Communicate with the Senate
Talk by UH President Evan Dobelle
Questions and Answers
UH Budget Cuts
UHM Core Requirements
Undergraduate Program/Enrollments = Money?
Richardson School of Law Classroom 2
The minutes of the May 8, 2002 Faculty Congress were approved unanimously.
Chair Mike Forman welcomed the faculty and introduced himself. He then introduced President Dobelle
President Dobelle said that the budget is being prepared for the upcoming legislative session. "What we are trying to do is base the budget on the five elements of the strategic plan." President Dobelle is trying to craft an eight year budget since governors serve for eight years. President Dobelle is also trying to get faculty salaries at the 80th percentile. The increase being proposed is substantial. "We are 60 to 100 million dollars under where we should be."
He continued, "We are working with DOE to have a good partnership. We can't allow for governors to run as 'education' candidates and then not support education." It's President Dobelle's responsibility to say if you want a great university this is what it is going to cost.
His relationship with politicians has always been cordial. He doesn't politically confront elected officials. He plans to work with whom ever wins in November in the time we have between the election and the legislative session.
He continued that there is a need to market and brand the University of Hawaii at Manoa, particularly among those who are the most "powerful" who typically send their children to mainland institutions.
He also noted that "international partnerships" in higher education are being pursued. As an example, he's hosting a celebration for 55 faculty and staff with expertise in South East Asia.
He commented that "marketing and fundraising" are things he's doing a lot these days. Likes teaching, but the reality of the job is that he has to fundraise.
In this area, the stock market isn't helping him; but "we need 300 million dollars in the foundation." Chris Lee, who is "helping"with the film school, is also attempting to raise money in Asia. President Dobelle stressed that he is asking people for millions, not thousands.
He has two legislative priorities: one is the ability give access to all to the retirement system (including those who have positions across units). His other area of focus is legislative change so that "domestic partnerships" can gain access to health care. His definition of domestic partnership includes a wide range of possible "partnerships" (e.g. single sex couples, adult parent and child, etc).
President Dobelle said he is "still putting the issue of faculty salaries as the highest priority." He will even cut the budget to give faculty salary increases. "Faculty salaries will never be funded otherwise." He will even reduce access or cut programs in order to fund these. We need to get into the 80th percentile.
He continued that salaries for administrators should not be tied to faculty increases. Instead, a cola system with a merit component would be desirable.
He noted that the institution is running at a billion dollars, with Daniel K. Inouye giving us as much as the state legislature. "Daniel Inouye is propping up the legislature" in his view.
Q: Jim Tiles asked a question about the status of the document describing the system strategic plan. He noted that UHPA had received a copy of the document but not the UHM faculty senate.
A: UHPA has gotten a copy as well as HGEA. The document will also be posted on the web two weeks before the BOR meeting where it is scheduled to be discussed. Jim Tiles continued "Do you think two weeks is enough?"
A: "I suspect it is" said President Dobelle. He noted that the plan was "a system document, not a UHM document." It has the effect of "liberating of two year campuses."
Q: Jim Tiles stressed that he felt that "it would have implications for UHM." "I would have thought that it did."
A: President Dobelle argued that "there really is no change for UHM. This is system- wide." He continued by observing, that "Before I came, you wanted your own advocate." The role of the President was undefined. The BOR wanted a system office, but they want it to be "revenue neutral."
Q: Tom Ramsey asked if the UH budget was cut 5%.
A: President Dobelle said he was asked to produce a document that showed what a 5% cut would do, and "we won't do that." "What's the point."
Q: Frank Sansone asked a question about the process of course evaluations for new core requirements. He noted that some campuses are attempting to make these evaluations for the UHM core requirements (the articulation issue). Many at UHM find this unacceptable.
A: President Dobelle said, "I will listen to that", but he went on to say that "the more secure an institution, the less fuss about transfer." Karl Kim said that this is an issue that we are working on. Deane Neubauer is also working on it. Karl has been working with WASC about our articulation issues. "We are working out specific articulation agreements with specific campuses." We are having all kinds of discussions at different levels.
Q: Frank Sansone noted that "the real concern is whether the courses meet our specific hallmarks." He continued, "What we are looking for is support from the senior administration."
A: President Dobelle said that he "would really encourage the faculty on different campuses to talk to each other" He worries about UH West Oahu in its previous location? What will happen to that campus? Peter [Englert] is up to the challenge, he noted. His role is "trying to let the faculty talk to each other."
Q: Ron Bontekoe asked about an initiative that established that a student who was granted an AA degree meets the UHM core. He was told by several in the group that that had passed several years ago.
Q: Sherwood Maynard, Director of the Marine options Program asked about the aquarium.
A: President Dobelle noted "That's a question for the chancellor." He continued, "The aquarium should be everything it can be. I think it's a terrific place. What does the faculty want? Do we have a position. Should be at the Hilton Lagoon offering tourists 8 hour certificates?" Sherwood Maynard, replied "as soon as I get a secretary." President Dobelle continued, "Is it as good as Monterey? He'd like to see greater integration between teaching and research, plus more resources. Everything ought to be the best in the world." Chuck Hayes noted that "We can increase both the research and teaching functions. Its in the plan."
Q: Ken Kipnis asked about the undergraduate program. "There is a sense in which the undergraduate programs are under siege." And further, "Articulation agreements seem to be encouraging this. Our [undergraduate program] is being bled away."
A President Dobelle noted that the age of UHM undergraduates is high; about half don't matriculate. He's trying to get resources for a Berkeley or Chapel Hill for UHM. "We need 5,000 new dormitory rooms, keep the library open 24/7." He suspects that the students who leave UHM are "finding their own level." He continued, "We need a Dean of Undergraduate Education." He also noted, that "It is not a terrific experience on campus at night." Finally, he contends that he's looking at gaining, not losing students.
Q: Ron Bontekoe said "The message we are hearing here is directly contradictory to the concept of tuition return". "There is a disconnect."
A: President Dobelle said that the notion that programs would be rewarded for increased enrollments through tuition return is, "not a message that I'm giving." "If you have more than 18-20 students, you are lecturing." "I need more faculty" he continued. He also felt that people should not be taking remedial courses at UHM. Finally, he noted that "UH has a brand problem. Tourism does not help us with the image issue. He asked the faculty to recall the survey that found that 81% of Hawaii citizens felt that UH was a good or excellent university, either because of him or because of the athletic program. At the time of the survey, he'd been here for two months."
Q: Ron Bontekoe asked that "with a shrinking pie, the way things work at the moment, there is competition between departments."
A: President Dobelle said that he needed to become more informed about that [the tuition return policy].
Q: Joan Peters noted that the College of Languages, Liguistics, and Literatures got fewer rewards because of small classes. She continued that, "we are all getting very old." Current applicants are asking about benefits and salaries.
A: President Dobelle noted that the reality is "who is going to retire" given the current state of the stock market. On a more serious note, he continued, "we need return of the FTEs that were cut as well as faculty salaries have to be increased."
Q: Patsy Fujimoto from Dental Hygiene noted that "We always worried about losing faculty." She pressed the President on his position on the tuition return, "Can I hold you to that? "
A: President Dobelle said, "We are not doing that. It is not your job to recruit students." He continued that when Paul Costello came in, the marketing budget was zero. We need to be more aggressive in recruiting the right students for UHM, he continued. Failing to do that and rewarding faculty for enrollments contributes to grade inflation in his view.
Q: Peter Manicas welcomed President Dobelle's suggestions for the retirement system since he is in a split position. He continued that he wished that President Dobelle hadn't signed the letter in the New York Times. Finally, he was confused about the RTRF funds that are "unallocated."
A: President Dobelle noted that "those are revolving funds." About the New York Times letter: He received a letter that supported all people of all interests, Jewish and supporters of Zionism. " I didn't realize at the time that it was supported by the American Jewish Congress."
Chair Mike Forman received a motion to adjourn, and the meeting was adjourned at 4:10
Meda Chesney-Lind Secretary of the Manoa Faculty Senate
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Social Sciences/Business Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa
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