Communicate with the Senate
WASC Special Visit Update
Adoption of the January 22, 2003 Minutes
Resolution Relating to Teaching Assistant Training
Law Classroom 2
Thirty--nine senators were present and signed in:
Paul Adams, Roger Babcock, Andrea Bartlett, Douglas Bomberger, Ronald Bontekoe, Rebecca Cann, Glenn Cannon, James Caron, Catherine Cavaletto, Rosita Chang, Joel Cohn, Martha Crosby, Eric DeCarlo, H. Gert DeCouet, Linda Duckworth, John Engel, David Flynn, Michael Forman, Patsy Fujimoto, Robert Grace, Susan Johnson, Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, Christine Kirk-Kuwaye, Roberta Lamb, Karen Lee, Spencer Leineweber, Matt McGranaghan, Luciano Minerbi, Jeanne Oka, Marvin Ortel, Joan Peters, Michael Salzman, Jane Schoonmaker, Wayne Smith, David Stegenga, Mary Tiles, Robert Valliant, Lynne Wilkens, and Lesley Wright.
Ten senators were excused:
Harriet Abe, Denise Antolini, Cristina Bacchilega, Rhonda Black, Meda Chesney-Lind, Damon Sakai, Frank Sansone, Brent Sipes, Charles Weems, and Kelley Withy.
Twenty--one senators were absent:
Robert Bley-Vroman, G.D. Bryant-Greenwood, James Cowen, Katalin Csiszar, Patricia Fryer, Tony Guerrero, Amelia Jenkins, Kenton Kramer, Stacey Marlow, John Melish, Marian Melish, Neal Milner, Robert Paull, Brian Popp, David Sanders, Irwin Schatz, Richard Schmidt, Dan Spears, Elizabeth Tam, Christine Yano, and Helina Zaleski.
The following other signed--in:
Karl Kim, Denise Konan, Myrtle Yamada, Helene Sokugawa, Sandy Davis, Tom Bopp, and Ken Tokuno.
Chair Michael Forman called the meeting to order at 3:05pm. Noting the lack of a quorum at the designated starting time, Chair Forman set aside discussion of the January 22, 2003 minutes.
Chair Forman presented his Chair's Report, focusing primarily on the twenty or so meetings attended on behalf of the Senate. Just prior to the rundown of meetings, however, Chair Forman noted that faculty governance does not come easy. Recognizing the many other demands on our professional lives, he acknowledged the dedication required to perform the duties of a Senator and thanked us all again for attending. Chair Forman also welcomed Senator Jim Caron, attending for the first time as the replacement for another Senator who could no longer serve and was recently required to resign.
The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) met three times since the last Senate meeting.
The SEC met twice with Chancellor Englert (1/29 and 2/5).
Chair Forman attended meetings of the Manoa Management Executive and the Manoa Management Team (also referred to as the Manoa Leadership Team).
Along with other SEC members, Chair Forman met with four candidates for Dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law. It was noted that the SEC will also meet with candidates for Dean of the School of Nursing.
Chair Forman attended three meetings involving the NCAA Accrediation team visit.
On February 7, there was a meeting of the chairs of the different Manoa senates. Two proposals were brought to the SEC from this meeting. The first proposal recommended the sharing of SEC minutes with the other Manoa senate chairs. This was adopted by the SEC and will begin with the next approved SEC minutes. The second proposal called for all Manoa senate chairs to become members automatically of the Manoa Faculty Senate. This would require a change in the Senate bylaws and is being looked into further.
Meetings were held on February 12 and 15 regarding articulation for foundations courses of General Education. These meetings were reported to be very productive. Further, where recommendations could not be agreed upon at the time, it was understood that recommendations would not be adopted before additional work by the system faculty.
Chair Forman was also called upon twice to re-iterate points made at the January meeting regarding Chancellor Englert's position on budget restrictions. He also attended a meeting of the Task Force on Native Hawaiian Tuition Waivers and presented to a class in the College of Education on the topic of faculty governance.
Following the Chair's report, a check for quorum revealed that we were still shy by a few senators. Business was set aside again and the agenda was rearranged.
Interim Vice Chancellor Karl Kim and Assistant Vice Chancellor Denise Konan were introduced.
The WASC special visit is scheduled for March 19-21 and the evaluation team will be on campus for one full day and two half days.
Karl Kim noted that the full special visit report along with all relevant supporting documents can be reviewed on the University's web site. Kim reminded Senators that the special visit is a follow-up on the 1999 Commission Report that focused on five areas of concern - leadership, governance, planning, communication, and assessment. Noted also were ways that UHM will demonstrate how we have made significant improvements in each of the five areas. For example, there is new leadership at the system and campus levels; improvements (and a lot of hard work) in faculty governance have led to the adoption of new General Education requirements; strategic plans for the campus and the system were developed and approved; new approaches for strengthening consultation by administration have led to the formation of new leadership groups and regular meetings with the SEC, GSO, and other campus bodies; and, as noted by Denise Konan, work on assessment has been ongoing at different levels and has been compiled and made available at the WASC Accreditation web site.
Karl Kim remarked, "It has been like trying to hit a moving target." This is due to a revised WASC handbook with new requirements since the 1999 report and our own attempts to address both the 1999 Commission Report and the new requirements at the same time. On the WASC visit website, a table has been developed for cross-referencing these changes. Though we only needed to address the five areas outlined in 1999, our approach has been as if this were a full visit. This is to demonstrate the University's commitment to addressing the 1999 recommendations and working with the new requirements to build a culture of evidence that sh ows we are becoming a "self- learning" institution.
Karl Kim thanked those faculty who contributed reflective essays and other work on the portfolio, and encouraged Senators again to review the web site and make comments via email.
Senator Matt McGranaghan asked if there will be any open sessions with the WASC team?
Karl Kim answered that open sessions are not typically called for and WASC did not request any. Denise Konan added that the meetings are being arranged around the five issues and the University is putting people that can address those issues at the table with the WASC evaluation team.
Senator McGranaghan remarked that our approach seems to be one of demonstrating what we've done in those areas and asked if we've followed with any evaluation? Karl Kim responded that the WASC evaluation team will be doing just that.
Senator Ron Bontekoe asked if years of budget cuts, and those more recently announced by the Governor, were understood by WASC? Also, is this information built into the report?
Karl Kim answered that this is a common tactic by institutions, but, for us, it is more about how we are responding to cuts. Regarding the most recently announced cuts, Kim added that many visits and negotiations with the legislature enabled us to get the cuts reduced. He explained that the cuts were originally based on all non-instructional activities. However, after testimony that these cuts would impact electricity, safety, etc., and thus could not be separated exclusively from impacting instruction, it appears that the cuts have been tempered a bit.
Karl Kim and Denise Konan ended their presentation and turned the floor back over to Chair Forman. Another check on the status of a quorum indicated that we had indeed reached the required attendance for conducting business.
Chair Forman asked senators to review the minutes of January 22, 2003 and called for any corrections. Hearing none, the minutes were approved with 35 votes in favor and one abstention.
5. Committee Reports followed from the Senate's standing committees:
Senator Roger Babcock presented the resolution for CAPP.
Providing for a little background, Senator Babcock explained that the proposal was originally submitted to Chancellor Englert by the Graduate Division. The proposal calls for mandatory attendance to a two-day session for all teaching assistants. No international students would be exempt. However, others who have demonstrated significant prior experience could qualify for an exemption. The original document also states in several places that there will be lots of opportunity for consultation in the development and the training will be specific to departments.
Senator Wayne Smith asked for clarification on staffing needs and project costs.
Senator Babcock noted that these concerns were not well covered in the original document.
Graduate Division Assistant Dean Kenneth Tokuno stated that staffing will be handled by the Center for Teaching Excellence where similar orientation programs are already being conducted. This new proposal will help formalize the ongoing efforts for what is now voluntary training.
Senator Bontekoe asked what motivated a move in this direction?
Kenneth Tokuno stated that the Chancellor's Office indicated a need to formalize a program for training to enhance the quality of teaching by assistants.
Senator Marvin Ortel explained that he has read two related memos on this topic. The first indicates the need for an additional position plus a graduate student. It also
indicates an additional budget requirement of $50,000 and honoraria funds. By his calculations, this will cost $120,000 per year to support. Senator Ortel recommended that senators reject this resolution until we actually know how much it will cost. He noted that we will be saying we would rather spend monies on this program than hire several new teaching assistants. Senator Ortel added that CAPP was bypassed on this and received no memo from Administration to consider this. Regarding the second memo, it states that this program is going to be implemented whether we vote for or against.
Senator Joan Peters explained that she feels the resolution contains a slight ideological problem, in that the second "whereas" appears to validate, or justify, extensive use of teaching assistants for undergraduate education.
Senator Joel Cohn, who drafted the second "whereas" noted that, whether we like it or not, a significant amount of teaching is being done by graduate assistants. He stated that if the teaching is not done at a high quality, the undergraduates will indeed be impacted.
Senator Ortel stated that, to his knowledge, no evidence has been presented that there is a need to spend funds on this - to improve or change oversight of systems already in place by departments. He added that his department does a very good job and does not need to be interfered with. Senator Ortel also recommended a meeting between CAPP and Administration to discuss this issue.
Senator McGranaghan noted that he has an inclination to vote against the resolution because it is brought to us with no description of the mandatory program on which we are voting.
Senator Babcock responded that committees take a close look at the full set of issues. Background provided to the full Senate varies, but typically just the resolution and a brief description are part of the initial presentation. He took this opportunity to explain some of the components of the proposed program, including sessions on conducting labs, appropriate interaction with students, office hours, etc. Many of these services are available, but teaching assistants are not required to attend. Senator Babcock added that putting something in place as a campus that can enhance the quality of instruction by non-faculty is very important. Currently it is left up to the department.
Senator Bontekoe, speaking as Graduate Chair of his department, added that training is provided for his department, and it has been valuable. However, if it had been mandatory, perhaps the TAs would have benefited even more. Further, the TAs can carry this learning forward to the evaluation periods and on to their next position.
Kenneth Tokuno offered a few more components recommended for the mandatory program, including topics of legal issues in the classroom, classroom management, integration of technology in the classroom, etc. It became clear that the Center for Teaching Excellence could staff this training very well with an additional member. Tokuno thanked CAPP and added that consultation for this project was provided by sending it to all affected unit leaders on campus.
Senator Ortel again asked if there is any hard evidence of any sort that current teaching by TAs is inadequate. Several senators mumbled that, of course, there are areas for improvement.
Senator Ortel asked about a measurement of the extent of any problems with instruction by TAs.
Senator Peters remarked that while working on the Strategic Plan, the largest complaint from students was regarding instruction by teaching assistants.
Senator Eric DeCarlo recalled when he was a graduate student, teaching for the first time. He remembered that the results were terrible. He noted also that he had received no training and students on this campus deserve well- trained teaching assistants.
Senator Ortel asked why we need a new program, instead of going to departments where problems are reported and addressing those.
Senator McGranaghan remarked that in many cases, this type of training is not going to address the problems.
Senator Martha Crosby stated that if we are going to do this type of training, it should be done properly and with a budget.
Senator Paul Adams added that teaching is one of two professions we belong to, and we know so much more today about learning styles and instruction methods. Yet, though we have a responsibility to address quality of teaching, we're not all trained well in every department about recent discoveries in this area of education. He stated that he believes it is a terrific idea.
Karl Kim noted that, as an administrator, he is pleased to see this type of training come from the faculty, but there are legal concerns as well. Liability demands training on the responsibilities of teaching assistants, classroom conduct, etc.
Senator Luciano Minerbi remarked that anything we do to help others teach better is good, but shouldn't this already be happening at the faculty-to-TA level? Should we understand better about what is happening at that level? And what the university administration can do to address that. He added that he does not see the need for a new system of training.
Senator Babcock clarified that there is not a current system. Rather, the training is mixed across campus. Recognizing no further discussion, the resolution was voted on and approved.
Vote count: For = 30; Against = 8; Abstain = 0.
UHPA President Mary Tiles acknowledged the interest of many in our current state of negotiations. Noting a recent change of law, which impacted the timetable for negotiations, Tiles announced that because no agreement was reached by February 1, we are officially at impasse. She added that unless we have some kind of agreement by May 1, we will not have an opportunity for a salary increase.
President Tiles noted that there have been good discussions with the university administration and have reached agreement on a number of issues, including workload, sabbatical leaves, domestic partner healthcare, and paid family leave. Tentative agreements are in place for issues of appointment/duties/compensation of department chairs, tenure and promotion, and conversion of appointments not eligible for tenure. Regarding the travel item, we will go with the Federal Government rates. On intellectual patents and copyright, it was stated that university administration is not ready with a proposal and this will likely remain as status quo for the next contract.
President Tiles reminded the Senate that Dobelle maintains his priority of raising salaries at Manoa. However, Governor Lingle has repeated that there is no money for salary raises, or anything for that matter. Lingle claims to agree with the goal of raising salaries, but a commitment for the next contract is not possible.
Why should we believe that money is not available, given evidence of previous claims that there was no money that later proved otherwise during a strike?
The next scheduled bargaining meeting is March 10. We should expect to see more details on the UHPA web site very soon.
Senator Bontekoe noted that it is always an unstated assumption that there is no money. Yet, the State can always tax for additional needed revenues. Was the Governor asked about the possibility of raising taxes?
President Tiles responded that all candidates for Governor were asked about raising taxes and all replied that they would not consider it. However, more recently Governor Lingle admitted that she would need to keep an open mind and consider it if absolutely necessary.
Jeanne Oka, Chair of the General Education Committee (GEC), updated the Senate on recent activities. Highlights surrounded three areas -- Approvals, Articulation, and Assessment.
Regarding Approvals since August 2002, Oka shared an overhead of a Prorated Focus Course Schedule for students entering Fall 2003. Also displayed were Focus Course availabilities for Summer 2003 and Fall 2003. Oka remarked that the numbers appear to be quite good. However, there is some concern about availability for those students who were part of the first group to enter with the new General Education requirements in 2001. Oka urged Senators to go back to their departments and encourage other faculty to propose courses for approval in the focus requirements. Regarding diversification courses, 1,900 were originally approved. Thirty more were just recently approved bringing the current total to over 2,000.
Mary Tiles asked if it would be possible to have the UHM-1 form available as a form- fillable pdf file on the General Education web site? Oka agreed that this is a good idea and will follow-up.
Two recent foundation course policies were approved. One regarding external transfer students and the ability to meet requirements for Global & Multicultural Perspectives and another restricting foundations courses to the 100 and 200 level courses. For more information, please visit http://www.hawaii.edu/gened/ .
Regarding Articulation, two meetings were held as mentioned in the Senate Chair's Report. Though GEC was only minimally involved in the coordination of these meetings, the GEC supports these important discussions. It was noted that the University Council on Articulation is the primary forum for course-to-course articulation.
Regarding Assessment, requirements were built in at the outset of reform, and have been delegated to the Boards. Work on strategies is ongoing for each Board. Of course, the GEC could not abdicate all responsibility in this area and will be working on diversification pilot project this semester. This will be used to build the more comprehensive plan.
Senator Bontekoe asked for clarification regarding a formal, previously established point at which to discuss the program and assessment. He believed there was to be a policy decision revision stage and asked when this would take place.
Senator Oka encouraged everyone to go ahead and contact her now, but did remind senators that there is a five-year lifespan for course, so revision is scheduled.
Senator Wayne Smith asked for clarification on the status of what he remembered to be a faculty-student mentoring program in the original General Education proposal.
Senator Oka responded that there is no progress to report.
Senator Smith recalled that during the earlier forums building up to General Education reform, a recurring theme was a mentoring program. He stated that it should still find broad support.
Encouraging senators to explore the General Education web site, Senator Oka provided once more General Education URL; then turned the floor back over to Chair Forman.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:40pm.
David Flynn (SEC member filling in for our Senate Secretary)
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Social Sciences/Business Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Maintained by Robert Valliant, SHAPS,
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