Communicate with the Senate
Proposal for an Office for Undergraduate Education [OUE]
Prepared by the Joint Committee for Undergraduate Affairs
April 10, 2000
The members of the Joint Committee for Undergraduate Affairs, whose names are listed below, are recommending the establishment of an Office for Undergraduate Education. The proposal aims to serve better our undergraduate students by reconfiguring present related offices in a more coherent system under the leadership of an undergraduate dean. The functions of the office and its relationship to other administrative offices are shown in the attached organizational charts.
Chart 1: Current Undergraduate education
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Chart 2: Dean of Undergraduate Education (proposed) [ html/png ]] | [ pdf ]
Composite job descriptions of the dean's position and that of a director of enrollment management who will serve under the new dean are also attached; these draft descriptions give an idea of how the office will function to improve undergraduate education.
Undergraduate Dean job description
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Director of Enrollment Management job description [ html ] | [ pdf ]
It will be decided at the Faculty Senate meeting on Wednesday, April 12, whether or not to recommend the proposal to Executive Vice President and Vice Chancellor Dean O. Smith for implementation.
During sixteen 1 - to 2-hour meetings over the past five months, the committee carried out the following activities: Reviewed various university reports on the status of undergraduate affairs at UHM Compiled a list of issues to define the need for such an office (see next page) Conferred with President Mortimer on how the proposed office would interface with other administrative offices Reviewed their deliberations twice with UHM Deans and Directors Reviewed a preliminary draft of the A&S Millennium Governance Committee's research findings on the desirability of establishing an office for undergraduate education, and met with them to discuss the draft Developed a number of different structures for an office of undergraduate education, studied the feasibility of each, and identified the one shown here as worthy of presentation to the campus community. The committee dropped from consideration the following alternatives:
1. A proposal to establish a dean for undergraduate education in A&S because such an office would fail to address the needs of undergraduates in non-A&S colleges
2. A proposal to establish a dean of university college supervising 100- and 200- level instruction because it called for the establishment of a new sizable infrastructure and because it may have led to a schism between lower- and upper-division instruction
3. A proposal to unify the curriculum and co-curriculum, SEED, and an Office of Enrollment Management under the current VP for Student Affairs (who would have also been named the Vice-Chancellor for Undergraduate Education) because it was inappropriate to have student affairs rather than academic affairs responsible for academic matters
4. A proposal to strengthen the current structure and expand the responsibilities of the Vice-President for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean of A&S because it lacked focus and authority.
The committee members believe the proposed office addresses will serve to improve the undergraduate experience that is so central to the mission of our university.
Committee Members: Any Agbayani Peter Manicas Helen Baroni Joy Marsella, chair Peter Crooker Dave Robb Randy Haley Brent Sipes Ricky Jacobs Dean Smith Randy Hitz Alan Yang Deane Kihara Ray Yeh
Issues Relating to the Establishment of an Office of Undergraduate Education
(Drawn from the UH Strategic Plan, the UHM Mission Statement, two recent and pertinent Manoa Faculty Senate Resolutions, the A&S Millennium Academic Experience Committee Report, and the recent WASC Report)
# In the present structural arrangement, no person or office is ultimately responsible for or available to improve undergraduate education; the responsibility and resources for undergraduate education are now scattered across many offices.
# The reports listed above establish the following pressing needs:
to improve the undergraduate experience
- by linking the curriculum and the co-curriculum
- by reducing the number of large classes
- by addressing the problem of the unavailability of classes (too few classes or sections of classes)
- by creating research opportunities for undergraduate students and faculty
to develop first-year cohorts and learning communities that offer students an integrated and personal intellectual foundation for future coursework
to improve orientation
to improve advising
to improve recruitment and retention - by increasing the size, quality, and diversity of the student body (dependence on tuition revenues makes this need quite pressing)
to improve articulation by linking UHM more closely to DOE and the UH Community Colleges
to provide incentives for faculty to devote themselves to undergraduate education
to provide more faculty development resources to ensure sustained quality in undergraduate education
to develop program planning and assessment of undergraduate education, including the development of standards for foundational courses
to support the implementation of the recently revised Manoa General Education Requirements.
# The present structure has not adequately addressed, indeed may not be capable of addressing, the needs listed above.
# In addition to addressing the concrete and tangible needs listed above, an office for undergraduate education would be important symbolically; establishing such an office would say to the community, "We are devoted to providing an excellent undergraduate experience for our children; we will care for them, nurture their intellectual and social development, and prepare them well for their intended careers."
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Social Sciences/Business Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa
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