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Minutes & Agendas


University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Congress, November 10, 1999

Architecture 205

36 Senators were present:
Belinda Aquino, Horst Brandes, William Burgwinkle, Robert Cooney, John Cox, Thomas Craven, James Dator, Marilyn Dunlap, Ernestine Enomoto, Andrea Feeser, David Flynn, Agnes Fok, Patricia Fryer, Donna Fukuda, Carolyn Gotay, Emily Hawkins, Karl Kim, William Lampe, Joy Marsella, Chris Measures, Ralph Moberly, Jane Moulin, Charles Mueller, Joseph O'Mealy, Teresita Ramos, John Rieder, Brent Sipes, Martha Staff, Mary Tiles, Janice Uchida, Robert Valliant, Charles Weems, Joel Weiner, David Yount, Ming-Bao Yue, Sylvia Yuen.

3 Senators were excused:
Barry Baker, Thomas Schroeder, Casey Jarman.

30 Senators were absent:
Iqbal Ahmed, Robert Bart, Betsy Fisher, William Haning, Joel Hanna, Manfred Henningsen, Randall Hensley, Robert Joseph, Nanette Judd, Peter Kim, Irvin King, Laurence Kolonel, Edward Laws, Bruce Liebert, Glenn Man, David McClain, Matthew McGranaghan, John Melish, Susan Miyasaki, John Mount, Mary Pateman, Robert Paull, Stanley Saiki, Ann Sloat, Thomas Speitel, Virginia Tanji, Jane Tribble, Richard Varley, Frank Walton, John Wendell.

7 Administrators were present:
Dean Smith, Thomas Bopp, Judith Inazu, Chuck Hayes, Ricky Jacobs, Barbara Polk, Ken Tokuno.

95 others signed in:
Ronald Mau, Beverly Keever, Tammy Baker, Kaliko Baker, Karen Jolly, Ryan White, John Haig, Wayne Iwaoka, Vanessa Chong, Sarita MacLeod, Ed Bertram, David Ross, George Wilkens, Jeannie Lum, Luis Sanchez, Phyllis Turnbull, Sankaran Krishna, Fred Mackenzie, Antony Clarke, Nevzat Soguk, Clifford Todd, Michael Garcia, Tomoko Iwai, Masami Lachmann, Carl Evensen, Ken Kipnis, Paul Rausch, Steve O'Harrow, Philip Rehbock, Jerry Bentley, Dennis Ogawa, Susan Hirate, Grace Ray, Peter Manicas, Joy Logan, Leayne Downing, Wayne Smith, John Wilson, S. Haley, Dick Teshima, Davianna McGregor, Candace Fujikane, Kazue Kanno, Brent Buckley, Jean Toyama, Miriam Meyerhoff, Michael Forman, Thomas Hudson, Jack Ward, Mike Manu, Pi'i Smith, Giselles Arambula, Tai Lesa, Dick Pratt, Edo Biagioni, G. Crookes, S. Talmy, John Stimson, Charles Kinoshita, Suzanne Jacobs, C. Mamo Kim, Lance Collins, Kyoko Hijirida, Katsue Reynolds, Ann Patina, Paul Chandler, Linda Rudoy, Jacob Huss, John Zuern, Leighton Liu, E Dredsel, G Dredsel, Samir El-Swaify, Sandy Davis, Ruth Hsu, Josie Clausen, Kalani Whittaker, Ron Solis, Noenoe Silva, Michael Landry, Keao Smith, Prescilia Espiritu, Ron Bontekoe, Ben Putzen, Rahul Chattergy, Paul Lyons, plus 9 indecipherable names

Chair Mary Tiles opened the meeting at 3:04

1. The minutes of the Faculty Congress meeting held March 17, 1999 were approved unanimously by voice vote, without changes.

2. The Chair's report was bypassed and the floor was passed over to Eldon Wegner, Chair of the Faculty Senate's Task Force on the reform of the core general education requirement

3. Eldon Wegner made a presentation to the Congress on the history of the process leading up to the current report. Included was the history of the process by which the Faculty Senate set up the task force and how the membership of the committee was selected at the September 1998 Faculty Senate meeting. The impetus for the setting up of the committee was briefly reviewed: the UH Manoa Core was approximately 50% larger than at other Research 1 universities and it was felt that this was a bar to attracting and retaining qualified undergraduate students.

The task force held seven fora between Jan 7th and Feb 9th, 1999. The results of these fora were incorporated into detailed statements formulated by the task force which were then circulated amongst the UH Manoa community. A further four fora were held to obtain feedback on these ideas, which was then used to modify and clarify the language in the proposals. The end results of this process are the recommendations presented to the Congress today. The purpose of the Congress meeting is to debate the issues raised by these proposals before the Faculty Senators who will then vote on the associated resolutions at their November 17th meeting.

At this point a summary of the report and its proposals was presented to the Congress.

4. The first issue to be debated were the proposed general education requirements for Global Perspectives/World History. The task force were divided on this issue and two different proposals were offered as alternatives A and B. The essential difference between the proposals was whether the two required courses should both cover global and Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific cultures and histories (A), or whether they could be covered separately in the two courses with one of the courses being dedicated to Hawaiian Asian and Pacific cultures and histories (B).

5. Members of the audience who had previously signed up to speak on this particular issue were then invited to comment, using the roving microphones.

Kiyoshi Ikeda spoke to the importance of educating students in diversity.

A second speaker argued that it was premature to go to a vote on the reform of the core without any assessment of the impact of the changes, as the proposed changes appeared to involve a watering down of the curriculum. He noted that this trend which had occurred on the mainland some time ago was now being reversed but Hawaii appeared to still be watering down its requirements.

Mamo Kim spoke on behalf of the Graduate Student's Organisation (GSO) and requested a delay in the vote on these proposals as she felt there had not been enough time for student input or discussion of the issues in classrooms, or for input from the Community Colleges. Notwithstanding the GSO felt that alternative B was preferable to alternative A (above) and concern was raised as to whether the Natural Science requirements were sufficient. Further recommendations from GSO included the abolition of the Oral communication requirement and a desire to see the ethics of diversity taught. In addition a series of questions were raised about governance issues.

The next speaker spoke in favour of alternative A as it allowed global issues to be contrasted with local perspective within the same course.

Lance Collins, Vice Chair of the Student Caucus, spoke to the issue of lack of input from community colleges and the effect these changes would have on them. He also spoke in opposition to alternative A.

Eldon Wegner, Chair of the Task Force, spoke in favour of alternative A, saying that only if the global and local perspectives of world history were studied together could a true comparative analysis be developed. He felt that this opportunity would be lost under alternative B.

6. Chair Tiles then moved the discussion to the governance issues associated with any change in the core. She explained that the new boards that would approve the suitability of various courses in meeting the core would be decided by the Faculty Senate and would probably be modelled on the Manoa Writing Board. Bill Lampe, vice-chair of the Faculty Senate's Executive committee (SEC) then explained that setting up these boards would require a change in the by-laws of the Faculty Senate since this would entail the setting up of a new Faculty Senate standing committee. Since such changes must sequentially go through the Faculty Senate's Committee on Administration and Budget (CAB) the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Congress and finally to the President for approval, this process would take some time. In response to a question from the floor concerning how the racial imbalance between the faculty and the students at UH Manoa would be addressed in selecting members for this committee, it was pointed out that since membership of the committee would be determined by the normal Faculty Senate procedure only after the process outlined above had been completed, the answer to this and other questions concerning committee make-up were essentially unknowable at this stage.

Pi'ilani Smith, Chair of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii (ASUH) spoke on behalf of the undergraduate students. ASUH supported alternative B because to them global culture means western culture, in addition she felt that the statistics of the University call into question whether the University supports diversity. ASUH also felt that the reform of the core was being decided too quickly.

7. Chair Tiles then moved the discussion on to the proposed reforms concerning the foreign language requirement. The proposed reform would allow incoming students to gain credit for language proficiency gained at high school (HS) through a placement test administered by the appropriate UH language department. An alternate idea of making language proficiency an entrance requirement had been dropped as insufficient resources were available for language training at the HS level. It was mentioned that at a recent meeting Schools Director P. Le Mahieu had outlined a plan that would increase the availability of second language classes for K-12 students. Thus in the future many more incoming students might gain these credits for language proficiency.

The first speaker thought that competency in science was just as important as competency in language and thought that whether a second language was required should be left up to the Schools.

Ricky Jacobs, Interim Dean of the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, thought that the University as a whole should make the decision about the necessity of a second language, and supported the idea of giving credit for HS foreign language proficiency.

Janice Uchida wanted the language requirement amended, although she thought a second language important, the number of credits required was too great and an impediment to timely graduation of students.

John Haig said that learning a second language helped in understanding diverse viewpoints.

Vanessa Chang said that the study abroad program supported the second language amendment.

Emily Hawkins spoke supporting the idea of a second language.

Steven O'Harrow, handed out written information for Senators. He also stated that the University needed to offer a broad education as well as professional training. He pointed out that if language instruction were confined to HS there would be a loss of Asian language offerings since LLL would have to abolish some language programs.

The CTAHR Faculty Senate chair, Ken Leonhardt stated that in a unanimous resolution his organisation had rejected the mandatory second language requirement but instead supported the concept that Colleges or Schools making their own decision on this issue. They felt that the foreign language credit load prevented students from graduating in 4 years. He also pointed out that in a survey of 80 other Land Grant institutions conducted by another faculty member, it had been found that 29 of the 33 institutes responding did not have a foreign language requirement.

Kainalu Hecomovich, from LLL spoke in favour of the foreign language requirement as a way of developing an understanding of other cultures.

Noenoe Silva said that the new language proposal was better than attempts to phase it out and encouraged students to take heritage languages at UH.

Halina Zaleski stressed that the best place to take a foreign language was in elementary school, such as at an Hawaiian immersion or Japanese language school. She also felt that the language departments should be ashamed for saying that students should be forced to take their classes, in her view they should take these classes because they desired them and found them exciting.

Jean Toyama, teacher of French told how she had been introduced to French through the requirement to take a second language, and that this had affected her subsequent college career. She felt the second language requirement should be kept.

Another speaker said that students taking languages in HS or earlier would be helped toward taking languages at UH.

Another speaker asked whether UH was looking up or down in terms of quality. He contended that elimination of the second language requirement would eviscerate some of the top departments on campus.

A speaker from linguistics stated that it was not useless to start learning language later in life than at HS.

Charlie Weems questioned the fairness of the language departments testing process since students with 2 years of HS language were still being put in the lowest language classes at UH.

An instructor from the Hawaiian language program recounted how he had had no opportunity to learn the Hawaiian language at HS and the mandatory language requirement at UH had provided that opportunity. He felt this happened to a lot of Hawaiian students.

Eldon Wegner then thanked the audience for their participation and introduced the members of the task force who were present.

Chair Tiles adjourned the meeting at 4:31.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Measures