School of Social Work, posted October 10, 2005
- Aloha Senators:
I am forwarding to you a set of questions and issues that I sent to the Senate UARC Committee shortly after the last Senate meeting. I did so not out of disrespect for their work--which I considered to be outstanding--but to request that the Committee expand their investigation somewhat. Of course, it was asking a little too much; their plate was full.
So, I am sending these questions to all Senators in the hope that the next Senate discussion of the UARC will take on a broader dimension, to include not only the administration's push to focus on finances, but the broader issues that affect our University if this UARC were to be adopted.
In fact, perhaps the key questions in all of this are: "What kind of a University do we wish UH to be, and in what ways will the UARC advance or detract from our Mission and our Strategic Plan." At a recent public lecture, world-renowned peace activist, Jonhan Galtung, winner of the international award that is referred to as the Alternate Nobel Peace Prize, stated, "if the University proceeds with the UARC, it will no longer be a University, but simply an institutionalized arm of the military."
We all may not agree with that opinion, but the issues it represents certainly seem to me to be worthy of debate.
FACULTY SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE UARC
Aloha Committee Members:
I have to admit I was very frustrated yesterday at the Faculty Senate meeting because I didn't get a chance to speak. But here's what I was going to say:
Thank you very much for the huge amount of work you put into your report. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your efforts.
As someone who has been following the UARC proposal pretty closely, I know how difficult many of the issues are; they are both complicated and pretty darn tricky. I was really taken aback, pleasantly, when I first read your report that you had conducted such a critical analysis on relatively limited information (not to mention misinformation), and how much of that information and your analyses of it was included in your report. I know you did as good a job as possible to try to present a balanced report, no matter what your personal thoughts are about the UARC, and, again, I greatly appreciate that effort. So thank you again for all the time you have spent on this service to our University.
Since you are continuing to work as a committee to analyze the "Management Report" and the contract, I hope you won't mind if I request that you address some additional questions that build on both your report and the questions that were raised in yesterday's Senate meeting. I hope you will not, in any way, view these requests for analysis by your committee as criticisms of your work; they are not! In fact, most of them occurred to me BECAUSE of your work, not in spite of it.
Before I present the requests for further analysis, may I please editorialize on an issue that your work presents for me. When I read the "pros and cons" that you reported, it occurred to me that virtually all of the so-called pros were financial and that almost all of them essentially were speculative, based on POSSIBLE projections that may or may not be accurate. As you rightly point out, some of the faculty in support of the UARC had na•ve assumptions about what is and is not possible when working in a UARC. I hope I can illustrate my perceptions on this in the questions below.
On the other hand, many of the "cons" not only were based on facts and empirical observations, but embraced a wide variety of concerns about the UARC, i.e., the bigger picture. These include such facts as previous Senate resolutions that oppose faculty involvement in research that may not be immediately publishable at the faculty member's discretion, observations by the Senate about the sorry state of the University's record in managing federal grants and hazardous waste, the clear prospects of developing one more "bureaucracy-within a bureaucracy" at UH with the UARC, the lower salaries in the UARC versus NSF funded grants, the potential obstacles to academic freedom and tenure and promotion if the research is classified, and so on. Obviously, this is a very long list. One of the most important aspects to me of the Senate's deliberations is supporting Senate precedence, i.e., prior resolutions that affect the UARC such as the one on classified research, passed last semester. This is an important emphasis that I hope will be honored.
Thus, to the extent that one sums the pros and cons and compares the lists, there clearly are more substantial cons then pros, and I hope the final report will be cognizant of that fact. This should also include the substantial difference in faculty support for the UARC and opposition to the UARC that was noted in yesterday's meeting. As a former senator myself, supporting what the administration wants to do against so much faculty, student and community opposition is not what I believe the Senate is all about.
Now, for some questions that I ask you to consider before writing your final report. I want to apologize in advance for the number of questions, and the length of this message in general, but I found yesterday's meetings very "stimulating."
I have tried to place the questions/issues in the same categories that you used in your report, although with some issues, it was a stretch. I recognize that you may not be able to deal with all of them due to the time and energy factors. I do ask, though, that you at least consider them and do the best you can in the time available
The committee report implies that the committee is convinced the administration was sincere in their desire to help UH and that the "lack of communication" prior to the November BOR meeting was not intended to deceive the faculty and students. However, memos exist from the prior chancellor that state clearly that he had begun widespread consultations prior to November when that in fact was not true. That, IMO, was one of the primary reasons the Chancellor was removed. There were numerous other aspects of misinformation and disinformation that were attempted by the former chancellor and are being continued by the current vice chancellor. I ask, therefore, that the secrecy and deception by the administration be thoroughly investigated by the committee. This can be facilitated by access to a number of memos that are available that contradict many of the administration's. This review is particularly relevant in understanding as clearly as possible how the deceptions undermine the administration's case for the UARC, with emphasis on the way the administration's picture of the UARC change dramatically depending on who is in the audience.
A further process issue is the "widespread consultation" that was ordered by the BOR that never has taken place. Can the committee please review the administration's refusal to hold real consultations with affected groups, particularly from the community and among students to understand the frustration of many opponents of the UARC and also to possibly recommend an honest resumption of widespread consultations that don't consist of question and answer periods where the administration stonewalls the audience?
I ask that the committee investigate possible legal, and certainly ethical, complications that arise from conflict of interest in having Kathy Cutshaw be prominent in negotiating the financial arrangements for the UARC when her husband works for a local defense research organization (ORINCON) that may well benefit from the UARC projects, with money funneled to ORINCON by another UH unit that was established by Professor Vasilis Syrmos for that very purpose, according to the testimony professor Syrmos provided to the Legislature in a briefing in 2003.
Law Professor Jon Van Dyke has argued that the UARC contract would be illegal because it conflicts with Section 378-2 of the Hawai'i Revised Statutes that prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation which the Navy does. I ask that Professor Van Dyke be consulted as well as our own legal counsel since the legality of the UARC may be among the most crucial of all the issues.
FINANCIAL COSTS AND BENEFITS
You rightly point out in your report that the $10million/year is an UPPER limit. Yet all the discussions of the UARC from the administration have used only that figure to illustrate the positive impact of the UARC. Can the committee request from the administration figures that show the POTENTIAL impact of the UARC, if any, when the federal funds are at the lower limit of the contract which is $10 million for the full five years (which would be less per year than our start-up costs)?
In yesterday's meeting, we heard about one businessman's support for the UARC because of his beliefs that there may be a stimulus to local high tech businesses. However, documents available on the web about UARCs state that there are multi-year prohibitions against UARC researchers using any knowledge or products for their own or others' use, including other businesses. Will the committee please investigate the small print of the contract what it becomes available to see if the contract contains any prohibitions whatsoever, and present to the Senate exactly what will and will not be possible regarding sharing and cross-fertilization of UARC knowledge and products with the community?
The issue of innovation and dissemination of UARC knowledge is particularly important. There is considerable disagreement about what the UARC will offer to the University and the community. I ask that the committee review the attached paper by Professor Madey that contains empirical data and an informed perspective on the innovation potential with the UARC. Can the committee do an analysis of the real potential for innovation resulting from the UARC as opposed to the hypothetical potential cited by current Vice Chancellor Ostrander?
In his presentation yesterday, Ostrander mentioned that it has been something like 58 years since a Navy UARC has been established. I ask that the committee investigate why that is. For example, Stanford University was asked to establish a UARC, and, after a 9-month study, concluded that the UARC was not in the best interests of the University or the community for a number of reasons that are very pertinent to our deliberations. Their conclusions are online, and I ask that the committee review Stanford's discussion to gain a greater understanding from another University's perspective of the issues that beset a UARC.
MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE
There currently is a criminal investigation by the NAVY (attached as NCIS investigation) of some of the very people who are working to develop the UARC. This investigation is for mismanagement of other Navy grants. This is particularly important for drawing conclusions about whether the UH is ready for such an endeavor. Will the committee please obtain the available information on this investigation and analyze the ways it may have an impact on the UH capacity to manage the UARC?
The administration claims over and over that researchers can choose what they want to work on in the UARC. This is a very na•ve argument. Even today, unscrupulous deans, directors and even senior faculty pressure junior faculty and grad assistants to do work that they would ordinarily choose to avoid. Can the committee examine what absolute guarantees can be built into any contract to eliminate the possibility that such coercion will not take place?
When the UARC was first proposed, it was argued that all classified research will take place off campus, especially given the BOR policy on classified research, mentioned yesterday at the meeting.. Now, the administration is saying that facilities and equipment will be shared with non-UARC researchers. These positions seem contradictory. Can the committee please investigate how the UARC will conduct its classified research off campus while using on-campus equipment? Even more importantly, will the committee please look at the issues surrounding lack of community information and consent to have such research conducted in their own communities?
In papers I reviewed on the WEB on UARC regulations, there were specific statements that equipment for the UARC may NOT be shared with non-UARC researchers. Can the committee ascertain just how the administration can guarantee such equipment will, indeed, be "shareable?"
The current Vice Chancellor keeps referring to his OPINION that no more than 15% of the UARC research will be classified. That is both na•ve and disingenuous. The Navy can declare -before and after the fact- that any research is classified. Ostrander's opinion on this possibility is meaningless because it always is the Navy's call. What guarantees can we pursue that, say, NONE of the research is classified, or even that only 15% will be classifie
PHILOSOPHY AND MISSION
UARC documents available on the Web state that there are prohibitions against UARC workers sharing their results with colleagues and with students unless they work in the UARC, an unbearably oppressive situation for teachers and students alike. I realize you addressed this in your report saying that "some faculty are concerned" that such conditions may be present in a UARC. Don't you think that this should be verified and guaranteed regarding the accuracy of these concerns?
The same issue arises when considering tenure and publication. Shouldn't it be verified and guaranteed that UARC workers will have the right to use their work for promotion and publication? If not, the prohibition flies in the face of last semester's Senate resolution.
I request that the committee examine the wide array of opposition to the UARC outside of the faculty. UH does not operate in a vacuum. In fact, one might argue that UH exists solely to help students and the wider community through our teaching, research and service endeavors. The state Senate and House Higher Education Committees are on record opposing and/or raising serious concerns about the UARC. The ASUH is on record as opposed to the UARC. Other community groups are registering concern and opposition to the UARC. Shouldn't the Senate report not only acknowledge but explore the reasons for Ðand depths of- this opposition?
One of the senators yesterday asked about the possible social impacts of the UARC, as well as other related impacts such as the health of the community. I know the committee struggled with how to handle these issues, and I ask, respectfully, that the committee try to address these issues more thoroughly. The faculty senate already passed a resolution last semester noting that the UH has a poor record of handling dangerous material. Beyond that, shouldn't the committee examine the record of the many instances in which UH researchers were misled by the Federal government and suffered dire consequences (e.g., the Agent Orange deaths at UH, pollution form leakage at Pearl Harbor, destruction of sites of enormous cultural value all over our islands, etc.) as well as the other instances where the UH has been fined or otherwise sanctioned for mishandling and mismanagement of hazardous wastes, etc.? These issues are so crucial to the health of the community that I am hoping the faculty senate will have the opportunity to thoroughly address them.
Similarly, re: social impacts, there are in fact a number of indicators of social health and safety that already are available that could be used by the committee to estimate the impacts of classified research on the human population where the research is undertaken. Can the committee perhaps seek some consultation to identify these indicators and relate them to the impact of classified research here and elsewhere.
The issue of damage to animals as a result of Navy research is of enormous significance to the people of Hawai'i, not to mention researchers at UH. There has been considerable damage done to marine mammals due to innovations in sonar technology that resulted from research such as may be conducted at the UH UARC. Will the committee please make note of this possibility, and attempt to address it in the final report. The research in a UARC does not have to be all about weapons. Many "innovations" that appear benign on the surface have the most serious, unanticipated consequences, and these absolutely must be avoided if the UARC that might be established here is to be in any way successful.
At yesterday's meeting, one senator noted that nowhere in any of the administration's presentations does the word "weapons" appear. He then quoted from documents from the Navy that verify the goal of the UARC is, in fact, to develop and improve weapon systems. This seems like a huge contradiction in the administration's argument, perhaps even a purposeful deception. Can the committee pursue with the administration that the NAVY will GUARANTEE that weapons Ðor parts of weapons- will not be produced by the UH UARC and then share the results of that discussion with the faculty?
A substantial part of the opposition to the UARC is based on ethical grounds. This is a very tricky issue for the committee, I realize that. But only the most obsolete of thinkers believe that there are no inherent ethical issue involved when developing technology. This, of course, is particularly so with classified, military research. I ask that the committee review a brief paper by Professor Dawson (attached) that outlines her reasons for opposing the UARC on ethical grounds. Then I ask that the committee do its own deliberations on the many ethical issues involved with the UARC. Because this area can be vague, it is crucial to note that we actually have some clear guidelines against which the UARC can be evaluated, particularly, the Mission statement of the UH and the Strategic Plan. Just how do the plans for the UARC stack up against the ethical standards to which we as a university adhere? This discussion is one of the most crucial ones in considering the UARC, yet the administration has steadfastly refused to engage in it. Given their abdication of the high moral ground, I hope you will agree that the responsibility for this discussion lies with the faculty, with input from all UH constituencies.
The committee wrote two important sentences about concerns from Native Hawaiian perspective. In a University that is in Hawai'i, on ceded land, with total opposition from the Native Hawaiian faculty and community (see attached resolution from the Kuali'i Council, representing Native Hawaiian faculty and staff on campus), this is a set of issues that may be paramount in examining the social, human, and cultural costs of the UARC. Because only Native Hawaiians can speak of their concerns, I ask that the committee make concerted efforts to discuss the UARC with Native Hawaiian faculty, students, cultural practitioners such as Vicky Takamine and community groups. Interim President McClain was quoted in the newspaper as saying that, first and foremost, the UH wants to preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian values. How does that contradict the development of a UARC.? How does, as you mentioned in your report, the University's commitment to develop a "Hawaiian Place of Learning" conflict with the development of a UARC that has the goal of developing weapon systems. In particular, I ask you to investigate the concept of KULEANA, the Native Hawaiian idea of generational responsibility for the land. This may be very revealing in understanding the depth of the passion among Native Hawaiians who oppose the UARC.
I ask that the committee examine the history of military occupation of Hawai'i and military impacts on Hawai'i and the Pacific, by consulting UH historians and Native Hawaiian scholars and cultural practitioners. There are so many horror stories about the devastation of land and communities, and it is essential that the faculty Senate include these issues in its deliberations to show that we are not out of touch with others' realities.
Colleagues, I once again ask that you forgive me for the length of this message and the amount of requests that I have made. As a former senator and faculty member at UH for 35 years, I know that you will not be intimidated in any way by the length of documents. I only hope that these questions stimulate further examination and reporting to the Senate and the rest of the faculty on some of the issues contained here.
- Tony Castanha, Lecturer, Political Science and Ethnic Studies, posted October 10, 2005
- October 5, 2005
Commentary on UARC
Aloha and greetings. My name is Tony Castanha. I am from the ahupua'a of Kailua on the windward side of O'ahu. I have earned both master and doctorate degrees from UHM in the Department of Political Science and am currently lecturing here in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. I have been an active opponent of the establishment of a UARC at UHM since the beginning of the year. I would like to briefly voice to you some of my concerns and questions about the UARC proposal.
Firstly, I would like to commend you and the Ad Hoc Committee for your Interim Report on the proposed UARC. Given the relatively limited amount of information to work with, you clearly highlighted and articulated some of the important issues of concern to the faculty, the community in general, and the potential drawbacks of the UARC proposal.
I attended the faculty senate meeting on September 21. What struck me most about it was how relatively uniformed the "general" faculty senate is about perhaps the most explosive issue to hit UH in 30 years. I liked your presentation and think you did a good job answering "some" of the questions, but, again, aside from the Ad Hoc Committee and a few of the senators, I'm astonished with the lack of depth on this most critical of issues.
The question, then, is whose responsiblility is it to provide the informa- tion needed to answer the many concerns and questions that have been posed by both the Ad Hoc Committee and the community in general? The burden of proof would naturally lie with the entity desiring the contract and over- seeing the project, which is of course the University Administration. Can you tell me when the Administration will be answering these concerns? As we know, the Administration has consistently shunned student, community and Native Hawaiian concerns raised about the UARC since early this year. We saw this again at the faculty senate meeting when Vice Chancellor Gary Ostrander refused to answer certain questions toward the end of his talk. I understand the agenda was for him to discuss the business aspects of the UARC, which seemed to have left just as many unanswered questions as answered ones, so could you please tell me when the Administration will be answering community and student concerns? I stress this because it is not enough for the community to be heard, e.g., before the faculty senate or BOR, but for the Administration to directly address the many contentious issues that we and they know have been raised. This would seem to be the only way for the faculty senate to make an informed decision regarding the future of the UARC.
Ostrander's talk focused only on the business and economic concerns of the issue. Why only these concerns? Why address only "half a loaf"? The message implied is that the Administration is only concerned with the economic $$$ bottom line of the project and the profits $$$ that can be accrued. Their track record thus far clearly indicates that their chief reasons for establishing the UARC are status driven and for want of the Almighty Dollar $$$. However, $50 million over five years is really NOT a lot of money. There are foundations out there that plop down this kind of money all the time. We can surely do better than this for more peaceful and humanitarian reasons!
I also think it is cavalier and disingenuous of the Vice Chancellor to downplay the possible negative consequences of classified research. He makes the issue sound like a formality, or just a "step in the process" a university has go through to enter into a contract. However, we already know through the certain memos uncovered that the UARC would involve the development of weapons systems. Perhaps even more importantly, CLASSIFIED MILITARY RESEARCH WOULD ALLOW THE MILITARY TO UNDERTAKE EXPERIMENTATION THAT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF. An example of this would be the horrendous effects of Agent Orange (classified or not), and how many continue to suffer today as a result of this "experiment."
Finally, do you know when the faculty senate will be voting on the proposal? Frankly, I do not see how the faculty can take a vote at this time. Moreover, I think it would be ethically and morally irresponsible for the faculty senate to make a positive recommendation on the UARC given the extreme controversial nature of the issue, and that parts of the Ad Hoc Committee report are themselves quite skeptical and critical of the establishment of a UARC. Along with the Manoa Faculty Senate's recent affirmation of the "grave reservations about publication- restricted (secret) classified research," are there any reasons to believe the senate has since then been persuaded otherwise of this resolution?
I'll close by paraphrasing the founder of the modern-day peace movement, Johan Galtung. He told a packed house at Kuykendall Auditorium on October 4 that if the UARC is established our university would no longer continue to exist as a university, or a place of higher learning, but as a prostitute for the military. Is this what we really want for our university??
- Michael Jones, Associate Physicist, Department of Physics and Astronomy, sent September 13, 2005, posted September 20, 2005
- The UARC needs careful consideration because it would involve new and more serious infringements of academic freedom than existing classified contracts. Both need examination before establishing UH policy and making a decision on the UARC. Issues raised by current classified contracts include pre-publication reviews by the sponsoring agency, restrictions on what can be published, and resulting delays in publication. These may be acceptable to some faculty but it is important to have a faculty review of existing classified contracts before refining UH policy.
Regrettably, little information has been released about current classified contracts despite statements by various UH administrators that UH has been involved in classified research for many years. Some faculty members, including myself, asked for such information in the past year. As far as I am aware, a list of current classified contracts, along with name of the P.I., funding agency, and brief summary have not been made public. This information has been available in the past. After I asked about classified contracts at the May 2001 BOR meeting, I received a reply within a week along with a letter from Pres. Mortimer stating, "The impact of classified research or research of a classified nature on academic freedom are important concerns for a research-intensive University such as ours." I think that this information is essential for any meaningful review of UH's classified research policy.
Some UARC projects could more seriously infringe on academic freedom and openness. One new aspect is research whose results would be classified from the start. Because the declassification process can be lengthy and uncertain, such research seems inconsistent with the resolution passed by the Manoa Faculty Senate on 16 March 2005. This resolution affirms that UH Manoa "support only research for which there is a reasonable expectation that timely publication of the results of the research will not be restricted by its sponsor."
Equally serious is the difficulty UH would face in monitoring such research. Despite good intentions and oversight committees composed of people with security clearances, the process could be overruled by the sponsoring agency. This is illustrated by a current dispute at MIT in which the sponsoring agency refuses to allow MIT to investigate allegations of scientific misconduct in a report by Lincoln Lab, an MIT affiliate which does classified research.
UARC projects which exclude foreign nationals would be another serious infringement of academic freedom. It seems to me that such restrictions and projects whose results are classified from the start are fundamentally incompatible with academic freedom. They might be justified in rare cases and for short time periods but the circumstances should be truly extraordinary. Otherwise, it would make a mockery of the goal in UH policy to "press for maximum openness among agencies -- governmental or private -- that place any kind of restriction upon access to information of a scholarly character."
- Kathy Phillips, Professor, English Department, posted September 20, 2005
- Dear Faculty Senate and Ad Hoc Committee:
I am a faculty member who opposes UARC; I attended a senate meeting last Dec. and took the mic to address my peers. Unfortunately, I cannot attend 9/21 meeting, but I want first to thank you for your efforts considering UARC, and, second, to urge you to vote against any UARC deal. I urge you not to stall and DO NOTHING, because silence and neutrality will certainly be interpreted by BOR and administration as "no objections from the senate."
UARC goes against the strategic plan. At a public institution pursuing public knowledge, it is inappropriate to produce secret knowledge, or any expertise which can be applied to destructive ends over which the researchers have no control. And it is unacceptable to engage in contracts with a military currently involved in an invasive, lie-based war in Iraq. Sincerely, Kathy Phillips
- Alison Denning, UH Student, posted September 20, 2005
- Please do not allow the US Navy or any military build or create a classified research center using University of Hawaii as a catalist to perpetuate an immoral war and occupation of iraq and occupation of these beautiful Hawaiian islands and many other pacific rim countries.
I am a concerned student of this university and I think ethically we have a resposibility towards the students and the community to not allow this to happen. I also think all the hearings concerning this matter should be held on O'ahu where this matter is of vital importance to this island and to our communities.
- Roxanne Fand, Assistant Professor, English Department, posted September 18, 2005
- UH can serve national defense in areas of greater need than military research. The failures of our defense in Vietnam and the War on Terror, especially in Iraq, have been largely due to lack of knowledge of world cultures and languages, which is what UH can notably help to remedy. Further, our Peace Studies, Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and the core requirement of Contemporary Ethical Issues are needed not only for personal enrichment, but vital to national defense in a globally interconnected world. Such knowledge, which is not just ivory tower but practical realpolitik, must be broadly disseminated in contrast to secretly classified knowledge. Let the military fund its own labs without contaminating the lifeblood of the University, whose mission is to publish knowledge openly. Research at UH should nourish defense policies that the public can be involved in.
- John Madey, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, posted September 14, 2005
- Promoting Innovation at the University of Hawaii (pdf), html version
- Vincent K. Pollard, UHM Lecturer, Asian Studies Program, UH Alumnus, posted September 12, 2005
- Letters to the Editor, Ka Leo, August 11, 2005, Secret military research harms UH ,http://www.kaleo.org/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/08/11/42fba5a6a2cb2
Directly related to my letter in Ka Leo is Terrence Sing, "Capturing Cultures on a Disc; Hawaii Firm Wins Navy Contract to Build Software," Pacific Business News, online edition, 4 February 2005,http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2005/02/07/story3.html
- Saad I Dawud. UH student, posted September 12, 2005
- As a devoted student to UH, I am concerned with the well-being of the whole campus and the people that inhabit it. So, I am voting NO about the establishment of UARC in this peaceful campus, and so do the rest of my friends. Please, don't make the focus of this campus to become military oriented in any way.
- Kevin Hughes, Distinguished UH Alumnus, posted September 12, 2005
- Hello, my name is Kevin Hughes and I understand you are collecting information and opinions on the UARC for the UHM faculty. I am a 2002 UH Distinguished Alumni and write, teach, and speak on high technology and its effects on Hawaii. I spent some time at the sit-in in May and composed an opinion piece that looks at the UARC from the perspective of someone who's been involved with successful high-tech startups funded by the Department of Defense as well as ventures developed in partnership with Stanford University:
In summary, I feel that the University can do fine without UARC, by emphasizing a shift from military research to research focused more on civilian commercial joint ventures, sustainable technologies, social technologies, and multi-disciplinary projects.
- Gaye Chan, Professor, Department of Art and Art History, posted September 12, 2005
- I am a faculty member of A&H at UHM. I urge you to vote against the UARC proposal at the Wednesday, September 21 senate meeting. We must diminish military control over Hawai'i rather than further handing over our resources. The UARC endangers fair peer evaluation at UHM, Hawaii's land and its inhabitants, as well as life in the world over who happens to be chosen as target of "our" military.
- Eric Szarmes, Associate Professor and John Madey, Professor, Physics and Astronomy, posted August 17, 2005
- Letter from Eric Szarmes and John Madey in PDF to ad hoc committee outlining concerns about intellectual property and the effect of the UARC on IP rights at UH. Attachments include:
- Sunk Costs Sink Innovation by Captain Terry C. Pierce, U.S. Navy, Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine, May, 2002.
- DARPA--Arsenal Ship Lessons Learned by Charles Hamilton, Captain U.S. Navy, December 31, 1997.
- University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) Management Plan, Anita Jones, May 13, 1996.
- USC Institute for Creative Technologies Summary of Patent Rights
- Intellectual Property and Government R&D for Homeland Security, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, 107th Congress, May 10, 2002.
- Beverly Keever, Professor, School of Communications, posted July 19, 2005
- I urge the ad hoc committee and the Faculty Senate to oppose flatly the establishment of the Navy University Affiliated Research Center at UH-Manoa and to explain cogent reasons for doing so to the Board of Regents, our students and the public at large.
The public interest is served by some secrecy at certain times--and these areas and times are well defined in our nation's constitutional and statutory provisions. However, in the university setting, secrecy is the knot that binds power and knowledge, as Sue Curry Jansen has established (1988, Oxford University Press). We at UH at this critical juncture need to be beware of the secrecy imposed by the UARC on the type of knowledge generated at UH-M and the purposes for which it is generated.
The over-arching danger posed by establishing a Navy UARC at UH-M is because of the many, adverse facets of secrecy that undergirds its practice and philosophy. The Faculty Senate last academic year expressed a resolution touching on one key aspect of secrecy when it re-affirmed its support for timely publication of research results. But these research results are the end of the process; secrecy corrodes the process from the very beginning. Thus, other reasons besides publication releases also need to be considered and explained.
First, some UARC research would be classified, meaning secret, with a loss of institutional integrity to decide whom the researchers will be. Those privileged to conduct such research would be decided by the military through its mandatory security classification system. All international faculty may be denied such necessary clearances; many other qualified faculty and staff may be denied the proper clearances because of sexual orientation, which the military acknowledges it discriminates against. Moreover, graduate and undergraduate students would probably not be permitted to be granted such clearances and even if they were their work could not be reviewed for work for their theses or dissertations. Thus, secrecy requirements could be discriminatory, a violation of UH's and Hawaii'is stated policies, and secrecy could lead to abdicating academic and local control over the research enterprise.
Second, the secrecy requirements and conflict-of-interest constraints imposed on those privilged researchers as trusted agents of the government who have had access to classified information impede economic development and innovation that the state and UH have been touting. Such secrecy may also adversely impact UH's licensing and patenting revenues and crimp attempts to partner with businesses and non-profits. Thus, the Navy UARC at UH-M impedes Hawaii's economic development and training of future scientists, innovators and other students, a central mission to all.
Third, where the classified research will be conducted off-campus will be secret, judging from the difficulty I and others are having in obtaining timely release of recent classified research at UH. Such secrecy will facilitate the sparking and spreading of rumors, suspicion and distrust in the communities, as communication research conducted as far back as World War II has shown. In fact, some research on the disastrous results of such rumors were those that befell Honolulu itself before and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Such distrust and suspicious is hardly a well-advised way for UH to contemplate celebrating its Centennial. Finally, at the policy level, the secrecy surrounding the UARC undermines--rather than boosts--national security, as some have advanced. Distributed to the Faculty Senate last semester was a self-study report made by MIT that might well pay to be reviewed; it is titled "In the Public Interest," June 12, 2002 report of the ad hoc Faculty Committee. Reaffirming its mission for an open intellectual environment, the report stated:
"National security, the health of our nation, and the strength of our economy depend heavily on the advancement of science and technology and on the education of future generations." Conversely, it noted, "The well-being of our nation will ultimately be damaged if education, science, and technology suffer as a result of any practices that indiscriminately discourage or limit the open exchange of ideas."
Moreover, the report notes: "Peer evaluation of research methods and findings, an outcome of open sharing and debate within the scientific community, is a crucial mechanism to insure the continued quality and progress of science."
MIT has already experienced the inability for its faculty committee composed of members with classified research clearances to investigage allegations of fraud at its own secured 60-year-old research facility, which is separate from its campus geographically and administratively. Please seehttp://www.tech.mit.edu/v124/N58missile.58m.html
Thus, any oversight committee that UH seeks to establish as a guarantee on the quality or the nature of the research conducted under its auspices may be at best wishful thinking and at worst deceptive. Moreover, a Navy contract that specifies that no research of weapons of mass destruction will be conducted at UH-M is insufficient. Many other potentially catastrophic kinds of research can be--and might well be--conducted at UH as the U.S. government develops a new kind of plutonium, more deadly than its original, that will be used to fuel underwater surveillance vessels.
Instead of such a dangerous and self-destructive research framework with secrecy embedded throughout, UH should investigate the alternative avenues of non-secret funding that our faculty and others have advocated. For the sake of our students, our institution's integrity and reputation, and the economic, intellectual and environmental health of Hawaii, UARC should be stopped and UH should re-focus its priorities.
- Jim Roumasset, Professor, Economics, posted July 15, 2005
- Thank you for your invitation "to share information and opinions about establishing a UARC at UHM." I presume that the administration has already considered different Center designs, including the possibility that the classified portion of the research would be housed not only off-campus but in a separate institution. Lacking the details of these alternative designs, I find it difficult to form an opinion. Can your committee urge the administration to make these designs available for discussion? (I couldn't find this information on your website. My apologies if it is already there.) For example, would the memorandum of undersanding between said outside institution and UH permit joint appointees? Would existing policies concerning joint appointees suffice for their evaluation or would new policies be needed? What about leaves of absence to work at the institution?
Another prominent concern has been environmental risks posed by the Center. Apparently, UHM already has a less than stellar record with EPA regarding its procedures for disposal of hazardous wastes. Is it possible to design safeguards for Center research that can be extended to existing research such that environmental risks for UHM actually go down as a result? Mahalo,
- Puakea Nogelmeier, Assistant Professor, Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, posted July 14, 2005
- Aloha Colleagues,
I appreciate the points Kathy Ferguson has taken up and the clear expression of why they are critical in any discussion about the impact of establishing the UARC at U.H. My own opposition to the UARC, which I have fumbled with since the controversy began, mirrors much of what she has offered. The presence of one pocket of secrecy obscures the transparency and reliability of every aspect of the system.
I would add one point: The formal establishment of U.H. as a secret military research installation, at any level, marks the whole of the University and its surroundings as viable targets in the event of any form of enemy attack. That would be the norm as per the protocols of conflict established by our own government. The U.S. bombs targets in enemy territory that are "embedded" within the civilian community, civilian casualties being dismissed as unfortunate, but necessary, losses brought on by the enemy themselves. If we embed a military installation in Manoa and, by association, in the neighborhoods surrounding all U.H. system campuses, we create a new level of risk for all, imposing it on supporters and non-supporters alike. I don't think the benefits can possibly outweigh the detriments.
All levels of research can be done in the open environment of the University, research that can benefit military strength or peaceful alternatives, without undermining the whole system and bringing on the potential of disastrous results.
- Kathy Ferguson, Professor, Department of Political Science and Women's Studies Program, posted July 14, 2005
- Dear Colleagues,
Thank you for soliciting faculty views on the proposed UARC at UHM. I am glad to share my views on this subject and hope you will include them in your website or other venues of distribution.
I strongly oppose the UARC for the following reasons:
- Violations of peer review. Classified research evades the peer review process in at least three ways: first, it is produced without being subjected to the scrutiny of informed scholars; second, it is not distributed widely, removing it from the process by which the relevant knowledge communities debate and evaluate the work; and third, it cannot be evaluated by faculty committees to determine the merit of the researcher for tenure and promotion. Peer review is the heart of the production of knowledge: it is the one thing that distinguishes us from, say, the Flat Earth Society or the intelligent design crowd. We cannot be a university if we do not sustain the critical process of peer evaluation.
- Damage to relations with students. Teaching and research are, or at least ought to be, integrated aspects of our work. Faculty engaging in classified research would not be able to share their work with students lacking needed security clearance, while students who gain such clearance would not be able to use the research to advance their own professional work because it would have to be kept secret. Certainly foreign students would find it difficult to gain needed security clearance.
- Difficulties in administration. I mean no disrespect to those who do their best to run our institution, but, frankly, efficiency does not seem to be our strength. I imagine that the Navy would not be a particularly flexible partner. When I read about the problems that MIT faces in responding to faculty concerns about classified research done under their umbrella, I wonder how UH would fare in the rigid and uncompromising world of military administration. My fear is that, as with MIT, the military would use the veneer of respectability that university affiliation provides while evading the scrutiny that universities require.
- Further insult to Native Hawaiians. Our Native Hawaiian students and colleagues have made it abundantly clear that they oppose the UARC and see it as one more violation of their land and their ways of life. We should respect our host culture and take seriously the mandate in our mission statement to cultivate a Hawaiian place of learning.
- Environmental and community concerns. While various administrators have assured us that there would be no dangerous research carried on under the UARC umbrella, these assurances are unpersuasive. UH does not have a good track record on disposing of chemical wastes and testing toxic chemicals, as Beverly Keever documents in her articles in spring, 2005, in the local papers. "Trust us" is not a compelling response to commmunity concerns.
- Further militarization of the university. A UARC would further militarize our university and our state. Our university could instead take this opportunity to embrace a different direction, one that uses our considerable resources to critique global and local militarism and to investigate economic, political, and social alternatives to expanding military presence.
- John Cole, Associate Professor, Hawaii Community College, posted July 7, 2005
- Permit me some input from Hawai`I Community College in Hilo.
As a general rule, major public universities ought not to surrender control over their own activities to funding sources. This major university system already has too little control over its activities because of its relationship with the state legislature, governor, and governor-appointed BOR. For these general reasons, UHM should reject the offer to do classified research.
Factor in the low level of morality of the current administration in Washington and its apparent contempt for the public’s right to know about government activities, military and otherwise, and it is obvious that the offer is an invitation to contract cancer. Loudly and unambiguously, UHM should reject the offer.
- Joel Fischer, Professor, ACSW, School of Social Work, posted July 4, 2005
- I want to thank you for chairing this committee on what is certainly an explosive issue. In fact, the UARC holds such little promise for the UH, financially or otherwise, that it is hard to believe the administration is persevering with something that is so divisive and bad for the UH.
If we do adopt the UARC, we will be spitting in the face of the faculty, students, legislature and community, as well as Native Hawaiians who virtually uniformly reject the UARC. Here is my evidence for these statements:
First, in three bogus "consultations" with the chancellor, votes were taken in favor or against the UARC. All votes were almost unanaimous against the UARC.
Second, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution that only research that can be published at the discretion of the faculty member be a standard for the UARC. Unfortunately, classifed research does not meet that standard, and once this UARC is established, faculty will have no control over the type of research that is conducted since a good deal of it will be classifed.
Third, the ASUH passed a resolution opposing the UARC.
Fourth, the House Higher Education Committee passed a resolution opposing the UARC. The Senate Higher Education Committee passed a resolution opposing immediate implementation of the UARC and requesting that a 1-year period of consultation be begun with quarterly reports sent to the Senate.
Fifth, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent secretly on UARC consultants. At the same time, the new UH budget allocates only $30,000+ for the libraries of the entire sysrtem! This is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE! In fact, the State Auditor has been asked to look into this issue of the secret funding as part of the audit of the UH budget.
Finally, I am appending a few documents that I hope will bolster the case that the UH must abandon the UARC.
The first is an Open Letter to Interim President McClain that shows just how inept his leadership on the UARC has been. Since the protest at his office, McClain has broken every promise (and the law!) he made in writing to the protestors.
The second is a draft of a resolution written by faculty, students and community members opposing the UARC. This is essentially the resolution that was passed by the Higher Education Committee in the State House. Please note the many issues encompassed by the resolution. None have been satisfactorily addressed by the administration.
The third document is my response to an article Chancellor Englert published in the "Honolulu Advertiser"that I believe was fraught with deceptive and misleading statements.
The last attachment is my CV, illustrating my 35-year commitment to UH and our University's scholarly commitment. This is not a frivolous issue to me. It is perhaps the single most important issue in my career at UH!
I urge your committee to take advantage of the following web site: www.stopuarc.info. There you will find in depth information about the ethical, legal, financail and many other reasons for the UARC proposal to be abandoned. I sincerely hope that your committee will be able to convince the administration that the faculty will not tolerate the developmwent of the UARC.
- Les Sponsel, Professor, Director of the Ecological Anthropology Program, posted July 1, 2005
- Although I am currently in Thailand through July doing field research, I read a message from Noel Kent and would like to send my opinion to you about UARC. I am utterly opposed to any further militarization of UH and Hawaii. This is just the opposite direction of where the world should be headed in the 21st century. Money and effort need to be invested in life-enhancing rather than life-destroying phenomena. There are far more positive ways to obtain research funds and direct research at UH, and one place to begin is with the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and the Conflict Resolution Program.
- Kathy Phillips, Professor, English, posted June 30, 2005
- I am writing to oppose UARC at UH on a number of grounds: further economic dependency on military in this state, monopolizing of needed land, polluting of land, contradicting UH's Strategic Plan which claims to support Hawaiian interests. I would especially like to add that we cannot claim to be accepting "defense" contacts when everyone knows that the US is now engaged in an offensive war in Iraq. When history reckons, will our professors and administrators be able to say, "I didn't know; I was just following orders..."?
- Noel Jacob Kent, Professor, Ethnic Studies, posted June 29, 2005
- Thank you for asking me for input on the UARC proposal. Much against my will (there are too many things to do these days), I have been an active participant in the TeamStopUarc coalition. What initially motivated me were concerns that the faculty ban on classified research on campus in the seventies was being overturned by what amounted to administrative fiat. Having been at Manoa at that time, I remembered how torturous the process was to achieve a policy the faculty could live with. I was not happy at how cavalierly and undemocratically it was being set aside.
The more I learned about the UARC process, the more skeptical I became. The fact that it is being driven by Senator Daniel Inouye represents the kind of political interference with our institution that WASC and other outside evaluators have frequently warned us against. The paid involvement of Harold Matsumoto and other influential "fixers" (now being investigated by the U.S. Navy) struck me as highly questionable. As someone who has served on Tenure and Promotion Review Committees, the idea of not having access to candidates' research work because of security regulations struck me as absurd. As I read the UH Strategic Plan, it seems to me that a closed compartment military laboratory that is a UARC directly violates notions of a "Hawaiian place of learning," as well as the "strategic imperative" of advancing "stable, peaceful, prosperous and democratic relations in the region by being an international center of learning and exchange."
I attended the "consultations" sponsored by Chancellor Englert. They were as bogus as the 2000 presidential election in Florida. It was patently obvious that Englert, who had emerged as the chief promoter and public relations talking head for UARC, was using these meetings to publicize his own agenda and had no intention of addressing questions and criticisms from the audience. It was clear that "the fix was in" and genuine democratic dialogue was simply not on. I was deeply angered and offended by this display of arrogance on the part of the top administration. This helps explain why I joined in the occupation of Bachman Hall and why I will continue to play a role in the TeamStopUarc community.
I have worked at this university for well over thirty years. I dearly want to be proud of UH Manoa and to believe that it is an ethical institution. And the marvelous faculty and students who are fighting UARC and demanding UH live up to its principles are making me terribly proud.
- Meda Chesney-Lind, Professor, Women's Studies, sent June 24, 2005
- I'm appending a copy of the open letter that Karl and I circulated some time back (as well as a list of those who co-signed), open_letter. Obviously, much has happened since we wrote this mid-year, but I still fell that the basic points we raised were valid. It's critical that a genuine and open discussion of these issues occur. To my way of thinking, the Faculty Senate is the appropriate vehicle for such a discussion (as it has been in the past), and I look forward to that happening next academic year.
- Tom Craven, Professor, Mathematics, posted June 24, 2005
- I see classified research as a threat to graduate students. I do not buy the argument that the students have a choice, when that choice is between being funded and not funded. Unless they are independently wealthy, graduate students have very little choice.