At the beginning of the academic year I listed 11 anticipated issues for this year.(These appear on the MFS web page). I shall provide status reports on each as well as report on unanticipated ( or poorly anticipated) items of business.
Of the original eleven ( taken out of sequence for a purpose):
4. System reorganization has been approved by the Board of Regents and implementation has moved forward. As of today's date ( I am composing this on March 3) the interim VP for Academic Planning and Policy has been appointed and the first candidate for Chief Financial Officer is visiting the System.
5. Manoa reorganization was approved at the February Board of Regents meeting and implementation has begun. This will be a deliberate multi-phase process which could span several years subject to funding.
3. Ethics policy has not come to the fore. Very low probability of seeing anything on this in the current year.
These four items are moving along:
8. Tenure and promotion guidelines. The discussion has finally begun.
9. Tuition increases. We are in the midst of legally-mandated public hearings on the proposed tuition increases. One Manoa meeting has already occurred with one on Professional programs forthcoming . ( The tuition meetings schedule is prominently displayed on the main UH web site.) Linda Johnsrud was originally scheduled to brief this month's Senate meeting but we have moved this to April.
10. Admission standards. CAPP began this discussion last year. The administration has joined in and discussions are underway.
11. Mission clarification. This was the subject of the Fall Faculty Congress. The Council of Chancellor's are close to finalizing their discussions on the topicv.
Now for the "hard" ones.
6. WASC special visit. The issue of WASC and Junior WASC ( ACCJC) has heated up as 6 of 7 Community Colleges have been placed on warning status by the Junior (ACCJC). Manoa is preparing for the November 2005 special visit. One town hall meeting has already been held and a special committee created to facilitate our preparations. The latest visit to the System resulted in findings of some progress on sorting out Manoa/System relations... a work in progress.
7. Kakaako Campus. "News at 11" The Regents special consultants on Kakaako delivered their report to the Board of Regents at their October meeting. The report recommended a series of ambitious changes, including incorporation of additional units in a Health Sciences School, a System VP for Health Sciences and more. The President was asked to respond to the report after a round of consultation with affected parties. This consultation included faculties of JABSOM, Cancer Research Center, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, standing Faculty Senate Committees and the Senate Executive Committee. The President reported to the BOR at the February meeting, heavily quoting the statement from the SEC. Reactions by most constituencies (save the JABSOM Dean and faculty) were generally rejection of the recommendations or statements of serious concern. The BOR meeting included the first public discussion of the finances of JABSOM and revealed the nature of anticipated deficits in coming years. JABSOM finances had been subject of back-channel discussion for at least four years but never in a public venue. The timing is unfortunate in that the Dean of JABSOM is on personal leave. This story continues.
2. Revised policy on classified and proprietary research and 1. The University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)
I introduce these together since circumstances have led to the two being "wedded". Each issue arose at a different time but the time lines have become intertwined. I refer you to the March 3 letter to the editor of Ka Leo O Hawaii by Michael Jones which sets a context for the latest round of discussion on classified research. In it he refers to a BOR meeting in May 2001 as a key moment in that discussion. Note this proceeded both the 9/11 event and any UARC discussions.
VPR Gaines has presented a draft revised policy on Classified and Proprietary Research . Two Senate Committees offered resolutions at the December Senate meeting. Both were referred to an ad hoc committee established by the SEC. (This paralleled the Senate treatment of an earlier debate on the matter , see December 2002 resolution) This Committee will be reporting to today's Faculty Congress. We anticipate they will propose new resolutions for Senate consideration.
The term UARC first began to appear in background chatter in spring 2003. A formal document was transmitted to the Senate in August 2004 and a briefing offered at the September Senate meeting. The briefing raised more questions than it answered. In November the UARC proposal was presented to the BOR. The Senate requested that any final acceptance of the UARC be contingent upon Senate acceptance. The BOR did not quite accept that resolution but approved the UARC in "concept", placing the onus on the Chancellor to consult with his constituencies. The President was assigned the role of gatekeeper. In another unofficial action they requested that the System bring a revised policy on classified (proprietary left out here) research before them. The conversation that day typified the mixture of the two issues ( UARC and classified research) which has characterized every discussion to date. We are all awaiting an independent discussion of the UARC.
We have hopes of concluding actions on Classified and Proprietary Research this semester but it appears that the UARC matter may drag into the Fall. True to form we have had a fair share of surprises:
1. Doctoral proposals from Hilo. At their October meeting in Hilo the BOR approved a PhD in Hawaiian Language and Indigenous Language Revitalization to be offered at UH Hilo. The Regents did this by making an exception to their own policy on doctoral education within the System. The Manoa Faculty Senate objected at the October BOR meeting. In response to the Manoa concerns the Board added contingencies that the program should involve cooperation with Manoa campus and that Manoa Graduate Division should review the program. Discussions between the two campuses have been staged since October but seemingly have reached a stalemate. In a related matter the Senate today will be considering resolutions on an MA in Hawaiian Studies ( high probability) and an MA in Hawaiian Language ( possibility) offered by CAPP.
2. Lyon Arboretum. This facility has suffered from year's of budgetary stress and reached the state that it was closed to the public due to safety concerns. Some recovery is underway and two task forces , one public-UHM and one UHM researchers, are discussing its future. It has also drawn substantial legislative attention. Reality is that we have a large number of infrastructure problems throughout the campus. Lyon could be considered a "canary in the mine shaft".
Not a surprise but worthy of note:
The biennial budget process continues. This cycle featured an elaborate system-wide stocktaking exercise in Spring 2004, followed by development of campus wish lists, refinement of requests, presentation to the BOR, further refinement , submission of the BOR budget, refinement (aka reductions) by the Governor and legislative deliberation of the Governor's request and the BOR request. The legislative portion is currently underway. The BOR request for the system included (Approximately) $31 M in FY06 and $39 M in FY07. The Governor's version requests $10 M and $15 M, respectively.