Communicate with the Senate
Remarks by UH President Evan Dobelle
Money / CIP
Branding / Marketing
Average UH Student
Outer Islands' Colleges
Money for Growth
Tuition Waivers / Hawaiian Studies
Loss of Jobs
72 Hour Rule
Pursuit of Resources
Quality of Undergraduate Education
Free Tuition of Faculty Children
Diversification / UH as Economic Driver
Senators who signed in: Hazel Beh, Rhonda Black, Robert Bley-Vroman, Catherine Cavaletto, Paul Chandler, Meda Chesney-Lind, Joanne Cooper, Thomas Craven, Sandy Davis, H Gert DeCouet, Ernestine Enomoto, Charles Fletcher, David Flynn, Michael L Forman, Patricia Fryer, Pamela Fujita- Starck, Donna Fukuda, Jon Goss, Emily Hawkins, Amelia Jenkins, Spancer Leineweber, Wendy Pearson, David Sanders, Frank Sansone, Jane Schoonmaker, Gwen Sinclair, John Stimson, Jean Toyama, and Sylvia Yuen.
It was called to the Secretary's attention that others may have signed the petition on grade change at the door of the auditorium thinking that it was the sign-up sheet.
Sixty-nine others who signed in: Harriet Abe, Tim Slaughter, Nathan Goldstein, John R Loa, Judy Ensing, Gerald Meredith, Ken Tokuno, Peter Tanaka, Clance U Chang, Joanne Clark, Colleen Sathre, Ruth Horie, Martha Crosby, Linda Engleberg, Virginia Tanji, Ralph Moberly, E Anne Felton, Terry Ramos, Erica Chang, Val Mori, Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, Gerard Fryer, J E Tiles, Jason Hollowell, David Ross, Halina Zaleski, Garnett Smith, Robert McHenry, Austin Dias, Thomas Hilgers, Chip Fletcher [cf Charles Fletcher above in Senators list], R D Trimillos, Jim Caron, David Hiple, Joy Marsella, Karen Umemoto, Sharon Minerbi (Luciano?), K O Kane, Barry Baker, David Karl, Amy Schafer, Paulette Feeney, Rahul Chattergy, Margy Ledward, Ann Bayer, Eric Firing, Susan Horowitz, Fred MacKenzie, Vanessa Chong, Barbara Polk, Tom Bopp, Aspy Palia, _________, Rebecca Knuth, Dotty Kelly, William Lampe, John R Smith, K T Yao, Carolyn Brooks-Harris, Gay Garland Reed, Sarita R MacLeod, Joy Logan, Ruth Dawson, Jean ______, Chizuko Allen, _________, C Mamo Kim, Emanuel Drechsel, and Kelly Aune.
Administrators present included, additionally: President Evan Dobelle, Interim Chancellor Deane Neubauer, Interim Vice Chancellor Karl Kim
1. The Congress was called to order by Chair Joanne Cooper at 2:05pm, with people still streaming in to the auditorium.
Professor Cooper presented a second lei to the President and introduced him.
President Dobelle opened by saying it was "nice to be home." He said he hoped that he had represented us well on the trip to Japan and noted that traveling with a group like the Governors' (Cayetano, Waihe'e, Ariyoshi) group provided a special kind of access to community leaders in politics, banking and travel. He mentioned his intention to do more representing that night, at the Kennedy Theater production of Much Ado About Nothing. He said that his administration was still morphing and that he hoped to attain what he called a "flat bureaucracy". He mentioned the notion that he was still engaged in what might prove to have been structural reaction to what was really a personnel problem, but that he hoped to be reactive to real needs. He noted that he was working regularly with the Faculty Senate which he presumed represents the faculty. He said that Manoa is "an extraordinary institution", one of the great Carnegie I institutions. Then he noted the UH System.
That brought him to talk of the future, and he said that no matter what happened with buildings in the future, buildings were not a key indicator of a great faculty. He pointed to new negotiations and focused attention on faculty salaries. He stated that it was his goal to raise faculty salaries from the present twentieth percentile to the fiftieth-to-eightieth percentile in the next four-to-seven years. After applause, he said that he aimed as well to pay a living wage to support staff (and was applauded again).
Then he mentioned the PriceWaterhouse audit, to be concluded in December. He said a major goal of his administration was to reduce non-instructional costs. He said we have to build coalition, so that UH will not be permitted to be perceived as just another interest group. He mentioned a need and a goal being to add more faculty, and not to just be dealing with adjunct faculty. He posed himself the challenge that how many new faculty were added would be taken as a test of his administration.
Then he talked about potentially $300 million from the state. He talked about CIP (capital improvements), mentioning 150 million for the health and wellness complex. He explained that the selection of the Kaka'ako site came in part from work of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. He talked about further monetary matters, including $27 million in deferred maintenance. There is also an appeal for $70 million to extend the Kennedy Theater complex for a film school, and for information technology, but because of recent events, President Dobelle said that request may have to be deferred.
Foundations were the next topic. We do not have, said President Dobelle, a good set of priorities. He said he had never found anywhere else a situation like that he has found here, 106 separate foundations at the University. He said that at present he had no vote on any of these; "But," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "I will!"
He stressed the need to set some priorities, saying he would sit with faculty to develop these. He asked for guidance in this, wanting to know what the faculty's priorities are.
He said he wanted to stop the zero-sum game and come to a point where we have a system in which the parts are responsive to each other. That led to talk about the system accreditation, now targeted at January of 2003.
Branding and marketing were his next topic. He said he wanted all participants to feel "validated". In this context he mentioned his own experiences, taking higher degrees from the greatest of educational institutions but also working in community colleges where some felt stigmatized by that name. He mentioned one small unit, Diablo Valley College, in the CCSF system over which he had presided, where this one small unit generated at one point 54% of the PhiBetaKappas at UC Berkeley.
He mentioned the importance of our articulation agreements. This led to presentation of his view on the development of West O'ahu as a part of the system. He spoke of a lack of understanding, and focused his following remarks on population growth patterns. O'ahu growth is 4.8% of state growth; there, 75% of that growth is west of Aloha Stadium. He noted further that Hilo and Maui are experiencing 25% growth. He repeated his view that the development of West O'ahu would allow UHM to become the Chapel Hill or the Austin or the Berkeley of the state system.
He noted that the average of a student at UHM is now 27 years of age, and that 90% of UHM students work in addition to studying.
Dormitory development was the next topic. He said that a powerful R1 university needed a much bigger dormitory complex. He noted that undergraduate instruction had been significantly hurt by budget cuts. He noted the commuter dimensions of the undergraduate body and suggested that the changes he was proposing would lead to a reduction of traffic on H1, would allow older, married, with-children, working students their pursuit of transitional education, leaving the role of transformational educational development to Manoa. He said a goal would be to develop 5,000 to 10,000 new dormitory rooms in the corridor up from King and University. He said that West O'ahu development "allows us to become great."
He talked about Maui, Hilo and Kauai "to a degree" being capable of becoming like small regional colleges, in some cases offering the occasional master's degree. The community colleges would be feeder institutions. He asked the faculty if they were aware that at present it was possible to attain a four-year degree from Manoa without leaving Kaua'i..
Where would the money for all this come from? From privatization, was one answer. He said we need to develop a much better marketing program for the University as well. He noted that Honolulu is now the eleventh-largest of American cities, and he criticized the marketing approach which at present has views panning the valley of Manoa and Waikiki with Diamond Head, but nothing more. He felt that contemporary students are attracted to city life, and the new marketing approach ought to attend more to the attractions of the city.
We must respect the reality of the growth patterns. We must understand the needs of a transitional sort for students.
He said that in his first three months here he had gotten more publicity that in his previous thirty years. He noted the sophistication of this place and said that he was coming to realize that local news is front page news.
Then he talked about information from the poll he has recently commissioned. He reported that in this poll the population of Hawai'i declared a 78% support for higher education, 61% agreed that it was underfunded, 69% island-wide. Do you believe that UH can be world class, they were asked, and 74% said yes.
On the strike in the Spring, he cited a lack of validation for the faculty, and insufficient pay. He said he believed in open administration, claiming success in previous positions while doing so. He criticized the previous administration in this respect. He said his administration was about faculty, not about appropriating power from faculty, but to facilitate the work of faculty, to raise resources, to build coalitions. His task here is a great opportunity. His goal was to develop conversations among the faculty in which we would take a fresh look at what we wanted to be.
He said that he aimed to make use of his moral authority, citing his proposal on tuition waivers for those put out of work by the events of September 11. He said this could be paid for with savings from reduction in non-instructional costs. He re-iterated his commitment to funding of Hawaiian studies.
At 2:35 he took a note from Interim Chancellor Neubauer, correcting a fiscal figure: the University had received $57 million in the last few years.
President Dobelle said that stress was for him a calming situation -- that he was a bad vacation companion. He said that this position as President of the UH System was a privilege for him and his last stop, that he intended to be a resident of Hawai'i forever.
The first question from the audience concerned the credibility of the promise to raise faculty salaries.
President Dobelle's reply focuses on new autonomy for the university and on his intention to cut non-instructional spending. He declared that in the past year both the governor and the union had been mislead as to available funds by the previous administration.
A second question focused on loss of jobs in the community and on discussions about five or ten percent cuts. President Dobelle replied with remarks about the hurricane fund, rainy day funds, and said that there were funds sufficient to sustain us. He acknowledged that lay-offs had been significant, expressing the hope that they would not be permanent. Again he said that he would cut only non-instructional spending, keeping academic programs. Everything, today, he said, was in reaction to the events of September 11. If something else like that were to happen, he had no idea what the impact would be. He felt that his offer of tuition waivers was an example of support of our fellow citizens which the university must be concerned to do.
Thomas Hilgers asked about a sense of futility among faculty at the matter of strategic planning. We have been asked repeatedly to participate in planning, yet find our efforts shelved and ignored. Why should we participate yet again?
Here President Dobelle told his story about his friend Steven Trakenberg (sp??), now the president of George Washington University. On the short list of candidates for that presidency, he was asked by faculty there to tell them why he should be selected over another candidate who was very much more the academician and scholar than they perceived him to be. Yes, replied ST, if it is a distinguished academic you want for your president, you really should select him. But -- he paused -- you would do well to select me if what you want is a raise! (considerable laughter followed)
Then the president declared his 72-hour rule: if you asked him something he did not have the answer for, he would get back to you within 72 hours. He wanted problems to be addressed within that time frame. He talked about having lunch with Interim Chancellor Neubauer and students and receiving complaints about the condition of dormitory bathrooms and about the lack of pool tables. That was dealt with inside the 72 hour frame. Dobelle acknowledged he was not good at long meetings. One has to make meetings work for you, he said.
The question of plus and minus grades (he acknowledged the group collecting signatures outside, saying he had signed the petition) was a matter that rightly should come from faculty.
He lamented the present situation with one counselor per student, and noted the current firty-five percent attrition rate of undergraduate students.
He announced his intention to teach a course (on literature in cities) next semester.
He described himself as "time urgent" and as "adverse to risk". He urged the faculty to think of themselves as potentially a powerful influence in Hawai'i, even if frustrated.
Mamo Kim asked about the search for a permanent chancellor. He said he was asking the faculty to give him the criteria for the search. He said he had never been failed by a faculty which was empowered. He asked Interim Chancellor Neubauer about the plans; DN replied that the goal was to have this done by May.
President Dobelle returned to the pursuit of the resources necessary to do what we know how to do. Michigan and Chapel Hill came up again as models. He said that asking dead people for money was a tough way to do it. He cautioned that faculty need to have developed plans if they are to ask for money and expect to receive it. Do you know what you are doing? Do you know who you are serving? These are questions faculty must expect to be asked, and they must have the answers to them.
Joy Marsella asked about the quality of the undergraduate program. This is a neglected matter, she said, in part because there is no single person accountable. There is a lack of coordination.
President Dobelle said, yes, this is a concern. He said he agreed with the concept of a dean for undergraduate instruction, personally. He linked this to, perhaps, requirements in the criteria to be set for the new chancellor. He talked about open admissions. Other universities mentioned as possible models were Athens, Amherst, Gainsville. He stated strongly his belief that the best way to deal with problems in education was to fix the public education system, from K-12 and indeed even to address the needs of pre-K. 92% of UH students are from Hawai'i. What can we do to be a help?
He said UH is an institution that deserves to be a first choice for students entering college. He talked about a chain of upward movement: Trinity to Williams (associating his dad with that school) to Duke to Stanford to Yale to Harvard to Oxford to Cambridge -- and then he noted that at Cambridge they didn't talk about anybody else, so that must be the place to be. He urged the faculty to "understand how good you are". Here he mentioned "polycultural society" as a part of our strength.
Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa said that he was right in saying that we faculty are underpaid; can he help by, for example, making it possible for faculty to send their children to study here free of tuition payments? Dobelle answered that this was a proposal that ought to come forward from the faculty. He mentioned trying to make it work, addressing matters such as the IRS and the possibility that this might be a taxed benefit. He said that it ought to be a privilege of support staff as well as for faculty, if it should come to be. He mentioned that it would probably be a part of the pay package.
He mentioned that he had another meeting to attend at 3:30; this concerned with domestic partners and benefits for them. He expressed his view that not to do so was "unconscionable" in this day and age.
John Cox asked about improvements in the short term, before any West O'ahu developments. Parking unfriendliness was one example.
President Dobelle's reply focused on making things happen financially. Autonomy has changed our circumstances and the possiblities for us to act. He mentioned ramping up the changes. Hawaii Hall was mentioned. He talked then about private partnerships with the university. He mentioned meeting with hotel owners in Japan and said that we might take out leases on hotel rooms. He expressed his intention to have tangible things to show the faculty "by November".
A final question concerned the possibilities for the future especially regarding diversification of the local economy. President Dobelle said that the first thing we should be thinking about was how to be a bigger and better university. He emphasized the multiplier effect that such development would have. He talked about UH being a one-billion business in the next few years. He talked about the Maui Supercomputer as an opportunity. He mentioned his own secret clearance, disparaging himself by saying that he didn't know why he needed it, given that he wouldn't understand anything well enough to transmit the information to anyone.
He said he did not present things with any "spin" on them. The Maui facility was what made him talk about Silicon Island.
Returning to dorm rooms, he said that he thought about students as "permanent tourists"
In conclusion he said that he intended for his administration to be characterized as being imaginative and being quick.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:07.
Designed by David Flynn
Social Sciences/Business Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Maintained by Robert Valliant, SHAPS,
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