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Minutes, Agendas & Reports

1995-1996


University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate, February 28, 1996

Architecture #205

Presiding: Co-Chair Alison Kay, Manoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee

Senators Present: Belinda Aquino, H. C. Bittenbender, John Casken, Sandra Chang, Donna Ching, Joanne Cooper, Joel Cohn, Linda Cox, Jim Dator, Steven Dawson, Austin Dias, Marilyn Dunlap, Patricia Edelen- Smith, Joel Fisher, Delores Foley, Patricia Fryer, Gregg Geary, Patrick Gilbert, Sue Hanson, Patrick Henry, Kathryn Hoffmann, Ruth Horie, Kiyoshi Ikeda, Wayne Iwaoka, Alison Kay, Barry LaBonte, William Lampe, Bruce Liebert, Nancy Lind, Bert Lum, Margaret Maaka, Robert McLaren, Christopher Measures, Karen Meech, Robert Meyer, Ralph Moberly, Jane Moulin, Marita Nelson, Peter Nicholson, Cynthia Ning, Aiko Oda, Nicholas Ordway, Neva Owens, C. S. Papacostas, Robert Paull, Karen Peacock, Thomas Pearson, Teresita Ramos, Thomas Ramsey, Raul Rudoy, Jurgen Sang, Thomas Schroeder, Leon Serafim, Janice Shoultz, Thomas Speitel, Joseph Stanton, Patricia Steinhoff, Victor Stenger, John Stimson, Jane Tribble, Alice Tse, Judy Weightman, Rosemarie Woodruff, Ming-Bao Yue

Senators Absent: James Brandon, Gaye Chan, Richard Guillory, John Melish, Marian Melish, John Mount, Deane Neubauer, Stephen O'Harrow, Victor Olgyay, John Sinton, Glenn Teves

Senators Excused: Barry Brennan, James Silva, Lorrie Wong

Invited Guest: Linda Johnsrud, Sumner La Croix, James Roumasset

Co-Chair Alison Kay called the meeting to order at 3;32 PM, immediately following the Spring Faculty Congress.

The minutes of the previous Senate meeting of January 24 were approved as submitted.

Co-Chair Kay welcomed back Senator Judy Weightman.

Co-Chair Kay reported on the meeting of the All Campus Council of Faculty Chairs, focusing mainly on their continued concern about the General Education core of the UH System.

She then invited Linda Johnsrud to report on the results of 3000 questionnaires concerning General Education which had been distributed to all faculty members of the system. Fifty-four percent of the questionnaires were returned, and a comparison of demographic data on those returned with the demographic characteristics of all faculty members revealed a very close fit so that the results obtained from the 54% can be assumed to represent those of the faculty overall reasonably well.

Dr. Johnsrud stressed that questionnaires were sent to all faculty members, rather than to a sample, so that all faculty members would have a chance to express their views directly. That so many did confirms her belief that there is widespread concern about General Education throughout the system.

The full results of an analysis of the questionnaires will be put on the World Wide Web, and an Executive Summary will be published in Ku Lama soon. Basically the results showed that there is very strong agreement across the system as to what the focus of General Education should be, and a desire to see that there are uniform standards across the system which ensure that students acquire and use the essential skills and bodies of knowledge.

Details of how to do that remain to be determined, and both Dr. Johnsrud and Co-Chair Kay urged all faculty members to become active in fleshing out these and other aspects.

Since the results show that most faculty members feel that many students enter UH unprepared for college work, it was suggested that the results be distributed to the Board and Department of Education. Dr. Johnsrud agreed that this was a good idea but that it should happen after the faculty have determined what specifically they intend to do themselves. "It is first of all our responsibility to determine more clearly what we intend to do," she said, and then we can solicit the support of others in helping us see that students achieve the levels we believe are necessary for their general education.

Co-Chair Kay noted that there will be another conference on General Education on May 14-15. She urged all interested faculty to participate.

The main topic of discussion by the Senate was a report from the Committee on Administration and Budget which reaffirmed the previous statement of academic priorities made by the Senate, and urged the administration to make no further "across the board" budget and personnel cuts, but rather to make programmatic decisions, if necessary, in accordance with the Senate's priorities. The CAB report said that it is essential to preserve the essence of the University, which is the basic Arts & Sciences undergraduate core. The main purpose of the CAB statement, it was said, is to be sure that all of the various faculty-administration taskforces which are presently engaged in evaluating various schools and programs which the administration has targeted for possible downsizing, reorganization, or elimination be evaluated against a standard set of faculty-approved criteria--which is what the priorities are. The faculty need to be proactive on the basis of clearly enunciated principles, and not merely react, in a haphazard or merely political manner, to what the administration proposes.

A Senator reminded everyone that in the early 1960s, UH was essentially only a college of Arts and Sciences, and that every subsequent program and school was created, not so much by expanding the budgetary pie, but rather by cutting out more and more of the basic Arts & Sciences. Our priorities are intended to say we will tolerate no more of that.

A copy of the CAB statement is attached to these minutes.

The lengthy discussion which followed made it clear that many Senators did not feel that the Senate's priorities, originally determined in a different fiscal climate, should be used to guide current cuts and reorganization. To do so would gut the thing that makes Manoa a "Major Research University" and turn us into "Honolulu State College" once again, it was said. Manoa's uniqueness, and importance, is advanced undergraduate, graduate, and professional research and teaching, not the basic undergraduate core, it was repeatedly asserted.

Others pointed out that the President has already assured us that he would protect the undergraduate core. What the Faculty Senate now needs to preserve is the heart of the University, which is at risk.

A member of the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Planning said that CAPP had considered the CAB statement and decided not to support it because it was meaningless. They decided that, in this instance, it was better to be reactive because there is no consistent administrative position. One week they say one thing, the next week another. It is not possible to be principled and proactive in this situation.

Others said that the Senate created a lengthy document as its statement of its priorities whereas CAB has simply skimmed off the first item in the first two categories and made them our sole priorities, which was not intended. The Senate did not rank order items internally. Anyway, the assumption was, when the priorities were adopted, that they would guide future growth, not determine how cuts would be made.

After considerable discussion, Co-Chair Kay pointed out that the CAB statement was not intended to be a Senate resolution, but a topic for discussion, and that the discussion should be continued at a later time. For now, she thanked the CAB for its work and moved on to the next order of business which was a report by the Committee on Academic Policies and Programs.

Wayne Iwaoka, chair of the CAPP, briefly informed the Senate that members of CAPP, and some additional Senators, were on each of the taskforces reviewing programs identified by the Administration for possible downsizing, reorganization, or elimination. He also said that the CAPP had read and commented on the a draft of the University's new Strategic Plan.

In the absence of the chair of the Committee on Professional Matters, Co-Chair Kay reported that CPM will review the draft report on faculty workload of the Legislative Auditor when it becomes available, and report on it to the SEC and Senate. The Committee hopes to receive the report in April.

New Business

Two faculty members, from the Economics Department, James Roumasset and Sumner La Croix, reported in some detail on their concerns about the current plans for constructing a West Oahu University of Hawaii campus. They made it clear that it was very difficult to get full and accurate information about the plans, but that from what they could discover, it seemed highly unlikely that the West Oahu campus could be built at the Kapolei site without seriously impacting negatively the budget of Manoa and the rest of the system, and indeed the State as a whole.

They urged the SEC to monitor very closely progress of relevant legislation, and to have a faculty member present and able to testify at every opportunity in the legislative process.

Co-Chair said that the SEC will do that.

As a final matter, Co-Chair Kay was asked if the Administration had responded to the resolutions of the Senate on Budgetary Consultations and on Faculty Chairs. She said there had been no response yet. The meeting adjourned at 4:35 PM Respectfully submitted, Jim Dator Secretary.