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Minutes & Agendas


University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate, SEC Academic Retreat

September 10 and 11, 1999
Turtle Bay Hilton

At the conclusion of the SEC Academic Retreat it was agreed that a summary of the main points and emphases would be developed. A transcription of the official record was made and then four individuals (Mary Tiles and Bill Lampe from the Faculty Senate, Natural Sciences Interim Dean Chuck Hayes, and OSVP/EVC Special Assistant Michael Graves) were tasked with writing the summary. This summary is organized into five sections: I. Faculty role in UH Manoa governance; II. Suggestions for improved communication; III. Visions of Manoa; IV. Future Actions and V. Other Issues

A good part of the two days was devoted to a wide ranging, but not particularly focused, discussion on governance and communications. Various themes emerged. These included: the lack of any clear, consistent, and recognized faculty authority; structures for governance; responsiveness of both the Senate and the administration; poor communications and improving same.

I. Governance

Goal: To make decision making processes more inclusive and more responsive.

It was pointed out that the Charter and Bylaws of the Congress and Senate incorporate one view of faculty authority, BOR policies incorporate another, and recommendation 3 of the WASC Report incorporates a third. In the latter, academic matters are the purview of the faculty while the wise husbanding of resources is the purview of the administration. Gray areas exist, and a mechanism for dealing with these needs to be worked out. It was pointed out that ultimately the BOR has all authority, but what was under discussion was recognized, delegated, practical authority. It was suggested that a revision of all these documents was in order so that a consistent view emerged.

It was agreed that the current structures for governance are in need of revision, but the form those revisions should take was less agreed upon. One participant called our current structures and practice immature and said they do not work.

BOR policies may be inappropriately detailed and too little authority may be delegated. Review and possible reform are called for.

Reliance upon ad hoc committees and administratively appointed committees were pointed out as areas needing attention. Current efforts by the administration to change this were noted and encouraged.

The relations between the Manoa Senate and other senates on campus need clarification. Connections to the Council of Deans and Directors need to be strengthened. There are system issues as well that need to be clarified, and it was pointed out that recognizing or granting Manoa faculty authority over academic matters would have definite system wide impacts which need to be taken into account.

Under current practices faculty are put in the position of reacting to fully developed administration positions and policies. This makes faculty either a rubber stamp or obstructionist. It was suggested that practices and structure should change so that faculty become collaborators in forming policy rather than reactors to formed policy. The same participant who called our current practices immature gave examples of mature universities where by and large the administration was simply carrying out the policies of the faculty. Currently various groups (including BOR, administration, faculty, students) discuss policy in isolation. Part of our current difficulties stem from that. Early involvement of all parties in policy discussion was suggested as a remedy, but the administration expressed some hesitancy to begin discussions with other parts of the university on a policy before it was pretty fully considered and worked out because of the dangers to them inherent in early release. (Further attention is definitely needed here.)

Lack of faculty involvement was complained about in different ways by both the administration and the faculty. It was pointed out that under current practices faculty have little impact on events. So naturally faculty are loathe to commit time to dealing with governance and policy. Reform is needed.

A separate chancellor for Manoa was briefly discussed.

II Suggestions for Improved Communication

There were several communication issues raised.

  1. Involving matters from administration to faculty and others. Getting information out during the planning stage, rather than waiting until a finished plan is presented and distributed for comment. The latter has put faculty and others in the position of passive recipients, not as active parts of the planning and decision-making process. It is inefficient in that the only active role left for faculty is resistance - raising objections and generally seeming obstructive. The monthly meetings with President Mortimer might be a vehicle for giving letting the SEC know what is in the works.

  2. The method of communicating by resolution and/or ad hoc committees and task forces, has, over recent years descended to the level of suggestion box democracy. Lots of people work on resolutions that are rarely heard of again once they have been transmitted. If investment of time and effort by faculty is wanted then outcomes must reflect their involvement and getting input into the decision making process Also, if faculty become involved in fleshing out policies etc. they will be better informed not only about the nature of the policies but also about the decision making process.

  3. All relevant and/or affected groups need to participate in discussion in this way. disseminating information about decisions information not only of outcomes of the decision making process, but also about the process and explanations of why certain positions were rejected need to get wider dissemination. within the faculty there is a need to improve the flow of information to and from the senate, its committees and the faculty at large.

  4. The Manoa faculty senate needs to improve communication with other senates on the campus.

What are some of the possible mechanisms for increasing Manoa wide communication and participation in decision making and is this really governance? Suggestions discussed included the following, which are not to be regarded as mutually exclusive, but might be combined in various ways:

  1. Faculty (SEC) should meet with BOR to discuss strategic issues only, say once a quarter.

  2. There should be venues for department chairs, across colleges, to meet once or twice a year.

  3. There needs to be increased use of technology (email, etc.) to assist in meeting preparation and progress.

  4. Meetings need to be well conducted with agenda, time limits, and outcomes.

  5. All appointments of faculty to University committees will be by the Faculty Senate.

  6. Utilize standing committees of the Faculty Senate, where possible and limit use of ad hoc committees.

  7. Have Faculty Senate representatives on key administrative and. University Committees such as:

    • SEC Chair or Vice Chair present during Manoa Executive Council meetings.

    • Chair of Committee on Academic Budget sitting on the Manoa Budget Committee.

    • Representative from the Faculty Senate attending all BOR meetings.

    • Representative from the Faculty Senate present during the monthly Deans and Directors meeting.

These recommendations would involve the Faculty Senate and would result in it being kept informed of what is going on, as well as being able to have sustained input.

Other suggestions for improving communication were model driven and include:

  1. The Routing Distribution Model where there is a central committee with representation from deans, senate, and administration and which decides how any given issue should be handled and routes it to the appropriate committees, who report back to the central committee, which takes responsibility for broader communication.

  2. The Mission Management Model where a team representative body of administrators, deans, faculty, students, clerical, APT, tackles the larger strategic issues by putting together agreed upon smaller teams composed as thought to be appropriate for the issue. Communication and representation issues to be handled by the participating constituencies.

  3. Ad Hoc or Task Force model where short lived committees are established to tackle specific issues. This can present communication problems, but they aren't insurmountable.

III Visions of Manoa

What vision for Manoa and how would it be developed? Among the alternatives are:

  1. One in which the President and the administration develop the vision.

  2. The faculty develop the vision.

Regardless of vision source, is it do-able?

Several alternative visions of Manoa were presented:

  1. As a Research I university, with quality graduate level work, ample funds for faculty travel and research development, modern equipment, and a safety net to sustain important research when resources are reduced or lost.

    Vertical cuts have proved to be very difficult to achieve at Manoa because of the vested interests of those affected and even when consolidations have been achieved there are relatively little savings. It is in the number of faculty that Manoa appears larger than one might expect. Hence, control of hiring has been the most effective way to manage budget reductions and future hiring should be assessed against the quality of life criterion as represented above. Redistribution can work but it pits one unit against the other and if can lead to loss of vitality with an aging faculty. As incentive to reduced hiring, an incentive retirement package may be proposed in which some new faculty would be hired but not one for one replacement.

    How to achieve consensus, possibly, a long term working group or committee comprised of Administration, Faculty, Staff, Students, Deans, and possibly BOR.

  2. With an primary emphasis on undergraduate education. This will require resource redeployment and resource acquisition. Assume no new legislative support in the near term and that research and private funds while increasing are yet finite. However, Manoa campus built to accommodate upwards of 21,000 plus students and we now have enrollment in the 16,000 student range. There are thus in excess of 5,000 empty seats at Manoa and if we have a plan to increase those seats, especially at the undergraduate level, we will raise substantially more and new funds for the institution. But in order to do so, must recognize the effects of changes in tuition (particularly the large percentage increases of the past few years) on enrollment, the different tuition schedules for Manoa and the other campuses, and that for many students it is easier to enroll and take courses at the Community Colleges than at Manoa. Need to infuse the undergraduate experience, making it meaningful, emphasizing the quality of education that is received at Manoa, and putting more resources to its administration via a superordinate undergraduate administrator (provost-like).

  3. Fulfilling our leadership potential in Asia and the Pacific. There are substantial efforts being made by other institutions to extend educational opportunities in Asia. Manoa needs to be more aggressive and ambitious in extending our programs to Asia, as well. Need to increase the cap on non-resident students. Need to emphasize Manoa as the meeting place between East and West to attract both U.S. and Asian students.

  4. A research university is an educational system with a research component, not the reverse. One source of unrealized revenues for many research universities, including UH Manoa, are the revenues produced through intellectual property and the commercialization of the same. The royalties on patents and other intellectual property can be significant. Florida State University, for example, earned more than $40 million last year from royalties on compound discovered by its scientists. At Manoa, to realize this vision would require revisiting policies and practices which do not foster or promote this option.

  5. As a research university, Manoa may need to be right-sized in terms of faculty numbers and distributions. The reasons for this are suggested by the non-uniform effects of retirements and resignations over the past 5 years, coupled with the hiring restrictions. Also, student numbers have decreased but again they have not been randomly distributed across all programs. Comparison with our peer and benchmark institutions should enable us to establish a range of faculty numbers that could be expected for Manoa programs based on the student to faculty numbers that occur at our peer and benchmark institutions. In short, if they had our student numbers what would be the faculty numbers in different programs. Departments at Manoa whose numbers exceed by 1 standard deviation that of our comparisons should not be adding faculty. Conversely, those programs with fewer faculty should be considered for additions. In this process, it would be important for programs/units to weigh on the data that are used (i.e., their accuracy) and to identify other factors which might account for their faculty numbers. Additionally, we should recognize that right sizing would occur over time, not instantaneously.

  6. Talking about Carnegie I status is not enough. The University needs to give a clear presentation of what needs to be done to preserve a quality undergraduate and graduate education. The University should be aiming to graduate students who are research capable, people who are creative and imaginative, able to think with clarity on policy issues. Maybe Manoa doesn't need to be as large as it is now. It does need to be able to produce individuals who are able to question authority and think for themselves. The opportunities in higher education are increasing, not decreasing. The scenario for higher education is changing, universities are reshaping themselves. Only half our energy should be devoted toward budget trimming, the other half should go toward thinking about new initiatives and proposals about how to take advantage of opportunities. We should become more international, drawing resources from out of state by expanding into the Asia Pacific region.

What would be a starting point for resolving these different visions?

One place to begin would be with the UH Manoa Strategic Plan. There was not the level and range of input to it when it was developed and circumstances on campus have changed sufficiently since its inception that it would be wise to now start the process of its revision with a document that has wide faculty, student, staff and administrative input at an early stage, that is realistic, and responsive to changes in our environment. A consideration of the Manoa mission and the fact that a unified concept of the mission is not widely shared may also need to be built into this new vision for Manoa. The creation of a Mission Management Committee to help develop this vision was one suggested means for realizing a shared vision.

IV Future Actions


  1. Formal referral of Mauna Kea Management Report to Faculty Senate

  2. Copy of Task Force Report re: School of Public Health to Faculty. Senate

  3. Study and make recommendations on BOR policies on general education and the core in conjunction with Academic Deans and Directors.

Further actions

  1. Reform governance structures

  2. Reconcile BOR policies and Charter and Bylaws with WASC recommendation 3.

  3. Review and reform campus wide committee structures.

  4. Clarify role of faculty in, for example, curriculum issues, reorganizations, and selection of deans

  5. Faculty Senate representatives on administration and University Committees.

  6. Speed up process without shortchanging consultation, responsiveness

  7. Vision Derby? -

  8. Discussion of what is do-able within budgetary constraints.

  9. How to make SEC meetings with Mortimer more effective

  10. How to articulate and communicate vision to multiple constituencies?

  11. How codify agreements?

  12. Faculty matters re: Manoa and the system, structural implications

V. Other Issues

A number of issues were raised at different points in the retreat but for lack of time they could not be considered furthered. They did suggest topics the Faculty Senate may wish to address in the future.

  1. There is a need to provide an early incentive retirement plan for Manoa. It would be good to have a plan that has campus wide support.

  2. The percentage of our out state students is an issue that needs to be addressed. At the retreat it was suggested that 20% of our students should be non-resident.

  3. Of immediate concern are the CORE courses. As it stands now, the BOR has the authority on this matter. It may be wise to have this issue removed from their workload.

  4. There must be a mechanism for determining whether an issue brought to the Faculty Senate is a long term one e.g. should we have a particular degree, or a short term one e.g. control of the Mauna Kea facilities.

  5. Whether vision, governance or communication, there must be a definition of who are the constituents: Faculty Senate, APT, clerical staff, each of the three unions, deans, upper administration, BOR, students.

  6. The role of the students must be articulated. Why should they be or not be included in governance, tenure and promotion, budget, and vision.