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Minutes, Agendas & Reports

1995-1996


University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate, November 15, 1995

Architecture #205

Presiding: Co-Chair Kiyoshi Ikeda, Manoa Faculty Senate Executive
Committee

Senators Present: James Brandon, Barry Brennan, John Casken, Gaye Chan, Donna Ching, Joanne Cooper, Joel Cohn, Linda Cox, Jim Dator, Steven Dawson, Marilyn Dunlap, Joel Fisher, Delores Foley, Gregg Geary, Richard Guillory, Sue Hanson, Patrick Henry, Kathryn Hoffmann, Ruth Horie, Kiyoshi Ikeda, Wayne Iwaoka, Alison Kay, Adelheid Kuehnle, William Lampe, Bruce Liebert, Bert Lum, Margaret Maaka, Karen Meech, John Melish, Marian Melish, Robert Meyer, Jane Moulin, Nicholas Ordway, C. S. Papacostas, Robert Paull, Thomas Pearson, Teresita Ramos, Raul Rudoy, Jurgen Sang, Leon Serafim, Janice Shoultz, Patricia Steinhoff, Victor Stenger, John Stimson, Jane Tribble, Alice Tse, Lorrie Wong, Rosemarie Woodruff, Ming-Bao Yue

Senators Absent: Belinda Aquino, Sandra Chang, David Chappell, Austin Dias, Patricia Fryer, Patrick Gilbert, Barry LaBonte, Christopher Measures, Ralph Moberly, Marita Nelson, Deane Neubauer, Cynthia Ning, Stephen O'Harrow, Victor Olgyay, Thomas Ramsey, James Silva, Glenn Teves, Roy Wilkens

Senators Excused: Patricia Edelen-Smith, Nancy Lind, Fred MacKenzie, Robert McLaren, Peter Nicholson, Aiko Oda, Neva Owens, Karen Peacock, Thomas Speitel, Joseph Stanton, Judy Weightman

Invited Guests: Carol Eastman, Thomas Bopp, Rodney Sakaguchi, J. N. Musto

Guests: Wil Frost, Alona Trinidad, Jean Ehrhorn, Cheryl Ernst, Linda Johnsrud, Pat Cooper, Helen Josephine, Don Birdseye, Pete Garrod, Cristina Bacchilega

Co-Chair Ikeda called the meeting to order at 3:09 PM.

The minutes of the Senate meeting of October 18, 1995, were approved as submitted.

Co-Chair Ikeda explained that Gregg Geary, chair of the Senate Committee on Committees was in the midst of a process of soliciting volunteers from among the faculty who are willing to serve on various other committees and task forces.  These are not only the regular committees and groups for which faculty participation is normally sought, but also for various task forces and review committees which have been or may be created as a consequence of the current budget crisis.

Co-Chair Ikeda informed the Senate that UH President Kenneth Mortimer had repeatedly agreed with the SEC that before any significant modifications are made in existing University programs that the Senate would have a chance to assess the impact which those changes might make on the academic quality and integrity of the University, and to inform the Administration of the Senate's conclusions in this regard.  Thus, it may be necessary for faculty members quickly to come forward to serve on various review and oversight committees in anticipation of, or in response to, any programmatic changes proposed by the Administration, and before those changes can be approved by the Board of Regents.

Co-Chair Kay also called the attention of the Senate to a sheet, dated November 15, 1995, labeled, "draft" and titled "Tentative schedule of meetings."  This was prepared by the President's office at the request of the SEC.  It lists, and briefly explains the sequence and purpose of, meetings which the BOR has so far scheduled to hold to consider how the University should respond to the current shortfall in General Funds  [This sheet is attached to these Minutes].

Co-Chair Kay stressed that with only one, stated, exception, all of these meetings are open to the public, and that concerned faculty members and students should try to attend in order to find out what the BOR is hearing and considering.

Co-Chair Kay also drew the attention of the Senate to a General Education Questionnaire which had been mailed out recently and which most faculty members should have already received.  It is part of the General Education review process that the faculty have been involved in since Spring Semester 1995, re-examining the core requirements and the common experience which all bachelor candidates should receive at the University of Hawaii."

Co-Chair Ikeda discussed a matrix which he had prepared and which had been distributed to all Senators.  The matrix identifies those UHM programs for which review task forces have already been created or are in the process of being created.  These are the College of Continuing Education and Community Service, the School of Library and Information Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the Social Science Research Institute.

Co-Chair Ikeda also pointed out that any units which do not have a permanent dean or director at this time are also "of interest" to the Administration and the BOR.  From the time President Mortimer first set foot on this campus he has said that there are "too many deans and directors."  It is clear he is "concerned about how Manoa is structured" even absent the current budget crisis, and might well recommend some administrative mergers and downsizing in order to reduce the number of deans, directors, and independent units at Manoa.

The President at this moment is not contemplating, or using the term, "privatization" of any part of the University, nor have any units been targeted for closure.  But he is interested in exploring ways in which certain professional schools might become more nearly "self-sustaining" by allowing them to charge and keep substantially higher tuition than the rest of the University charges, Co-Chair Ikeda said.

Prof. Geary said that he understood that he was to try to find two faculty members for each of the committees which might have to consider the academic impact of any administrative recommendations for substantial programmatic changes.  One of the faculty was to be "junior" and the other "senior".  He wanted to know what was meant by "junior" and "senior."

Co-Chair Ikeda replied it did not mean old or young, or long time vs. short time at Manoa, but, as indicated by Co-Chair Kay, whether the person had served on academic review committees before or not (he later said that the term "seasoned" might be better).

Prof. Geary then explained to the Senate what was needed in terms of faculty participation in this time of fluidity and crisis.   It is very likely that a substantial number of faculty members from many different disciplines will be needed to review very quickly but thoroughly administrative recommendations, and to respond to them in writing quickly but effectively as well.

Faculty members (not necessarily only Senators) should contact Geary and/or Co-Chair Alison Kay of their willingness to serve on one of these committees. It is very important to the future of the University that faculty input be heard at this crucial juncture.

Co-Chair Ikeda reiterated that faculty were needed for three different kinds of committees, and that the task-force participants might have to operate independently of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs in some situations, reporting instead to one of the Senior Vice Presidents instead of CAPP.

Prof. Wayne Iwaoka of CAPP added that the CAPP is coming up with a list of questions which faculty members should see are answered during all task force and review committee deliberations.

Co-Chair Ikeda made it clear that the President understands that, after its participation in the review process, the Senate may come up with recommendations which differ from those of the Administration.

He also said that the SEC submitted to the President a Memorandum of Understanding about faculty involvement in the process of programmatic review.

Co-Chair Kay stressed that the President repeatedly says that he understands our concern and supports our participation as outlined in the Memorandum.

Co-Chair Ikeda then asked UHM Budget Director Rodney Sakaguchi if there are any new developments which should change the budget picture over the next several years.

Director Sakaguchi said that there were two factors which, while not strictly new, have surfaced with significant import recently.  One was the provision in Act 161 (which gives the UH the right to set and keep tuition) which stipulates that the 1998 General Fund appropriation to the University of Hawaii shall equal that of the 1995 appropriation.  Unless that law is changed, or otherwise not followed, the UH will have $95 million more in 1998 than the Governor allotted to it this year.

Of course, there will be "a lot of politics between now and then," Director Sakaguchi observed.

Can the Governor restrict those 161 funds, someone asked?

If there is a new or continuing shortfall then the Governor might restrict funds.  But the Governor did say publicly when he was here last Friday that he would follow 161 and not restrict General Funds if the UH raised tuition, so we can be hopeful, Director Sakaguchi said.

The other factor that Director Sakaguchi mentioned is that repair and maintenance and equipment replacement have absorbed most of the budget cuts over the last several years, and those are areas that must be brought up to par. There is a current backlog of $17 million and an additional annual shortfall of $21 million which Director Sakaguchi said must be made up as soon as possible.

Co-Chair Ikeda stressed that the major budgetary problem facing the University is the gap between the amount provided the University by way of General Funds from the Legislature and the amount which can be generated by tuition.  Can that gap be bridged by other forms of revenue enhancement, or must it be bridged by program cuts, or by both?  Ikeda stressed that is the reason the Financial Plan, which the BOR will discuss during its December 21-22 meeting on Maui, is so important.

Co-Chair Ikeda then introduced J N Musto from the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.

Musto said that all we were doing was rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

He called the attention of the Senate to a special edition of Faculty News from UHPA which all Faculty members should have received today or by tomorrow.   He also referred to an enclosed letter which
is a copy of one he had written to the chair of the Board of Regents, Joseph Blanco, decrying the current process.   Musto said that everything he has heard leads him to conclude that the BOR will be making decisions which the faculty will only be able to react to, and not influence beforehand.  Musto said that both his letter and Faculty Notes also referred a list of sixteen areas which the President suggested to the BOR in September were candidates for program consolidation, merger, or change.

Since Retrenchment takes time, and can only be carried out in accordance with the Union Contract, Musto said he expects the Administration to issue a large number of retrenchment letters in January in order to have flexibility later to lay off people or not.  Not everyone receiving such a letter will necessarily be laid off, but without sending such a letter, the Administration can not lay off anybody, Musto pointed out.

Someone asked when the Union was going to do something.  Musto replied "when the Administration does something."  So far, the Administration has taken no definitive action.  Once it does, then it will have to deal with the Union according to the Contract.

Musto suggested it might be possible to stall until 1998, when sufficient funds should be coming in to the University.

But, someone asked, isn't your "spoke in the wheels" (the Contract) really just a wet noodle?  Hasn't the Contract come to an end already?

Musto pointed out that the current Contract remains fully in force because the Administration has never made a "final and best offer".  If it were do to so now, then it would be possible for the Union and the Administration to begin negotiations.  But so far the Administration has refused to negotiate, and so the current Contract remains in force.

Someone asked what the Union would do if the Governor refused to follow the provisions of 161. Musto replied that the Union might bring a class action suit.

Someone else said that she had heard that the Governor or State Budget Director was contemplating delaying pay checks one day per month, thereby ending up paying everyone one paycheck less per year than required, as well as having the money available longer for investment and interest income.

Musto said he had had some discussion with Earl Anzai about that, but that all the Unions pointed out the illegality of that move and refused to accept it.  Musto does not believe it is still being pursued as an action.
January/February will be crunch time, Musto concluded, because the Administration will have to act definitively somehow by then.

Co-Chair Ikeda thanked J. N. Musto and assured the Senate that once a Financial Plan has been introduced, the Senate can and will go to work.  Before then, all we can do is prepare ourselves to be able to move quickly and effectively.

A member of the Committee on Administration and Budget said that the CAB believes that the Senate should work with the President to develop criteria for the Financial Plan, and had sent a memo to the SEC to that effect.  What is happening with it?

Co-Chair Ikeda and Co-Chair Kay both replied that the President has repeatedly assured us that he was following the Senate's stated (and recently re-stated) priorities in creating the Financial Plan.

Several Senators continued to express their concern that we did not have enough time to act if the BOR voted on a plan at their December 22 meeting.  Is there any requirement for a first and second reading, for example, that would give us time to review it?

Co-Chair Ikeda said he did not know whether there was such a legal requirement or not, but Co-Chair Kay assured the questioners that the plan was only to "floated" at the December meeting, and not voted on.

Someone from the Medical School said she believes the School is being reviewed on Monday for possible elimination.

At this point, Senior Vice President Carol Eastman stepped forward to reiterate the process and timetable set out on the "Tentative Schedule of Meetings" now in the Senators' hands.

She assured the Senate that absolutely no decisions had been made, nor had any discussions even been undertaken, by the BOR concerning cutting any programs whatsoever.  Certainly not the Medical School or the Law School.  Those which are being reviewed for some possible action have already been publicly identified. These are the ones for whom task forces or review committees have been (or are being) formed and for which faculty members are being sought.  We will follow that same procedure for any other programs which might be reviewed.  Neither the Medical School, Law School, or any other unit will be reviewed, much less eliminated, swiftly or in secret, she insisted.

The original questioner said that was fine, but when both the President and the Governor speak publicly about the possibility of eliminating the Law School and/or the Medical School, everyone needs to worry about what will actually happen.

SVP Eastman said that if the BOR agrees to pass the President's retrenchment resolution, then the President will have that authority, and will use it if necessary, and according to all proper and legal procedures. But there is no guarantee he will use it.  What is needed is a Financial Plan so that the BOR can decide where and how to try to raise or save money to bridge the previously discussed revenue gap.

Co-Chair Ikeda also pointed out that even if the Governor should advocate eliminating the Law School or Medical School, the President has said he will not take such action just because the Governor thinks it is a good idea.  The President has said he "will not be led by outside forces," Ikeda stated.

A Senator said that Mortimer had sat in her office and said that the Law School might be privatized.

"When did he say that," Co-Chair Ikeda wanted to know (he was told it was about a month ago, perhaps), because last Monday, the President told the SEC that the Law School would not be privatized, but might become more nearly "self-sustaining."

Another person asked SVP Eastman if the College of Tropical Agriculture had been ordered by the Administration to cut programs in order to save money, because the Dean had done so, under that excuse, last week.

SVP Eastman replied that there was no such order, and could not be because of the procedures, already well discussed today, that would have to be followed before such a decision could possibly be made.

A Senator in the Business School wanted to know why more was not being done to assess, and then explain, the financial value of the University to the State.

After explaining that the UH Publicity Office has a staff only of 2 and 1/2 people, a person from that office said that in fact that is exactly what the Law School is doing.  She encouraged other programs to do the same, and that her office would assist in any way possible.

OVPAA Tom Bopp rose to make several comments.  He wanted to assure everyone that nothing can happen until the BOR gets itself together.  There are so many new Regents that they have not yet jelled into either a coherent whole or a set of factions.  In addition, the Sunshine Laws of the State make it illegal for two members of the Regents even to get together for beer and talk over University matters.  So there have been no secret meetings, and won't be.  The one closed meeting, mentioned on the "Tentative Schedule of Meetings," is for those matters which State law requires be kept confidential (involving law suits, for example).

Bopp also said that he thought perhaps SVP Eastman had misspoken when she used the term "retrenchment resolution"; that as far as he knew, the President was not seeking such a resolution when he was asking the BOR to pass a resolution "directing the President to do whatever is necessary to sustain the vitality and viability of the University of Hawaii."

Co-Chair Kay urged Senators to send her their responses to the memo from SVP Imai concerning changes in mail and copying services on UHM.

Several people then asked whether the Senate was going to consider the Budget Committee resolution which had been passed out.

Some discussion followed which indicated the draft was too weak and otherwise flawed.  Nor was there a quorum in the house.  The draft was therefore referred back to the SEC for further refinement
and resubmission.

Co-Chair Ikeda adjourned the meeting at 4:48 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Dator

Secretary