Minutes & Agendas
University of Hawai'i at Manoa Faculty Congress, August 16, 2000
George Hall 227
- Discussion of Waiver Policy for Hawaiian/Second
Language Graduation Requirement
20 Senators were present:
Barry John Baker, Hazel Beh, Horst Brandes, John Cox, Sandy Davis, Ernestine Enomoto, Michael Forman, Richard Frankel, Pamela Fujita-Starck, Donna Fukuda, Emily Hawkins, Karen Jolly, Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, William Lampe, Susan Miyasaka, Joe O'Mealy, Robert Paull, Wendy Pearson, Teresita Ramos, and Joel Weiner.
3 Senators were excused:
Joanne Cooper, Manfred Henningsen, and Charles Weems.
48 Senators were absent:
Iqbal Ahmed, Belinda Aquino, Elaine Bailey, Kent Bridges, Craig Chaudron, Meda Chesney-Lind, Jerome Comcowich, Robert Cooney, Thomas Craven, Martha Crosby, James Dator, Marilyn Dunlap, Carl Evensen, Andrea Feeser, David Flynn, Richard Frankel, Patricia Fryer, Michael Garcia, Carolyn Gotay, William Haning, John Hardman, Robert Joseph, Nanette Judd, Peter Kim, Irvin King, Laurence Kolonel, Ed Laws, Bruce Liebert, Glenn Man, Joy Marsella, James Marsh, John Melish, Ralph Moberly, Jane Moulin, Charles Mueller, Philip Rehbock, John Rieder, Gerard Russo, David Sanders, Francis Sansone, Gwen Sinclair, Brent Sipes, Martha Staff, John Stimson, Frank Walton, Kelley Withy, Ming-Bao Yue, and Sylvia Yuen.
2 Administrators were present:
Barbara Polk and Ken Tokuno
10 others signed in:
James Brown, Lance Collins, Mary Tiles, Jim Tiles, Austin Dias, Esther Rodrigo, Luz Marina Barnard, Heather Nylen, and Luisa Kou.
Chair Barry John Baker opened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
1. The minutes of the Faculty Congress meeting held April 26, 2000 were approved by voice vote, with one abstention.
2. Chair Baker explained that at the April 12, 2000 meeting of the Manoa Faculty Senate, a motion proposing amendment to the University's waiver policy for the Hawaiian/Second Language graduation requirement was passed by a vote of 28 votes in favor, 20 votes against and 0 abstentions.
According to Senate by-laws, as a result of a subsequent petition requesting this larger vote, this matter will now be referred to written vote by the entire UH Manoa Faculty Congress. The purpose of today's meeting is to provide opportunity for discussion of the waiver policy amendment.
3. Joe O'Mealy reported that people both for and against the waiver policy amendment met together during the summer to discuss a compromise solution more acceptable to both sides. The following principles were affirmed:
1) UH Manoa should have a language waiver procedure.
2) As an academic matter, governance for the language waiver should reside with the faculty, not the UH Manoa administration or the BOR
3) The resolution passed by the Senate contains flawed language, specifically in use of the word "consult" regarding a school or college's interaction with the Faculty Senate's General Education Committee in determining approval for a waiver.
4. O'Mealy also said the committee felt the ten "grounds for waivers" listed in the resolution to be excessively broad and at times unfocused ("accreditation limits, demonstrated impact on enrollment, peer institution comparisons, outside evaluation of program outcomes, alumni survey of relevancy and value, inappropriateness to a program or major's goals and needs, enhancing the ability of students to complete their program in four years, course scheduling conflicts that prevent a student from completing the requirement in the first two years at UH Manoa, conflict with School or College Program requirements, or other legitimate curriculum concerns".) He expressed the view that this resolution should be voted down and that a different one, requiring General Education Committee approval for a waiver, be introduced at a later Fall Semester 2000 meeting of the Manoa Faculty Senate.
5. Bill Lampe stated that no matter the outcome of the current vote, a language waiver policy presently exists and will continue to do so. If the current vote is "no," the existing UH Manoa policy, with language waiver granting authority remaining with the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor/Senior Vice President, remains in place.
5. Robert Paull made a case for voting for the resolution. His view was that UH Manoa as a land grant university, not a liberal arts institution, was created to educate the "common man," with original prominence given to agriculture and education. UH Manoa, he said, is the exception among land grant institutions, one of few with a second language graduation requirement for BS students as well as BA students. He noted that there was great support for a language waiver policy in 1986, with the Manoa Faculty Senate, by a vote of 32 yes's, 2 no's, and 2 abstentions giving the UH Manoa Administration power to grant the waiver. The language requirement, Paull asserted, unbalances the general education requirements, with students taking 64% humanities courses, 13% social sciences, and only 23% natural sciences courses. The motion/resolution, he said, requires two levels of approval for the waiver, first a 2/3 vote of the faculty senate or faculty of the school or college seeking the waiver, followed by consultation with the General Education Committee. If the latter feels the waiver is inappropriate, it can bring a motion to the floor of the Senate.
5. Karen Jolly suggested that Paull's remarks were not relevant, as the Congress is not voting on the second language graduation requirement per se, but on the governance of the language waiver policy.
As a participant in the discussions mentioned (in 3 above) by Joe O'Mealy, she advocated that the body governing the UH Manoa core, the General Education Committee, not an individual college or school, should administer the language waiver policy.
6. Emily Hawkins said that the faculty in the Department of Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific languages had discussed the matter on August 15, and felt that those who put forward the waiver policy were trying to avoid compliance with the new general education core and graduation requirements recently passed by the Senate, that included a second language requirement. Many professional schools, she felt, might still want their students to have second language capability, and may be hopeful that students received it in high school. Finally, she felt that easy waiver of the second language requirement would diminish the uniqueness of UH Manoa.
7. Lance Collins of the GSO stated that he believes that there should be no waiver to the second language graduation requirement and addressed two concerns he had about the resolution:
1) Senate Governance: Compliance with this university-wide graduation requirement should not be a decision made by an individual school or college as the motion/resolution removes the power from the Senate and gives it to individual schools and colleges in an uneven way.
2) Language and critical thinking: Collins asserted that the possibility of a language waiver diminishes respect for studying a second language, that is important to him in gaining perspective and critical thinking. He went on to say that if a school chooses to waive the second language graduation requirement, its students will be deprived, perpetuating plantation/colonial mentality, and depriving people of the ability to govern themselves.
8. Austin Dias suggested that the waiver policy sets a dangerous precedent and potentially opens a "Pandora's Box;" he suggested that if part of the general education and graduation requirements could be waived, then why could not waivers be suggested for other parts of the general education core such as the requirement for writing-intensive courses.
9. Merle Kataoka-Yahiro stated that professional schools have different objectives and educational goals (than the liberal arts). She believed that cultural competency is an important, integral part of the training of nurses and dental hygienists, for example, but there are other ways of gaining cultural competency in a clinical setting rather than sitting in a language classroom.
10. Susan Miyasaka noted that the language requirement is a topic discussed with much passion here among graduate students and faculty. She stated that she took only one semester of language as an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She did not agree with Collins that critical thinking is dependent on language or cultural sensitivity. The opportunity for individual schools to opt out of the requirement was parallel, she felt, to states rights or to minority rights.
11. The question was raised whether the Congress vote could wait until O'Mealy's committee brings a new proposal forward. Robert Paull said that if this resolution is voted down the issue couldn't be raised again until a reasonable period of time has elapsed, unless rules of parliamentary procedure are suspended. He acknowledged, however, that the necessary 2/3's vote to suspend the rules might be obtained from those desiring a compromise proposal.
12. Paull again questioned whether all 15 schools and colleges, with 88 majors and a diversity of student needs and program goals, needed two years of a second language.
13. Bill Lampe reminded the group that the discussion was not about the second language requirement or language waiver policy, but about a procedure which was flawed, a procedure which would strip power from the Senate. He urged all to vote against the resolution, to permit a new resolution to be sponsored. Lampe suggested that a "no" vote would strengthen the push for a compromise policy, since neither side wants the current policy, while a "yes" vote would weaken the compromise effort, since one side would already have what it wants.
14. Joe O'Mealy said that some persons ask why not pass the current resolution, then amend it later.
He believes that faculty are weary of this issue and that if power to waive the requirement remains with the UH Manoa Administration, there will be more impetus to pass a more appropriate policy at a later date.
15. Lance Collins stated that he thinks the situation is analogous to the federal government's needing to impose civil rights on the states because the states were not supporting the rights of minorities.
16. Chair Baker announced that printed ballots would be distributed to all members of the Congress, with a deadline of Wednesday, August 30, 2000, at 4:30 p.m. to be received in the Faculty Senate Office (Bachman Annex 9E. There being no further questions, the meeting was adjourned at 3:58 p.m.
Sandy Davis Acting Secretary