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Manoa Faculty Senate Draft Minutes of January 18, 2006

January 18, 2006
Crawford Hall 105

Senators present:
Aune, Baker, Bangert, Baroni, Bingham, Bley-Vroman, Bridges, Chang, Coimbra, Comcowich, Cox, Decarlo, DeMattos, Diamond, Donegan, Ericson, Fassiotto, Fritzinger, Fryer, Fujimoto, Garcia, Grandy, Hawkins, Herring, Hudson, Inazu, Kamakawiwoole, Kent, Kipnis, Lampe, Liebert, Magaard, Manshardt, Mark, Nitz, Paull, Ramos, Ramsey, Rieder, Russo, Rutter, Sansone, Satsuma, Sipes, Staff, Stodden, Tiles, Weems, Wieczorek, Weinstein, Yates, Yue, Yuen

Senators absent:
Allsopp, Buenconsejo-Lum, Greene, Haig, Halagao, Kazman, Lee (L.), Lee (M.T.), Lopes, Port, Raleigh, Sanders, Scanlon, Skouge, Stark, Stimson, Valliant, Ward, Yu

Senators excused:
Duffy, Efird, Kazman, Kennedy, Lorenzo, Minatodani, Roberts Marlow, Shiramizu,

Ex Officio: Neal Smatresk

Invited Chancellors: Chancellor Denise Konan, Vice-Chancellor Kathy Cutshaw

Chair Robert Bley-Vroman called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

1. Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the December 7, 2005 meeting were approved as distributed. The Chair stated that any minor corrections found later should be emailed to the Secretary (mstaff@hawaii.edu).

2. Chair's Report

2.1. UARC update: Bley-Vroman announced that the Senate's UARC decision was forwarded to the Chancellor who made her own recommendation to the President. The President will hold a public UARC meeting in the ballroom on January 20 and that meeting will include the Manoa Faculty Senate Chair's report on the Manoa process.

2.2 Position Transfer Update: Bley-Vroman reported that the President refused to proceed with transferring a position from Manoa to W. Oahu campus, an action requested by the Legislature but opposed by the College of Education and Faculty Senate. College of Education Faculty Senate chair Johnson has sent message to President McClain thanking him for his courage and leadership in supporting faculty governance and system autonomy. Manoa Senate may also want to send a similar response.

3. Address by Chancellor Konan

Konan reported that the fall 2005 semester had allowed her to look at some parts of the university she was not familiar with, and in spring 2006 she will renew her commitment to students and colleagues. She has recently attended several conferences, some in preparation for accreditation activities. Soon, Neal Smatresk will be asking for information for the university's next self-study. In Washington, D.C. she attended a conference for 120 university presidents and chancellors, hosted by Secretary of State Rice, where she learned how international scholarship promotes better understanding of both the global world and US interests. She was pleased to hear of a new national focus on foreign languages, since UHM has great strengths and can contribute well in this area.

At the NCAA conference in Indianapolis she noted the high respect colleagues have for Althletic Director Herman Frazier and now has a greater appreciation for the contributions athletic programs make to promotion of the university in the community. At a meeting of WAC members, the focus was on the phrase "play up", suggesting the goal to strengthen athletics and academics together. Konan mentioned that faculty member Peter Nicholson and the Committee on Athletics have been working hard on this front.

Konan wants this "year of the student" to focus on creating a better student experience and she feels an outpouring of support for this emphasis. 4,000 students responded to the fall survey. The positive results include a high level of student confidence in graduating, satisfaction with course availability and professors for advising regarding their classes, as well as noting that staff members are polite and helpful. In general, coursework is challenging and rigorous.

Concerns included student support services such as advising, financial aid, safety, inadequate classroom and student housing facilities, and the quality of environment, as well as parking. A ranking of improvements that would most help included: improved teaching methods, greater access to loans and financial aid, a single location for student academic advising, more intellectually challenging classes, repaired classrooms, more small classes, more places on campus to study-and especially to do group class projects.

Konan stated her desire is to keep Manoa moving toward a more thriving, challenging, globally-connected campus. She wants to institute simple measurement systems of our success, and steps to insure better retention and graduation rates. She wants movement in leadership, excellence, and innovation.

Konan articulated and she asked for faculty help with her ten initiatives:

Konan called for comments and discussion.

Kipnis (A & H) noted that recent national news listed UH at the bottom in rankings of educational effectiveness. Konan responded that she wants to focus on graduation rates and success rates relative to state funds. She mentioned that the recent audit of UH asked for more accountability and she was taking this seriously. She wants our budget processes to stand up to external review.

Weems (Animal Sci) commented that housing issues go way back, and asked how much money is in the housing fund and how will it be used? Konan: legislature has given new support. Currently housing is a stand-alone operation. It may be better if it was more collaborative. Since students keep asking for better housing, administration must pay attention.

Cutshaw noted she could get the figures for the housing fund.

Sansome (SOEST) asked about lower campus and Moiliili redevelopment. Konan responded there is interest, including from Athletics in redeveloping this area. Some buildings are in very bad shape. A planned new transit stop in quarry area would give new outlook, and safety issues must be addressed.

Konan asked to come back later to talk about sustainability and other issues.

4. Senate Executive Committee Report

4.1 Relationship between Manoa & system: Bley-Vroman noted the long history of the UH President and Manoa Chancellor being the same person. Separation had many causes, but a major one was to establish strong and autonomous Manoa structure and get rid of conflict of interest. A few years have passed but there is still a messy residue from the split, like a divorce that wasn't fully worked out and conditions not fully satisfactory for either party. The system pulled resources from Manoa and now Manoa lacks some capacities it needs for full authority and autonomy. Some convoluted relationships have resulted resulting in unclear authority in many areas. For example: IT used to report to the President/Chancellor and now reports to the President. SEC has been concerned about this for some time. Through committee-SEC liaisons, the SEC plans to explore alternatives and recommend relationships and capacities. It may be possible to form a senate task force to make recommendations, and SEC and your faculty senators need your ideas. There is currently good will in both the Chancellor's and chanc and President's offices to effect some changes. And, since searches are underway for both a new Manoa Chancellor and system President it would be good to work this out beforehand.

4.2 Search for Chancellor: Bley-Vroman reported the search committee is being formed. There will be six faculty members, and the Senate sought nominations and is now in the process of selecting members. Bley-Vroman has agreed to chair the committee. The President has expressed willingness to work with faculty and be led by faculty. Since the search is starting later than expected, there are timing issues. A search firm will be selected to assist the committee.

5. Committee on Administration and Budget (CAB)

Bley-Vroman noted that the chair of CAB is not here today. CAB is considering how retired faculty members could belong to the senate in some way. CAB anticipated introducing a proposal in February. It is likely retired faculty will be advisory but not voting members and may sit on each committee. They could also be involved in FS mtgs. Bley-Vroman introduced Fred Riggs and George Simpson from FRAUM.

5.1 Resolution on Rate of Return on Housing Investments

Former CAB member Amarjit Singh, standing in for J. Efird, presented the resolution as he had taken the lead in doing the research leading to its development. Prof. Singh presented a power point based on the lifecycle cost analysis. In 2003, rents were raised at faculty housing as a result of administration claiming that the operation was running at a loss. The committee looked at every expenditure and revenue item obtained from the faculty housing administration. They took a very conservative approach but their findings contradicted administration and they found that the operation was not running at a loss; in fact in 2004 there was a balance of $9.8 million, which was invested at 1.2% interest. The committee believes this fund could and should be invested at greater returns; 4% would be more reasonable. No one could explain the selection of the low investment tool. Profit and loss analysis was done to account for the end of the mortgage on faculty housing in 2026. The study extended to 2050, keeping rentals constant. In all scenarios, there appears to be a very healthy financial picture. Singh mentioned that the life of building was at least 50 years, and maybe 75-80 years depending on maintenance.

Singh read the resolution.

A senator commented that all invested funds should be looked at for appropriate returns. A voice vote was called, and the resolution passed unanimously with none abstaining. Bley-Vroman thanked Singh and the committee for their diligent work on this matter.

5.2 Resolution Calling for New proposals Regarding Faculty Housing

Robert Perkinson introduced the resolution on behalf of the Faculty Tenants Association. He commented its members are current residents, predominantly junior faculty and longer-term residents who are priced out of the current housing market. While Faculty Housing helps recruit new faculty there are currently many challenges, such as recent surges hiring. Other factors lower vacancy rates, for example, soaring median home prices (now exceeding $600,000. Rental housing is the 3rd most expensive in the nation. Little new housing is being built on Oahu. UH, which once offered a mortgage assistance program, has suspended it. Finally, compared with our peer universities, UH faculty have the lowest purchasing power. The bottom line is that UH administration is sitting on the sidelines with respect to faculty housing, though it is critical to UH's future. Meetings with the Chancellor, Cutshaw, Smatresk, McClain have occurred but resulted in no specific proposals.

Faculty need to put pressure on administration if we want to move forward. Some ideas that have been put on the table: immediately begin building new housing, co-ownership programs, rental subsidy programs, offer incentives for high-income residents to move out, etc.

In the end it was decided to have a more general resolution and look at short-term and long-term problems with recruiting and retention. Evicting residents who have nowhere to go is not the answer?faculty will leave Hawaii if this happens. Although salaries are going to increase it will not be enough and there is a need for creative, sustainable solutions.

Bley-Vroman read the resolution on behalf of CAB and stated there was no requirement for a second.

Sansone pointed out some typos that needed correction.

Claire Hennis(?sp) (Non-Senator) presented a petition signed by 100 people faculty and staff.

Wieczorek (CTAHR) commented her family is unable to find an alternative to faculty housing, although they have been looking.

J. Bolder (Poli Sci, Non-senator), has concern for junior faculty who come here having the reasonable expectation of achieving a middle-class lifestyle. In a department such as his, investment that goes into hiring is undermined by the situation that older productive faculty are nearing retirement. If he loses both junior and senior faculty at the same time, it may mean the end of his department. Ramsey (Math) wanted to know if people are being evicted.

Perkinson responded: No, but some are proposing mass evictions. We must have solutions that serve both recruitment and retention.

C. Hennis noted that the language of, and timing of, the rental contract renewal process leads to great uncertainty and instability for residents.

A CAB subcommittee member (?) commented that the results of a faculty housing survey showed a high degree of anxiety because this housing is supposed to be transitional. She was pressured to leave soon after 3 years of occupancy. The pressure was covert but still obvious. Her family meets the standard for low income, but she says she is one of the higher paid in her department at present.

Mike ? (GEOL) said that faculty housing has changed dramatically; there formerly was such low need that students were living there. It was noted that there is actually a long list of eligible categories that may reside in faculty housing, including students, but today few students are accepted.

Lampe (Math) noted he's concerned by #4 which would protect residents from evictions, because it makes it more difficult for new faculty to get housing. He moved and received a second to his amendment to delete #4.

Singh noted that administration needs to take a look at long term solutions. There has been no construction of new units although several proposals have been introduced since '95. UC Irvine has a good model: they built units that faculty can reside in, and can be purchased, but must be sold back to the university when/if the faculty member leaves. He stated it was a bad decision to put retention second to recruitment. It was also noted that Cutshaw and Smatresk have reviewed and accepted the current language.

The amendment was called by the Chair (to delete # 4) but it did not pass.
6 in favor
31 opposed.
1 abstaining.

The main motion to approve the resolution was called by the Chair and it passed unanimously by voice vote. There were no abstentions.

6. Committee on Faculty Service

Regarding the Special Election for an SEC member and the regular senate election, Kent Bridges announced that an email will be sent to solicit nominations. The second part of the message will be a log-in procedure and voting will be on-line. The same procedure will be used for both elections. There will be short deadlines.

Bley-Vroman explained that the first election is to replace B. Raleigh, who had to resign from SEC due to work commitments.

7. Committee on Professional Matters (CPM)

Resolution on Non-Permanent Resident Faculty

K. Kipnis presented the problem and noted there was more information in the minutes from December. CPM had redrafted the resolution and had distributed the new wording to Mary Tiles (UHPA), Neal Smatresk, and Louise Kubo.

M. Staff (Academic Affairs) stated that the wording was still not entirely appropriate and may mislead readers about the processing of immigration applications. She presented several amendments to the text to help clarify the issues. A vote on the amendments was called.
8 in favor
18 opposed

Bley-Vroman stated that there was no longer a quorum present, with the result that the Senate would need to return to this issue at the February meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Martha Staff
Secretary


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