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Minutes & Agendas


University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate, December 10, 1997

Marine Science Building 114

42 Senators Present: Barry Baker, Thomas Brislin, Patricia Burrell, Catherine Caveletto, Sandra Chang, Rahul Chattergy, Virgie Chattergy, Donna Ching, Ross Christensen, Robert Cooney, Steve Dawson, Maryln Dunlap, Samir El-Swaify, Kathy Ferguson, James Gaines, Kathryn Hoffmann, Ruth Horie, Roderick Jacobs, Casey Jarman, Judith Kellogg, Kenneth Kipnis, Sumner LaCroix, David Lally, William Lampe, Nancy Lind, Michael Maglaya, Alexander Malahoff, Gertraud Maskarinec, Karl Minke, Gwen Naguwa, Peter Nicholson, Aspy Palia, C.S. Papacostas, Tom Ramsey, Allison Regen, Thomas Schroeder, Miriam Sharma, Virginia Tanji, Joel Weiner, Lesley Wright, Dina Yoshimi, David Yount

6 Senators Excused: Nell Altizer, Patricia Hickman, Jennifer Matsuda, Jane Moulin, Gay Reed, Joe Stanton

20 Senators Absent: Alton Arakaki, Caroline Blanchard, James Cowan, John Cox, Eric DeCarlo, Robert Duesterhaus, Arnold Edelstein, Stephen Ferreira, John Halloran, Sue Hansen, John Hardman, John Mahoney, Stacey Marlow, Peter Olson, Morris Saldov, Steven Seifried, Randal Wada, Eldon Wegner, Roy Wilkins, Halina Zaleski

Administrative Members: President Mortimer, Tom Bopp, Dean Smith

Eight people signed the guest list.

Chair Alex Malahoff opened the meeting at 3:09.

1. Minutes of the Senate meeting of November 19, 1997 were approved.

2. President Mortimer addressed the Senate on three topics:

Undergraduate Experience: He is pleased the issues are being addressed, pledged his support and asked to be kept informed about ways he can help. He believes a successful undergraduate experience is crucial to the University's future.

Autonomy: He believes the time is now to work on a change in the relationship of the University and the State Government. He looks for quasi public corporation status, not constitutional autonomy. The debate is coming, and he asked faculty who are interested to be come familiar with the issues. He cautioned against making the issues too complex if complexity leads to delays and possibly a missed opportunity to act.

Porteus Hall: He has not taken a position yet. It is an issue which deserves a hearing. Now is the time for discussion. Dean Smith will appoint a committee and the BOR is responsible for building names.

3. Ken Kipnis recommended the Undergraduate Experience Committee consist of Nell Altizer, Peter Crooker, Peter Manicas, Joe O'Mealy, Ed Porter, David Robb, Virginia Tanji, Scott Thomas, Joel Weiner, and Ken Kipnis with Alex Malahoff as ex-officio. Unanimous voice approval.

4. Porteus Hall Committee: Maryln Dunlap, Chair of the Faculty Service Committee reported CFS has forwarded three names to Dean Smith. Kathy Ferguson was added at the request of the SEC. Dean Smith said he will select one of the four.

5. Resolution to refer to the Faculty Congress two resolutions relating to the General Education Coordinating Committee's proposal for system wide skills standards in five skill areas: critical thinking, information retrieval and technology, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and written communication.

Chair Malahoff reviewed (1) the history of the General Education Committee's formation in 1994 and subsequent workshops, (2) distribution of a draft in January, 1997, (3) agreement in principal to support the skills standards by the Faculty Senate on March 27, 1997, by a vote of 29 aye, 7 nay, and 2 abstentions, and (4) a vote by the Arts and Science Faculty opposing the institution of skills standards in Arts and Science courses in the manoa core by a vote of 153 aye and 24 nay.

The SEC introduced a "Resolution to refer to the Faculty Congress two resolutions relating to the General Education Coordinating Committee proposal to implement system-wide skills standard in all core courses." The Senate Charter, Article 1, Section 1,a,(1), provides that actions taken by the Senate are final, unless referred to the Congress by a 2/3rds vote for further consideration, in which case the Congress's decision is the last word. A lengthy debate followed.

Points raised against the recommendation: "Implementation" is not a correct word to ascribe to the senate action: the Senate merely agreed in principal to support the standards. Content of courses and assessment of success are not involved. Sending it to the Congress will involve more delay. Existence of Standards will help with the WASC reaccreditation. The GECC conferences had a wide representation: we discussed and we voted. The Congress meeting is too short to be a likely place for informed debate.

Points raised for the recommendation: Some people think "implementation" is not yet involved, but it is. If the intention is not to implement the Standards, then they are meaningless. Discussion is important in the academy. Since the A&S faculty has taken a strong position against the standards, another hearing may lead to a better resolution.

Although the discussion was basically on process, several Senators asked for information about the A&S Faculty concerns about the Standard proposal. Kathryn Hoffmann, speaking for the A&S Executive Committee reported a "short version" of the A&S points includes (1) the standards are too elementary and not appropriate for the University, (2) nothing in the proposal tells how to assess skill levels either on commencing the core or on completing it, (3) objections for educational reasons (i.e., skills model favored over other models), (4) questions about the message given to students and the roll of standards in that message, (5) unresolved governance questions, who determines what is covered in core courses, and (6) A&S feels they haven't had enough interaction with the GECC Committee.

The vote to pass the resolution to send the Standards Proposal to the Faculty Congress failed by a vote of 24 aye, 14 no and no abstentions. A 2/3rds majority was needed.

In further discussion, a motion was made to place implementation of the GECC Skills Standards on the next Congress agenda. Discussion points were that further debate and discussion will be a good thing. The A&S Executive Committee and the GECC are asked to make information available. Information about the GECC proposals is on the web at WWW2.hawaii.edu/ovpaa/gedwww.htm Another source may be the Faulty Senate home page at WWW2.hawaii.edu/~uhmfs/ Maybe the GECC and A&S Executive Committee can hold some discussions before the next Congress to resolve or clarify issues and settle possible misunderstandings. Motion passed by voice vote.

6. Other Business:

Web site is available at WWW2.hawaii.edu/~uhmfs/ It tells how to get on the e-mail listserve.

Payroll Lag: DAGS has told the University the lag is real, and has held back 1/24th of the University's budget in anticipation that the lag will begin in 1998. However, the payroll lag is still in the courts. It's a good question what will happen if the payroll lag doesn't occur.

7. Adjourned at 4:27

Senate meets on January 21 at 3:00

Congress followed by Senate meets on February 18, 1998 at 3:00

Respectively submitted,

Steve Dawson

Whereas various faculty senates of the University of Hawaii were asked to agree in principal to the march 17, 1997 proposal from the General Education Coordinating Committee (GECC) to implement minimum system-wide standards in five skill areas in all core courses;

and whereas members of the Manoa Faculty Senate voted, with 29 in favor, 7 opposed, and 2 abstentions, to approve a resolution supporting the March 17, 1997, GECC proposal in principal;

and whereas members of the Manoa Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate voted, with 153 in favor and 24 opposed, to approve a resolution that skills standards as outlined in the GECC memo of March 17, 1997, not be implemented in Arts and Sciences core courses at Manoa;

and whereas it is important that all faculty at Manoa be given an opportunity to express their views and settle their differences concerning the GECC proposal;

therefore be it resolved that the two attached resolutions relating to the GECC proposal be referred to the Faculty Congress for discussion at its next meeting and vote.

The resolution did not receive a 2/3rds vote of approval and thus did not pass.