Minutes & Agendas
University of Hawai'i at Manoa Faculty Congress, November 15, 2000
- State of the University at Manoa
- Edwin Cadman, Dean, JABSOM
- H. Mitchell D'Olier
- Allison Kay, emeritus
- Mamo Kim, GSO
- Ara Mehta, alumni
- Barry Raleigh, dean SOEST
- Questions & Answers
23 Senators were present:
Belinda Aquino, Barry Baker, Bob Cooney, John Cox, Tom Craven, Sandy Davis, Ernestine Enomoto, Carl Evensen, Andrea Feeser, David Flynn, Michael Forman, Donna Fukuda, Carolyn Gotay, Manfred Henningsen, Karen Jolly, Irvin King, Bruce Liebert, Ralph Moberly, Gerard Russo, Brent Sipes, Charles Weems, Joel Weiner, and Sylvia Yuen.
4 Senators were excused:
Joanne Cooper, James Dator, Nanette Judd, and Frank Walton.
40 Senators were absent:
Iqbal Ahmed, Michael Antal, Elaine Bailey, Hazel Beh, Horst Brandes, Kent Bridges, Craig Chaudron, Meda Chesney-Lind, Jerome Comcowich, Martha Crosby, Marilyn Dunlap, Andrea Feeser, Richard Frankel, Pamela Fujita-Stark, Michael Garcia, William Haning, John Hardman, Emily Hawkins, Robert Joseph, Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, Peter Kim, Laurence Kolonel, Ed Laws, Glenn Man, Joy Marsella, James Marsh, John Melish, Susan Miyasaka, Jane Moulin, Charles Mueller, Robert Paull, Wendy Pearson, Teresita Ramos, Philip Rehbock, John Rieder, David Sanders, Francis Sansone, Gwen Sinclair, Martha Staff, John Stimson, Kelley Withy, and Ming-Bao Yue.
4 Administrators were present:
Tom Bopp, Judith Inazu, Barbara Polk, and Ken Tokuno.
37 others were present:
Walter Patrick, Aaron Miwa, Tim Slaughter, Veronica Kapeli, Emanuel Drechsel, Chris Allday, Wayne Smith, Catherine Cavaletto, Lance Collins, Sophia McMillin, James Cartwright, Pauline Sheldon, Stephen Martel, Mike Mottl, Eric Firing, Fred Harris, Michael Jones, Ian Cooke, K. Moore, Art King, Jeannie Oka, Agnes Fok, Kim Nishigaya, George Wilkens, Dale Myers, Janice Uchida, Ruth Hsu, Kazutoshi Najita, Alex Malahoff, Ric Trimillos, Jim Tiles, Mary Tiles, Steve O'Harrow, Amy Vena, Rosemarie Woodruff, Chian Chia, and James Cowen.
Chair Barry John Baker opened the meeting at 3:00 p.m. and introduced the six invited speakers, Dean Edwin Cadman, H. Mitchell D'Olier, E. Alison Kay, C. Mamo Kim, Arapata Meha, and Dean Barry Raleigh, to address the Congress on the topic The State of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Opportunity for presenters to question each other, followed by questions/comments from the floor, followed the presentations.
Edwin Cadman, Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine, has been at UHM for one year, following 13 years at Yale and four years at UCSF. He accepted the UHM position because he sees the possibility of its medical school attracting world class faculty and researchers. Although more research space is needed, the previous disadvantages of Hawaii's isolation have been alleviated by using the internet and teleconferencing. With so many current changes-the Manoa campus is being reorganized, a new president is being hired, and the state's economy is beginning to recover--there is immense opportunity to reinvent UH. It is also an opportune time to cooperate with state enterprises in taking advantage of our ties to Asia.
Mitchell D'Olier has spent 28 years in Hawai'i and opened his address by quoting Dickens as he sees the present as "the best of times, the worst of times". Among the positives are the 72% vote for the university's autonomy--a public mandate of support, more private funds than ever before, and many centers of academic excellence among the UHM schools and departments, mentioning in particular: astronomy, earth and ocean sciences, physics, and "perhaps medicine".
The "worst of times" is suggested by our accreditation crisis. The UH president has to report to too many factions-the legislature, governor, Regents, and faculty, but all factions need to confirm the leadership and management authority of the next president. The quality of undergraduate education here is very important to the employees of local businesses-the business community reviews of UH graduates are not bad but they are mixed. The state administration needs to better support the DOE as well as UH-the cuts have caused suffering across the board. There is also a disconnect between the faculty and community that we need to work actively to bridge-one major community concern is the perception of faculty privilege in being unionized/having tenure/and having significant benefits-any two of these might be acceptable, but probably not all three.
D'Olier addressed what he believes the University must do:
1) Embrace the mandate for autonomy
2) Empower the next leader
3) Work to bridge the gap with the community
4) Learn to live with less (as are universities nationwide)-develop non-state funding
Allison Kay, emeritus professor, suggested that the bottom line is the deep divisions among faculty, administration, and students. She contrasted this with past times, such as her graduate student days in the early 50's when at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. faculty, staff, and students met for coffee. Later in that decade, when she became a new faculty member, all members of the university community could still communicate face- to-face-but UHM is now huge, and it's much more difficult, despite the advantages of email. She sees increasing faculty alienation from students, administration, and from each other (for example in the low turnout for this panel). Almost 2/3 of present faculty openings are for researchers who do not teach. She noted that "today's professors are specialists, not intellectuals."
Mamo Kim observed that students are paying more for less--in the library, equipment, and faculty. UHM ranking has dropped from the 1st to 3rd tier in US News and World Report Guide to Colleges and Universities. Faculty pay is in the lower 20th percentile nationwide; and faculty demoralization affects students with faculty and students not respecting each other. The university is not prestigious, with no thinking "outside the box," not open and inclusive, but partisan. Administrators just gave themselves a 7% pay raise. Although the governor has had a large part in dismantling the university, the president hasn't take his responsibilities as president seriously, but has acted as a member of the governor's cabinet. We have another year and a half of a governor who says, "let them eat books!" and the new president may be "same old, same old."
Because this university is a political entity of five factions--the BOR, administration, faculty, students, and community (both inside and outside)--it is not surprising that there will always be a power struggle. Although tension is healthy for energy and creativity, it is only productive if there is a balance of factions and no one consistently dominates. Here, there is no balance-the pecking order is governor, legislature, regents, administration and the faculty have no recourse. The WASC report showed BOR policy to be flawed; if it is clearly delineated, there is a way for all parties to negotiate differences ahead of time, free of political constraints.
Ara Mehta did graduate work at UHM, studied three years in California, then returned to become Associate Dean of Admissions at BYU-Hawaii and to pursue his doctorate at UHM. In surveying UHM alumni for a research paper, he did not discern a strong sense of support for their alma mater. Mehta suggested that the UH system is less than the sum of its parts. The enrollment management goal at BYU- Hawaii is a mix that represents a balance of mainland and Pacific island students. BYU-Hawaii has signed an agreement with the UH community colleges to articulate their AA degree into BYU-Hawaii's graduation requirements.
Barry Raleigh, dean of SOEST, said UH's increased autonomy is inverse to the amount of money provided by the legislature. There is not enough money now to maintain quality and won't be for a long time. Although private giving is growing, it is still only 1-2%, and we receive little in royalties. We also can't raise tuition if our quality is not seen as improved. Because research funds are 75-80% of SOEST budget, the cuts haven't done as much damage as to other academic programs. There is an appearance of paralysis, with ad hoc decisions being made. Decisions are not collegial. The Strategic Plan doesn't talk about money-it says we want to be at Point B, but not how to get there. The lack of a plan leaves us at the mercy of political whims. It requires the best minds of faculty to make an effective plan. Hopefully faculty morale will improve with a change of leadership and their increased involvement in planning and decision making.
Charles Weems questioned D'Olier's reference to community concern with union/tenure/benefits and asked which should be taken away and with what justification? D'Olier responded that this wasn't his personal viewpoint but his perception of that of the community. He suggested that dialog should be held regarding the necessity of all three as others in the community don't have them.
Steve O'Harrow argued that effectively all state employees have all three. He agreed with Raleigh's recognition of the unavailability of public funds for the university in Hawaii and suggested that if we must go outside the state for funding, we therefore need to be relevant not only to the state but to the rest of the country to attract funds. Raleigh responded that he doesn't think state funding will decline further as long as we serve the youth of Hawaii. UHM is ranked quite high in federal funding at #54. Private funding tends to be local and therefore more limited; so we must get smaller to maintain quality. D'Olier noted that local funding can attract national funding and that faculty should be more aware of these resources.
Mike Mottl suggested that lack of leadership during the time of major funding cuts was a significant problem, and asked whether we can assume that we will get a better president. Kim noted that 40 million was cut from the UHM budget when a like amount was given to tourism. She noted that the local population is seriously concerned about the university's finances as demonstrated in the large number of demonstrators against the tuition increase, including hundreds of drivers honking. She feels that the presidential search is tainted because all the community representatives are from business, none from education, health, etc. The appointment of the student representative to the Presidential Search Advisory Committee was problematic. She suggested that we need to let the new president take direction from us.
Kay noted that she was on the presidential search committee when Dr. Albert J. Simone was hired and that the BOR's first choice declined the position. Rather than again consult with the search committee, the BOR proceeded to offer the position to Simone.
Lance Collins noted that a "corporation model for the university," stressing vertical power and hierarchy, was implicit in the presentations. He feels this is not appropriate in a parallel way that an entrepreneurial model is not appropriate in the health field. He approves a model of students as a field to be cultivated, faculty as farmers. D'Olier agreed that a corporate model doesn't work for education, but does not agree that such was presented here. In education, quality of thought and insight should be rewarded, competitive discovery, versus "across the board" budget cuts.
Ruth Hsu suggested that the issue of community concern regarding faculty tenure probably implies other issues that community have with faculty. She found the makeup of today's panel interesting -- it was good to have business take an interest in the university. She would like to see more dialog representing humanities and social sciences-not just science and research. There is a need to serve multiple constituents to produce well-rounded, future leaders. We need the courage to say that what we have here isn't working economically. Hard decisions need to be made to lead the state out of its depression and injustices. What is the leadership on this campus? How do you define community? She noted that students are not just the future workers of the state, but more importantly the future thinkers of the state.
D'Olier agreed on the great need for dialog with the community, especially on tenure. Mike Mottl commented that nothing would do more damage to the university than eliminating tenure-we couldn't compete with mainland universities in hiring faculty. Kim agreed with that. But sometimes dissidents are censured even if they are good teachers, and bad teachers are often protected by their tenure. She felt that tenure and post-tenure review need to be re-evaluated, especially in terms of how to deal with bad teachers.
Alex Malahoff asked what we could do to increase the respect of the business community for our faculty (as at the University of California, Berkeley). D'Olier responded with the need to reconnect communication. Raleigh said that university leadership needs to send the best faculty out into the community to speak, which will bring respect to the university and its faculty.
John Cox offered the last comment and suggested to D'Olier that the realities of the university can be seen beyond Bachman Hall. He defended the concept of tenure and its necessity in protecting the right to individual thought for faculty.
The Congress adjourned at 4:50PM
Sandy Davis Acting Congress and Senate Secretary