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Minutes & Agendas


University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Congress, February 18, 1998

Law School, Classroom 2

40 Senators Present: Nell Altizer, Barry Baker, Thomas Brislin, Patricia Burrell, Catherine Caveletto, Sandra Chang, Rahul Chattergy, Virgie Chattergy, Robert Cooney, John Cox, Steve Dawson, Robert Dueste rhaus, Marilyn Dunlap, Samir El-Swaify, Kathy Ferguson, James Gaines, Patricia Hickman, Kathryn Hoffmann, Ruth Horie, Judith Kellogg, Kenneth Kipnis, Sumner LaCroix, William Lampe, Nancy Lind, Michael Maglaya, Alexander Malahoff, Gertraud Maskarinec, Jenn ifer Matsuda, Karl Minke, Tom Ramsey, Alison Regan, Thomas Schroeder, Miriam Sharma, Virginia Tanji, Randal Wada, Eldon Wegner, Joel Weiner, Lesley Wright, Dina Yoshimi, David Yount

6 Senators Excused: Donna Ching, Ross Christensen, Elizabeth Fisher, Thomas Olson, Aspy Palia, Halina Zaleski

22 Senators Absent: Alton Arakaki, Caroline Blanchard, James Cowan, Eric DeCarlo, Arnold Edelstein, Stephen Ferreira, John Halloran, Sue Hanson, John Hardman, Roderick Jacobs, Casey Jarman, David Lally, J ohn Mahoney, Stacey Marlow, Jane Moulin, Gwen Naguwa, Peter Nicholson, C.S. Papacostas, Gay Reed, Morris Saldov, Steven Seifried, Roy Wilkins

Members of the Administration: President Mortimer, Dean Smith, Tom Bopp, Alan Teramura, Judith Inazu

48 other faculty signed the attendance list.

Chair Alex Malahoff opened the meeting at 3:05.

1. Minutes of the Congress/Senate meeting of October 15, 1997 were amended to show the UH Autonomy Resolution was a Senate vote, not a Congress vote, and then were approved.

2. President Mortimer addressed the Congress regarding the State of the University in four areas:

Fund Raising: Larry Johnson, Walter Dodds, and Senator Inouye are the co-chairs of the Campaign for Hawaii to be launched in 1999 with a goal in excess of $100 million. The objectives are (1) keep UH affordable for students, (2) faculty excellence, and (3) program support.

UH Budget: The legislative budget process is convoluted, the numbers change frequently, we are still early in the process, and it is hard to forecast the ultimate result. It is time for all supporters of the University to communicate to the State that the UH has been cut enough.

Faculty Ambassadors Program: This is a significant, and welcome reaching out to the community by the faculty. Actions speak loudly, and this is a very good development.

Autonomy/Flexibility: President Mortimer appreciates the Congress/Senate's support. Legislators are concerned the UH would retreat to ivory towers, but the President maintains we seek to be accountabl e about results. A UHPA survey found UH has more controls on it than other state universities.

In response to questions, President Mortimer replied that (1) position control is not as important as funding, (2) while positioning UH as a player in economic revitalization, we are not saying this is the only reason for the University's existence , and (3) if cuts are eventually necessary, we have a process underway and Dean Smith will report on what is happening.

3. Dean Smith reviewed recent budget events, most importantly the legislative request to plan for a 10 percent cut in State funds to UH. This is too much money to cut in a short time, yet a plan is sup posed to be done by March 2. "This has not been a pleasant experience." "We are at a turning point, and are looking at major cuts and hard choices."

When the State funding cuts hit about three years go we thought they were temporary and we avoided irreversible changes. When cuts continued we hoped Act 161 would be the solution, but the Sate is not in a position to honor Act 161. Therefore, two committees were established last Spring by Dean Smith and Carol Eastman with a charge to determine what could be cut, but not necessarily what will be cut since the BOR makes the final decisions. The two reports are done, and a reconciliation committee is preparing a joint report. What happens next depends on the budget.

In reply to questions, Dean Smith said (1) Bachman is included in the review, (2) membership of the committees will be provided to the Senate, (3) if there is a 10 percent cut, position cuts will probably occur, (4) he hasn't thought about whether there will be public meetings after the joint report is received, (5) it is hard to tell whether tuition increases have been counterproductive since we don't know what enrollment or State funding would have been otherwise, and (6) Doris Ching has been ask ed to increase UH recruiting and to request funding if needed.

4. Alex Malahoff reported the Senate, Faculty, and UHPA have not been sitting back and just taking the cuts. The CAPP committee is working with David Robb on admissions and credit transfers. The Facult y Ambassadors program is aimed at recruiting and to combat an image UH is isolated from the community. The Kipnis Undergraduate experience is working to strengthen undergraduate education.

5. Ken Kipnis presented a report from the Undergraduate Experience Committee, which contaned the following 6 preliminary recommendations:

A. The University should provide all entering freshman with a comprehensive orientation experience, without additional fee.

B. Entering first-time freshman should be organized into learning communities of 15-20 students each. During the freshman year, each cohort would take a minimum of 9-12 hours of common, clustered,introductory-level core courses over the two semester s. Clustered courses shall be exclusively tailored and reserved for freshman. Cohorts will experience substantial contact with faculty and may meet with specially assigned graduate teaching assistants and/or upper-divisional "peer mentors" as have been em ployed in the ACE program. Courses making up a cluster will be coordinated and, in some cases, combined at the initiative of faculty into a single, cooperatively taught offering. Complementing these cohorts, the faculty should strive to develop cohort/lea rning community experiences for exceptional freshmen. The administration should establish conditions that enable and encourage the coordination and combining of course offerings and provide Educational Improvement Funds for implementation, including summe r support as needed.

C. Faculty should receive appropriate teaching credit commensurate with the additional work required to develop, integrate and teach clustered courses. The University should accord appropriate faculty recognition and rewards for exceptional lower-di visional teaching.

D. Freshman grades in core courses should be reviewed by admissions staff in order to refine admissions standards and recruitment practices.

E. Appropriate faculty bodies should be employed to encourage, facilitate, review, approve and evaluate all course clusters, and to generate, as needed, standards to ensure that freshmen are adequately prepared for higher-level course work.

F. The Administration should provide funds and resources for special programs -- curricular, and extra-curricular -- for lower-divisional undergraduates. Cooperating with administration, appropriate faculty bodies shall be involved in coordinating a nd integrating these co- and extra-curricular programs into the clusters. The University should demonstrate its commitment by assigning clear administrative responsibility to an office commensurate with these tasks -- for example, an undergraduate dean.</ P>

Kipnis pointed out that the Committee will prepare final recommendations after considering the feedback from colleagues, and he then invited comments from the Congress.

-We can improve what goes on in the classroom and the report helps. Good universities also have meaningful out of class activities: bookstores to browse in, dorms to live in, etc. At UH not much goes on outside the classroom. Students leave campus when their classes are over. They leave, however, in many cases for reasons it will not be easy to change.

-Will the cohorts be a logistical nightmare? Is it possible to address the problem of undergraduate experience/education in a simpler way,

-New courses do not need to be invented: the cohort is more important and we can run the cohorts in existing courses. The existing ACE program has clusters of students in larger classes. The one credit seminar can bring the students into a communit y.

-Concern about a lack of guaranteed balance in the groups of courses. If an academic area is left out, it may lose majors. In response, the faculty oversight committee will be able to look at this.

-Freshmen can't often get their courses now. This will be an improvement.

-Giving students more sense of community is good.

-Our core is still too rigid, and this proposal is for more flexibility in course choice.

-Do we want more, or happier students?

-Should this be for transfers as well as freshmen?

-We don't know the result of what we do now in classrooms. We need to include assessment.

-Is this a continuation of high school with people not responsible for themselves?

-Cohort groups of self selected high school friends will be bad, and will contribute to UH being a follow on to high school.

-Students who know what they want will thrive, but exploring students who do not know what they are doing may not get the choices they need.

 6. John Radcliffe from UHPA was introduced and endorsed the project for undergraduates. He said conditions outside the public sector are worse than inside. Hawaii is losing educated people to the mainland, and jobs. Regarding cuts at the University, he reported the UHPA contract contains delays for downsizing and there are pockets of funds in the retirement system and Health Fund which may mean less cuts will occur than are now anticipated. He ha s a 60 page list of State budget and he will try to put it on the internet. "These are very tough times."

  Regarding President Mortimer, "he's done better this year at presenting the University's case than any President I've worked with." "I applaud his efforts." "We need to be united at this time. We need to market ourselves, and to resist cuts."

 7. Eldon Wegner, Chair of CAPP, described his Committee's deliberations on processes for rethinking Manoa's core.

 8. Vivian Halverson, currently working on a renewed recruitment effort, spoke on the efforts she and others are making to bring capable students to Manoa.

 9. A motion to adjourn was made and seconded. It carried and the meeting ended at approximately 5:25 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Steve Dawson