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RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE PLAN TO CLOSE THE KEWALO MARINE LABORATORY AND ASKING THAT THE VICE CHANCELLOR FOR RESEARCH AND GRADUATE EDUCATION STEP DOWN AS INTERIM DIRECTOR OF THE PACIFIC BIOSCIENCES RESEARCH CENTER

Approved by the Mānoa Faculty Senate on January 20, 2010
37 in support; 1 opposed

Supporting Documents Index:


[Pdf] (Resolution of January 20, 2010)

Resolution that the University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate opposes the plan to close the Kewalo Marine Laboratory and asks that the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education step down as Interim Director of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center

Whereas the UHM Chancellor plans close the Kewalo Marine Laboratory (KML) on the advice of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE);

Whereas the Kewalo Marine Laboratory has 20 years remaining on its existing lease, and has been in compliance with all lease conditions and requirements1;

Whereas the Kewalo Marine Laboratory faculty were specifically hired to work at this facility with commitments to include associated seawater and laboratory facilities essential to their research that are not available elsewhere or planned to be provided;

Whereas the VCRGE has been serving as the PBRC Interim Director, with direct administrative oversight for the Kewalo Marine Laboratory, for the past 5 years, even though he has several notable conflicts-of-interest and has acted as an antagonist rather than advocate for the unit;

Whereas during his time as the appointed Interim Director of PBRC, the VCRGE took on additional responsibilities for compensation as the Interim Dean of JABSOM, further limiting any time he could devote to Kewalo Marine Laboratory issues;

Whereas some information presented by the VCRGE/Interim Director of PBRC in support of the closure of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory is factually incorrect, exaggerated or presented in a false light;2

Whereas the Kewalo Marine Laboratory is a multimillion dollar facility whose faculty continues to be highly productive in the areas of research, teaching and service despite being prevented from filling vacant positions and who are now required to get clearance from the VCRGE prior to submitting new grant applications to use the KML facility, into which they were hired, past a closing date in 2013 that has not been validated by the
University;3

Whereas the constraints on KML faculty submitting research grants to use the facility into which they were hired constitutes an unacceptable burden, since as members of an Organized Research Unit, the faculty are required to obtain extramural funding as a key criterion for their evaluations. Furthermore, the stated intent to close the KML is
hampering the ability of faculty to recruit the highest quality graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, further compromising the ability of faculty to do the work for which they were hired.

Whereas, the closure of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory demonstrates a lack of fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the University to stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, local and federal governments the Hawaii and Pacific Island communities and taxpayers);

Whereas, the VCRGE had previously been requested by the UHM Faculty Senate Executive Committee to follow a process in pursuing the closure of KML, with which he
has not complied;4

Whereas, if the Kewalo Marine Laboratory can be represented by an Interim Director with clear conflicts-of-interest and an unwillingness to advocate for the unit, and be eliminated without due process and based on incorrect or inadequate information, other UH Manoa units are likewise at risk;

Therefore:

1. Be it resolved that the UH Manoa Faculty Senate formally opposes the proposed plan to vacate the existing lease for the Kewalo Marine Laboratory.

2. Be it further resolved that the UHM Faculty Senate, on behalf of the PBRC/KML faculty, requests that the VCRGE step down as Interim Director of PBRC, and an appropriate individual acceptable to both the faculty and administration be appointed by the Chancellor to serve in that capacity.

The Faculty Senate also insists that adequate steps be taken to insure no retaliation occurs as a result of this action, including using the present economic challenges as an excuse to terminate KML faculty.

Footnotes:

1 Hawaii Community Development Association minutes, Aug 6 2008
2 Hawaii Community Development Association minutes, Aug 6 2008 and lease letter
3 Email VCRGE to Kewalo faculty, Feb. 2, 2009
4 Memo SEC to VCRGE, Dec. 8, 2009