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Manoa Faculty Senate Committee on Professional Matters Minutes, October 8, 2003

3PM in Room 115, Wist Hall

(from Dr. M.J. Mottl, Committee Secretary)

Present: Andrea Bartlett, Bill Haning, Roger Lukas, Mike Mottl, Norma Jean Stodden

Absent: Tod Abey, Becky Cannon, Glenn Cannon, Jim Hastings, Paul Singleton

We learned that Jim Hastings had resigned from the CPM and from the Senate. Richard Kasuya has been asked to replace Jim Hastings.

We reviewed a letter dated Sept. 15, 2003, from William Foltz to Mary Tiles, regarding the use of Faculty maces at graduation ceremonies. Dr. Foltz of the English Dept. chaired a committee charged in March, 2001, with designing and overseeing the construction of new maces to replace the old ones. The new maces were commissioned to be completed by May 2002 and actual completion was May 2003. The new maces were subsequently secured by Mamo Kim just prior to the spring, 2003, commencement. The Chancellor, based on issues raised by the student artist, renamed the maces as "ceremonial Ko'o", and assigned then exclusively to Native Hawaiian students to carry into commencement at the head of the procession, which had traditionally been led by Faculty. Faculty maces were quickly made and were smaller versions of the Ko'o.

The CPM discussed the relevant issues. In preparation for our meeting, N. J. Stodden had spoken with Mamo Kim and Wendy Pearson. She clarified that the mace committee had dissolved before the maces were put into use. The new maces were designed by students in the art department. Relevant questions raised included:

a) Have we broken with important commencement traditions without discussion?

b) Has the Chancellor's Office superceded rights of Faculty in supporting the changes?

c) Are other groups, e.g., of students, likely to be offended by the changes?

d) Are the existing Faculty maces acceptable or not?

e) What are the policies, procedures, and practices for Manoa commencement?

f) Whence came the $5000 that was used to design and construct the new maces?

The CPM concluded that we were unhappy with both the process that had occurred and it result. Specifically, the Faculty had not been consulted about the changes and the centuries-old tradition of Faculty leading commencement exercises had been put aside. The CPM therefore proposes the following resolution:

"Whereas the process by which the most recent commencement ceremony was changed and undertaken without consultation with the Faculty; and

Whereas the content and structure of the ceremony is felt to be out of accord with tradition, in particular that the Faculty no longer has precedence in a process intended to complete the transition of students to graduates;

Be it resolved that the Senate of the Faculty requires of the University Administration that the ceremony revert to prior tradition until altered by due process, upon consultation with the Faculty."

The CPM elected Norma Jean Stodden as its new Chair for 2003-2004.

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