The activities of the past summer have been dominated by events associated with the departure of President Evan Dobelle. This is far from being the only summer development so we provide a chronological account of those events beginning with the aftermath of WASC system visits and then go on to discuss other developments of note for the Senate.
WASC reports on the UH system (available at www.hawaii.edu/vpaa from both senior and junior commissions form an important part of the backdrop for events which are continuing to unfold. Reports resulting from system visits last spring were received by UH administration by the end of May (but not made public at that time). It has been said that the previously scheduled date of the fateful June meeting of the BOR was changed at President Dobelle's request because he wanted to be able to go to the meeting of the WASC Senior Commission in the hope that he could persuade them to produce a less stern action letter than the system visit report suggested would be coming. In fact the action letter (dated July 6) was uncompromising in tone. The system team was looking at four key issues -- external governance, internal governance and administration, strategic planning, and financial resources. It found that not only is the progress being made threatened but, in some areas, problems have worsened:
However, serious problems currently exist which threaten the long-term achievement of the stated aspirations and, importantly from the perspective of WASC, raise significant issues of the performance of the University un the Standards of Accreditation and threatens the continued accreditation of the senior college campuses.
..the University, at least with respect to governance and administration relating to the senior level campuses, is not now meeting the standards of Accreditation. Unless these matters are resolved immediately and convincingly, the Commission will need to revise the accreditation status of all three senior level campuses.
...the concerns that are identified in the Team report are larger than any one individual and go well beyond the relationship of the former President with the Board of Regents. Many of the issues raised have been themes in previous accrediting team reports and reflect long-standing patterns of conduct that need to be addressed and resolved./p>
WASC finds fault both with the role assumed by the BOR and with the President's apparent lack of involvement in the running of the University. There were issues of a somewhat different nature raised by the WASC Junior Commission (ACCJC) in relation to the Community Colleges.
In addition there was a separate letter from WASC to the chancellor of Manoa underlining the seriousness with which the situation is viewed and confirming that WASC will be coming to Manoa in fall 2005 not for a progress report, as previously scheduled, but for a Special Visit. Issues to be addressed include clarifying system/Manoa relations
The serious concerns raised by WASC are but one factor feeding in to the decision to dismiss president Dobelle, announced at the June BOR meeting. (www.hawaii.reporter.com / "Dobelle found pot of gold" (8/16) and "University Releases Thousands of Documents." (8/13) both in the August archive, has more details than in other places. Kaleo, even better, briefly on 8/23 had the full minutes of the BOR executive session meetings www.kaleo.org/ - worth checking to see if they got them back up.)
At the July meeting it was announced that delegation of authority over managerial positions would be returned to acting president McClain and that the various task forces the Regents had formed to look in to various issues would be disbanded, with the exception of the one concerned with development of Kaka'ako (regent Albano was added to that group). Hopefully this is a signal that regents are backing away from the details of management -- leaving this to the administration, and refocusing their efforts on broader policy questions.
Acting President McClain has since said that payment of the sum required for the settlement reached with Dobelle is a system affair and it will not affect campus allocations for the coming year.
David McClain has said, at the July BOR meeting, and elsewhere, that there will be some rethinking of the system level administrative structure. The SEC wrote to him suggesting that some downsizing of the current "supersize" system was in order. He responded by coming to talk to SEC about his ideas. The specific suggestions he has floated are
Delete chief of staff position -- the incumbent Sam Callejo becomes VP for administration and finance.
Eliminate VP external affairs (Costello's old job), current associate VP reports to Sam, Director of CIP also reports to Sam instead of to the President.
Eliminate VP International Education (Joyce Tsunoda's old job) and move the responsibilities under academic affairs.
The WASC action letter, and more specifically the letter the to Chancellor of Manoa, makes it clear that the mere elimination of positions, while welcome because it will reduce costs, is not enough. Some rethinking about the functions of offices of the remaining 4 VPs needs to occur.
The Regents are expected to announce at their September meeting how they intend to proceed in filling the position of President of the UH system. It seems likely (from discussions that ACCFSC had with regents) that they might appoint David McClain as interim president. There has been advice from several quarters (Atwell -- the person called in to assist with the evaluation of president Dobelle -- the Association of Governing Boards and WASC to the effect that a two year interim president would be appropriate at this point and that most one the other alternatives one might think of would not be).
The SEC received a document on Manoa reorganization that had the status of an informal, or pre-formal, consultation. This included proposals not only for student affairs, which CAPP and CSA saw in earlier versions last year, but also proposals to reorganize academic affairs. There have also been suggestions that there may be plans to reorganize finance and administration. SEC requested that formal consultation documents be ready for the beginning of semester so that the relevant committees (CAPP, CAB, CSA) could start looking at them. The UHM administration had said that they wanted to be able to go for approval of their plans at the October meeting of BOR. To date we have not received these materials. Neither ACCFSC nor UHMFS has received any formal proposal regarding system level organizational changes. ACCFSC is still working with the President's office on the consultation process for system level proposals.
Steps to prepare the biennium budget request for the UH system have been continuing throughout the summer. Tom Schroeder has been participating, on behalf of ACCFSC along with three faculty from other parts of the system. The Draft is to be presented to the BOR in September. In compliance with the first recommendation of the Manoa Budget Advisory Committee, the Manoa documents, including all planning documents, have been posted to the web (at www.manoa.hawaii.edu/mco/initiatives_issues/biennial_budget/ ). System level documents have been posted to www.hawaii.edu/vpaa
At the August meeting of ACCFSC David McClain outlined his broad-brush thinking about the request, which includes financial planning six years out for all sources of funding to the university. He has indicated to the Governor and the Director of Budget and Finance that he will be requesting that the UH general fund budget be increased by at least the percentage that the council on revenues predicts for growth of the state general fund (on present predictions this would mean an increase of $16.7m in FY 06 and $22.6m in FY 07). He will request an additional amount to cover expenses incurred as a result of collective bargaining agreements, and $20m to start the scholarship fund, which was created but not financed during the past legislative session. The amounts he is prepared to request fall far short of the requests made by the campuses of the system (their original wish list total was $155m -- our current annual general fund operating budget comes to $315m). The priorities one the basis of which requests are being ranked are
He also indicated that projected tuition increases would be part of the plan.
This was run by the chancellor. SEC was asked for suggestions for participants -- we supplied a long list of names all of whom were invited and some others as well, but many people were not available over the summer. Notes from these discussions can be found on the Chancellor's web page -- www.manoa.hawaii.edu/mco/committees_groups/Liberal_Arts_DG.htm
There are two related major issues due to come to the senate this fall -- just as soon as we get the documentation on them. First, changes to BOR policy on classified research -- this has been postponed for over a year while the VP for research did more research on the topic. Then there is the proposal to establish a Navy sponsored UARC (University Affiliated Research Center).
The chancellor has acted on our resolution on the governance of athletics, endorsing it and proceeding with implementation. An advertisement for a Faculty Athletic Representative has been circulated to all Faculty and the search should conclude by the end of the semester.
So, as you can see it has been a quiet summer.
Mary & Tom(s)