September 21, 2005, Law Classroom #2
Allsopp, Baker, Bangert, Baroni, Bingham, Bley-Vroman, Bridges, Brown, Chang, Coimbra, Comcowich, Cox, Decarlo, DeMattos, Diamond, Donegan, Duffy, Ericson, Efird, Fassiotto, Fritzinger, Fryer, Jujimoto, Garcia, Grandy, Greene, Halagao, Hawkins, Herring, Hudson, Inazu, Kazman, Kent, Kipnis, Lampe, Lee, Liebert, Lorenzo, Madey, Magaard, Mark, Minatodani, Paull, Raleigh, Ramos, Reider, Russo, Rutter, Sanders, Sansone, Satsuma, Scanlon, Sipes, Skouge, Speitel, Staff, Stark, Tiles, Valliant, Weems, Weinstein, Yuen
Buenconsejo-Lum, Haig, Hijirida, Kamakawiwoole, Kennedy, Lee, Lopes, Manshardt, Nitz, Shiramizu, Stimson, Stodden, Ward, Weiczorek, Yates, Yu
Senators excused: None
Ex Officio: Neal Smatresk
Invited: Gary Ostrander, VCRGE, Kathy Cutshaw, VCAFO
Chair Robert Bley-Vroman called the meeting called to order at 3:06 p.m. 1. The Minutes of the August 31, 2005 meeting were approved with two corrections.
2. Chairs Report:
The Chair outlined the Senate's rules governing quorum. 50% of the membership must be present in order for the Senate to undertake business.
Senators are reminded to inform the Senate office if they cannot be present. Senators may wish to have someone attend the Senate meeting in their place. However, the Senate does not permit proxy voting. A senator who must miss several meetings should resign or take leave from the Senate.
At the September Board of Regents meeting, Robert Bley-Vroman presented the Senate's resolution, Regarding Proposed Changes to Board of Regents Policy 5-19, adopted at the Senate meeting of August 31, 2005. The Board voted to suspend the implementation of amendments to RCUH hiring policy of 2002 and of 2004. The practical result of this Board action is generally consistent with the intent of the Senate resolution.
On April 20, 2005 the Senate passed a resolution requiring a yearly report in September as to how RTRF funds were used in the previous year. The Vice Chancellor has completed this report for 2004-2005. This report will be forwarded to the Committee on Research for review. The Committee may decide to ask the Vice Chancellor to present the report to the Senate at a future meeting.
The Chair reported that the SEC had forwarded several matters to standing committees, including several certificate proposals to CAPP as well as a proposal from the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for a change to the process to reviewing and approving certificates. CAB is looking into the general area of interim appointments and executive appointment process more generally. CAB is also considering matters related to faculty housing and to the UH investment practices. The Committee on Athletics and the Committee on Student Affairs are both considering the proposals regarding the consumption of alcohol at football games, and the relationship of Manoa to the System in this area. The SEC referred to the General Education Committee matters concerning articulation with the community college system and mentoring. A new sexual harassment complaint procedure has been forwarded to the Committee on Professional Matters. Several other issues have been brought to the Senate's attention and referred to the appropriate committees. Details are available in the SEC's minutes.
Senate meetings are open, and non-senators may participate in debate at the discretion of the chair, as time permits. Bley-Vroman pointed out that in today's discussions regarding the UARC, it is very important, given the limited time, to make sure that any senator who wishes to speak can speak. Non-senators may speak if there is time, but only after all senators who wish to speak have done so. Senators are also urged not to speak at great length and not to speak several times on the same topic.
The Chair suggested that the following two resolutions be deferred until the next meeting:
3. Senate Executive committee Report (presented by Robert Bley-Vroman)
a. UARC process: Last month the UARC ad-hoc committee presented an interim report and had intended to have a final report and perhaps a resolution for this meeting. But the final report cannot be prepared until the proposed contract is received and reviewed. Thus, today's agenda will present a summary and discussion of the Interim report. Gary Ostrander has been invited to present on Business Management Plan, followed by discussion.
b. The Chancellor Search: The SEC has prepared a written explanation of the concept "Manoa-driven/faculty-led" (see document attached to today's meeting packet).
Discussion: Efird (JABSOM) asked about the authority to select/hire a Chancellor. Bley-Vroman stated it lies solely with the BOR but that the BOR would not want to approve a hire that MFS opposed. Madey (NS) asked if there is anything in the by-laws that would touch on this matter? Bley-Vroman: No. Bley-Vroman noted that currently we are not far into the process; and more discussion with the Chancellor is needed. Ericson (ED) asked to what extent is this a departure from the past process? Bley-Vroman stated the last search for a Chancellor was very much senate-driven and the proposed process does not suggest a radical change.
4. Senate UARC Committee Report and Discussion
a.UARC Interim Report Summary (presented by S. Rutter, UARC Committee Chair): Rutter stated the UARC committee must review the draft contract when it is received, and also receive independent counsel's assessment before the final report can be prepared. She briefly recounted the UARC committee history: it was organized in June and met extensively over the summer. There were also email conversation. Other members: D. Conway-Jones, J. Osorio, C. Pang, T. Ramsey, D. Ross, R. Wilkins, J. Tiles (SEC liaison). The interim report discusses financial cost and benefits, management and government, philosophy and mission. The UARC committee noted administration's lack of consultation prior to announcing UH as a UARC partner. Start-up costs would come both from UH system and Manoa. An estimate of income notes a $10 million cap annually for 5 years. A key difference in UARC task orders vs. other contract mechanisms is the indirect cost rates, with UARC allowing a more generous charge. This could work as a safety net, allowing valuable staff to stay employed between projects or task orders. The UARC committee struggled with several questions. First, would equipment purchased for UARC be available for other non-UARC uses? The business plan does not answer this question and the question has been referred to counsel. Does UH have the staff and systems to manage the complex fiscal system? This UARC is different in that others have separate facilities, so problems of mixed use do not come up. There is no blueprint for the "virtual" model. Also, it was noted that the task order review proposal has changed from an earlier concept; the management plan now suggests a 7-member faculty review committee under MFS. Although administrators have stated the UARC vehicle is simply to bring in new funds, the committee notes discussions inevitably bring up a deep emotional divide among faculty.
Concerns related to the prospect of new classified research include campus safety and health issues, infringements on academic freedom, and foreign student issues. Up to 15% of UARC funding may involve classified research, about 1.25% of all research money at UHM. Concerns have been expressed related to the task-ordering process that would drive the UARC. Some faculty anticipate this approach would dilute the level of innovation expected of a research university. On the other hand, a local small business owner with a Department of Defense contract believes there would be a positive impact in the community with respect to employment opportunities. Another concern is that the business plan does not include any assessment and exit strategy. Finally, the UARC committee believes faculty must have adequate time to review the contract proposal and to have consultation before any proposal goes forward to the BOR.
b. Discussion: Diamond (JABSOM) asked what kind of input is wanted from faculty? Rutter responded that although many comments have come in, few explain how UARC benefits other than funds. Rutter commented that other partnering proposals can be expected in the future and she hopes the process used to make a determination on UARC could be a model for future consultation and decision-making. Faculty need to take responsibility for the decision and thus the UARC committee is considering suggesting formal balloting. Diamond wants to have sufficient public discussion so that faculty do feel informed. Sanders (IFA) mentioned there was precedent for such a ballot.
Grandy (SS) wants to know how much research (in dollars) is now classified and whether it is likely to grow as a result of the UARC? Also, is classified research included in tenure & promotion decisions? Could or should this be altered? Is there a danger that research that is currently unclassified would be classified because of the "creep factor" in a virtual UARC model? Ostrander stated $4-6 million a year out of approximately $350 million is currently for classified projects. UARC would add $1-2 million per year, and thus classified projects would be expected to grow over time. No documents have left the UH as classified but some have been classified later. Some research collection processes have been classified but the resulting reports were not classified. With respect to tenure and promotion, the process can include only reviewable materials. Rutter stated that "classified research creep" is a concern of the UARC committee. Reider (ENG) asked what the Senate said about classified research and when? Kipness (PHIL) said what is problematic about classified research is that products may be subject to publication restriction. J. Tiles (A &H) noted that last year the senate approved a resolution that stated UH should not undertake research where there is the reasonable expectation the results will be classified.
R. Dawson (non-senator, A & S) asked if the committee is addressing social costs, particularly social justice (a priority in strategic plan), and environmental impacts? Rutter responded that the committee tried to address these concerns and variables, but they are difficult to quantify and are ultimately subjective. Wilkins (non-senator, SOEST, UARC committee) commented it's the senate's job to discuss philosophy. Someone from JABSOM asked if anyone has identified negative impacts from doing classified research, or alternatively, what opportunities has association led to? Weems (CTAHR) mentioned that the Maui Supercomputer and the internet are examples of prior classified projects.
Raleigh (SOEST) asked if principal work at other UARCs was done by faculty or by other kinds of hires? Rutter: other UARCs are staffed by people fully devoted to it. Raleigh: Do we expect faculty here to work in UARC in some significant way, or will we hire new people? Wilkins stated the concept for UH is different ?and it may mean both faculty and new hires participate. 5. Business/Management Plan for UARC Report/Discussion (Presented by Gary Ostrander):
a. Plan Summary: Ostrander commended Sarah's and the UARC committee's efforts. He introduced Cutshaw, who has had a lead role in negotiating the contract financial matters. Ostrander hoped to release the contract and the business plan at the same time but the contract was delayed. (Currently there is only one unresolved issue but the Navy wants time for review before release. Therefore, the proposed contract will not go to BOR before November. Ostrander promised sufficient time for review by MFS and others. He understands there are gaps in the business plan, acknowledges that it is not a standard business plan, and is aware that good questions have come up within the community. After today's meeting he plans to add an "exit strategy" and is committed to finding answers to the questions that come up today.
Ostrander argued that expenditures of 3.5 million to bring in $50 million makes financial sense. The start-up funds would come from RTRF. He noted that RTFR has funded travel, publications, etc. for the liberal arts, and is not only supporting the sciences. The real value of the investment is receiving $50 new money for new research.
Ostrander noted that in this virtual research unit the director is a civilian. Plans are to locate the office in the Manoa Innovation Center. Task orders will evolve out of local discussion, not from on-high. UARCs have been used to deliver NSF funds?and agencies such as EPA, NOAA, etc. can utilize UARC to get funds to the University in 15 days. Ostrander's proposal for an advisory board includes faculty, staff, students, and review by research units as well as MFS. He included the SEC task order review proposal verbatim in the business plan, although since the SEC proposal does not include student or community participation.
Finances: Ostrander explained two models of typical several-year budget spreadsheets on page 10 and 13 of the plan. Using the current 36.3% indirect cost applied to a contract the size of the UARC, estimated total cost is just over $40 million. With a UARC, there is a higher prorated direct cost of 45.1% (instead of indirect cost). The UARC would allow more charges and thus would generate more RTRF funds (which would be distributed in the standard way: 25% to the President, 25% to Research, 50% to the implementing unit.) He noted that the "someone else" getting money in UARC interim report could be the PI and others in the unit. Ostrander also mentioned that in comparison with a "CRADA contractual model" that vehicle can't pass through dollars from a range of agencies.
b. Discussion: N. Kent (SS) asked where is the word "weapons" in the UARC business plan? Ostrander stated that business plan is not the vehicle to discuss the purpose of the UARC. He also noted that UHM currently has many military contracts where there is dual purpose. Only the individual task orders would provide information on the purpose of the research requested.
Kent asked what risks are ahead for UARC? Ostrander replied that no research is risk-free. But there are mitigations for the risks. Kent asked Ostrander to name the possible risks and Ostsrander replied he was hesitant to give examples? but risks would be the same as for any research going on already?hazardous materials, spills, computer technology risks, etc.
Tiles (A & H) stated he wanted to represent David Ross and ask how much money will go to existing programs or new people? Who is the "someone else" that we will be supporting? Ostrander responded that it would likely go to both existing and new programs and people. The funds could bring in more grad students, post-docs, other support staff. The UARC structure would allow the continuation of a valuable person in a gap between projects.
Lampe (NS) asked what percent of prorated direct costs will support a director, finance director, office space? Ostrander: Existing faculty may be part-time program directors. Probably $400,000-600,000 would be needed for the director's salary and related personnel costs. Lampe asked that the charts be revised to more clearly reflect these actual costs. He asked if a retired admiral were hired as director would that be a civilian hire? Ostrander: Yes.
Garcia (SOEST): What about reduced overhead? Is the 9% (difference between indirect cost and prorated fee) really a surplus to the UH system? some agencies allow much less overhead. He also wanted to know if UHM is renegotiating indirect cost rate? Ostrander: Yes, and it will probably go up but we don't know how much.
Brown (A & H) noted that a task order system implies that work proposals will come from outside, rather than having faculty develop the proposal. Ostrander: Correct, but UHM currently gets RFPs to respond to and faculty always have a choice. (Who???) What if UHM faculty don't want to do a task order, but someone wants to hire someone new to do the task order? Ostrander: Not sure: this will not be my decision.
R. Dawson noted that larger philosophical issues keep getting deferred and faculty are told to focus on a piece, like a business plan. She's concerned about a 5-day task order review turnaround?can faculty understand task orders and respond in this timeframe? Ostrander: Many task orders are not substantive, but change or modify earlier task orders. If committee does not have time to review, that's the same result as a negative decision. Dawson asked if the cap of $10 million per year could be re-negotiated, for example with projects needed for Katrina clean-up. Ostrander: Yes, we could renegotiate the cap.
Madey noted that the capacity to accept funds on short order already exists with current contracts. A big surprise was the announcement that UARC would be virtual rather than a distinct physical entity. What reasoning led to this non-traditional model? And if MFS said its not an appropriate model, would the Navy allow for a more conventional model? Ostrander: It was understood from the beginning this UARC would be non-traditional. Madey: As in UARCs are us? Ostrander: yes. Navy indicated post-9-11 that the traditional model was not what they wanted. He does not know what the impact would be to change gears now. Perhaps we start with the experimental virtual UARC for 5 years and then either shut down or go to more traditional model.
K. Barry (ASUH) stated she opposes UARC. The discussion has been about financial issues but with tuition going up she feels UHM is not so desperate for new funding. What advantages are there for the community and the undergrad students? Ostrander: More research and more opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research.
Bley-Vroman noted the time and announced that if people wanted to continue the discussion they could stay. A move to adjourn was made and seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.