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Manoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes of December 5, 2005

Chair Robert Bley-Vroman, Vice Chair Jim Tiles, Noel Kent, Bill Lampe, Martha Staff and Robert Valliant, Administration: VCAA Neal Smatresk, Senate Secretary Charlotte Mitsutani

Absent: Barry Raleigh

  1. Pre-Meeting Discussion

    While awaiting the arrival of VCAA Neal Smatresk, Chair Bley-Vroman discussed Interim Chancellor Denise Konan's press conference. He sat on podium for question period.

    He said that the chancellor had justified giving up possible money by noting that few faculty seemed interested in participating in the UARC funded research and that UHM already received $360 million in research funding.

    Chair Bley-Vroman noted that Interim President David McClain said that he would recommend a course of action. Regents didn't ask him to do that. McClain emphasized that the open information meeting was for BOR. It will turn into chance for pro-UARC people. Bley-Vroman felt that Interim President implied that business and community interests will show up.

    Chair Bley-Vroman asked if the SEC should do anything for the Interim President's information meeting. Tiles felt we should speak. Lampe suggested delivering the UARC Report and copies of the outside counsel's report.

    The committee discussed possible items to bring up with VCAA Neal Smatresk. The following were suggested

    Teaching evaluations. Smatresk will meet with CAPP on this. Why at chancellor's level, not college or department level. Isn't this micro- managing? The chancellor wants all teaching evaluated. VCAA took this to mean that he should do it

    Library situation. Staff talked about the no-confidence vote regarding Hamilton Library Director Diane Perushek during summer. VCAA said he would not remove her and he will impose mediation.

  2. Meeting with VCAA Neal Smatresk

    VCAA Neal Smatresk arrived at 2:12pm

    Chair Bley-Vroman told VCAA Smatresk that the SEC had no agenda for discussion.

    1. Need to Speed Up Consultation Process

      VCAA began by saying that the current consultation-with-the-Senate process works too slowly. The next CAPP meeting is not until Jan 25. But we need to work faster. Faculty governance must work in more timely manner. He noted that the Chancellor wants to jam things through. If we can't consult, we can't move things. He wanted suggestions on how the process could be sped up.

      Lampe said that some consulting takes time. Get used to it. CAPP won't use subcommittees and that slows down its output.

      VCAA wanted the relationship between the Faculty Senate and the administration to be one where the Senate did not always say ``No'', but could say ``Yes''. He noted that it is difficult to change things even under best of circumstances. However, he conceded that it is better this year.

      VCAA said that the Chancellor wants mandatory faculty evaluations by the spring. He felt that it might be difficult to do.

      He also discussed class closures and degree close-outs, pointing that that the Faculty Senate has never been involved in those.

      To speed things up he wants to meet with CAPP more often.

      Lampe said that CAPP would meet in 2 weeks, but that it was just business to clear up the current backlog.

      VCAA Smatresk suggested meetings between himself, the chair of CAPP and the SEC liaison to CAPP on a more regular basis.

      Lampe (the CAPP liaison) said that would work.

      Chair Bley-Vroman said lets do that.

      VCAA Smatresk noted that Chancellor Konan came from the Faculty Senate, and that she gets impatient. She sees no change for 2 years.

    2. Changes in Advising

      VCAA Smatresk said that there are some pretty serious changes coming in advising. In the future, the deans will be evaluated on advising. Changes in procedural issues will go through the Council of Academic Advisers, Academic Procedures Committee and CAPP. He would like this done by next fall.

      Lampe thought that faculty won't have much to say this issue.

      Tiles inquired about putting the responsibility for advising on the faculty?

      VCAA Smatresk said that he was not going that far. Minimal advising standards would be enforced. Whoever the advisers were --- staff, APTs, but no grad students --- would get training from central advising group. Advisers will have to understand information technology because STAR is going to play a bigger role. His office is willing to sink money into it. Academic Journey is expected to ease many problems when it gets up and running. It will function as a degree checklist. Students can pull up their academic records and do ``what ifs''. He noted that timelines, with significant money and people, have been drawn up.

    3. First Year Programs

      The administration is moving fast on first years programs. VCAA wants CAPP to be in loop. He wants benefit of their wisdom.

      Part of the changes in the first and second years will be more aggressive advising. Holds will be placed on students so that they can't register until they talk to adviser. Then they have to declare a major after about 80 hours and get a departmental adviser.

      Lampe said that would be wonderful and wanted to know how often he and Patsy Fujimoto (chair of CAPP) would meet with VCAA. VCAA suggested once every other week. If that was too often, it could be changed it to once a month. He wanted to meet with CAPP once a month.

      Bley-Vroman repeated that the VCAA's meeting with the chair of CAPP and the liaison often was good idea. It might even move the CAPP chair to adopt the subcommittee system.

      Kent pointed out the problems students have with getting focus courses.

      VCAA Smatresk said that this is getting better. His office put over $500,000 into new courses at freshmen and sophomore levels. Now he is looking at junior and senior levels. UHM should be over this problem by end of the semester. Evidence shows that graduation rates are picking up.

    4. Student survey

      VCAA said the recent online student survey showed two interesting results. The survey found big differences between upper and lower level students, between on-campus, off-campus students.

      Students opinions were inconsistent. They felt their courses rigorous and good, but they wanted better instructors. Overall there were perceived problems with instruction, financial aid, and advising. Freshmen/sophomore -- junior/senior differences could probably be put down to retention effects. The data will have to be broken out on a question by question basis.

      Tiles suggested that there might also be a faculty survey put up on the web.

      Bley-Vroman mentioned that a faculty morale survey had been done at the community colleges. He said that he would send Vice President Linda Johnsrud's faculty survey to VCAA.

      Concerning the question of students evaluations, Lampe asked about the appropriate level for doing it. He wanted to know why it was being done at the vice chancellor level.

      VCAA responded that there were things the administration wanted to know that it was not getting. He reassured the SEC that the administration was only interested in composite and aggregate data, not individual evaluations. It also wanted to be able to break the evaluations down by student level: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior. This was partly for resource allocation. He also pointed out that the data would be useful for chairs. This small set of data would provide a standard measure of faculty across campus and would be use for COPR and resource allocation.

      Lampe said that the faculty would probably agree, but the administration must answer question of why it was being done at the vice chancellor level.

      VCAA said the evaluation would use CAFE, and would consist of 8--10 questions.

      Bley-Vroman said this was a minimal CAFE plus whatever department wants.

      Tiles feared that the students would answer 10 questions and not provide any comments.

      VCAA replied that at UTA students did it. He said that paper systems get better compliance, while computer based-systems provide a quick response. It is just a trade off. However, if the evaluation comes after the grades have been submitted it is meaningless. He said that the union, CAPP and administration will sit down at the beginning of January and work something out.

      Bley-Vroman suggested that the best way to proceed was to have the administration propose setting up a committee and then ask the Senate for members. The Senate will put CAPP members on the committee and then run it through CAPP. The administration should ask the SEC for for a committee and explain what the committee will do. This is just the usual procedure. There would be no need to wait for CAPP. We can get it going instantly.

    5. Honors College

      Lampe said that the Honors College people had met with CAPP.

      VCAA said that he was not sure what to do. He had asked the deans and directors their opinion of an Honors College and under what circumstances they might be willing to support it. Their response has been only luke warm. He said that he can't imagine a university without an Honors College. But the one UHM has now is crappy, underfunded, no one wants it. He is considering just stopping it and starting over.

      Tiles said that Honors College is new proposal. The Honors Program is different program. The Honors College appears not to have widespread support, so shouldn't we concentrate on fixing the Honors Program?

    6. Scholarships and Tuition Waivers

      VCAA turned the conversation to scholarships. He said that he was worried about merit-based scholarship support. Interim Vice President for Academic Planning and Policy Linda Johnsrud warned about the System proposal that will shift much of the aid to needs, as opposed to merit-based. About 20% of increased tuition money will replace tuition waivers. This will raise scholarship dollars, but cut tuition waiver dollars. He said that he will be happy to give out scholarship money for needy students, but that he wants to keep tuition waivers for merit scholars.

      Bley-Vroman suggested that we thank the VP for her input, and tell her that we have our own plans. We make decisions, they don't.

      VCAA noted that System likes to make policy decisions for Manoa.

      Bley-Vroman, VCAA and Lampe agreed that the issue should be referred to CAPP and also to CSA.

      Bley-Vroman suggested an approach similar to the one to be used for student evaluations. VCAA and VCAFO should form a working group to propose policy a scholarship/tuition waiver policy. Then they could ask the SEC for a committee.

    7. Reorganization

      VCAA commented that the reorganization was moving forward. The System proposed 3 part plan. They give Manoa everyone they don't want, but not the actual whole functions, just odd people. No money comes with the people.

    8. Legislative Visit

      Turning to the legislative visit, VCAA said that the first visit was bad, but the second was not so bad. While sitting at Manoa Garden with Senator Clayton Hee, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, and State House Higher Education Committee Chair Thomas Waters having beers, Hee actually had tried to solve problems rather than make them. Hee still has some real edges about how university runs and still was trying to micro-manage. Dec 15 will be the key. That is the day testimony is delivered. Slowly but surely things are getting better. UHM needs a better budget process. It needs more and better undergrad facilities. VCAA said that the highest item on the CIP budget list is a generic classroom office building. Surge space. There is no place to put people when renovating.

      VCAA left the meeting at 3:05pm.

  3. Approval of minutes

    Approved with changes

  4. Chair's report
    1. Manoa-System initiative

      There is a working group reporting to BOR. Raleigh talked to BOR Chair Kitty Lagareta. The working group consists of Bley-Vroman, VCAFO Cathy Cutshaw, VPR Jim Gaines and Raleigh. It met last Wednesday, and on Thursday Bley-Vroman talked to Interim President David McClain and informed him about existence of working group. Interim President McClain said he would put someone on committee. He wanted VPAPP Linda Johnsrud.

      Bley-Vroman talked to Regent Byron Bender. (This is not a presidential taskforce. It advises the BOR directly). There is a regent's working group on the presidential search. Bley-Vroman said that the working group will announce to Chair Lagareta that it will report to the working group on a presidential search to provide them information. This will be easier than getting approval of entire BOR. He will send a memo Chair Lagareta with copies to Interim President McClain and Interim Chancellor Denise Konan telling them about the charge and reporting line.

      Interim President McClain wants something done by January 11. The Council of Chancellors will meet that day, and he wants to report something to that group. The working group, however, probably can't finish before January 12.

      Raleigh has the notes from the initial meeting. The group tried to separate out what the System needs to do and what Manoa need to do. The goal was to say little about System and more about what Manoa needs to do, providing examples of something that should be done, something not be done.

      The suggested functions included Human Resources, Information Technology, External Affairs, Academic Affairs, etc. Bley-Vroman indicated that he had talked to Heather Crislip, the chancellor's assistant, about this. She is reviewing policies. She will talk to Colleen Sathre, former VP of Policy and Planning, about the origin of policies. Crislip said that she will staff this committee. The chancellor suggested that her assistant Myrtle Yamada would be a better person. Yamada knows more about academic affairs. Bley-Vroman suggested that we propose to to the chancellor that Yamada provide info about how things work and Crislip staff committee.

      Lampe said that he prefers the ``constitutional'' model: Manoa has all rights unless something has to be at the System level. He felt that the Regents were still hoping that Interim President McClain might be retained.

    2. Chancellor Konan's UARC decision

      At press the conference, the chancellor made a statement, then Bley-Vroman joined her for the question period. Most of the questions went to the chancellor. She read a brief summary of her press release. Bley-Vroman said that it is consistent with Senate's action and says 3 things: (a) the faculty can pursue defense funding, (b) UARC research would be more appropriate off-campus, leaving door open, by interpretation, (c) she thanked the vice chancellors who worked on the UARC.

      At his press conference, Interim President McClain emphasized his informational meeting. This is opportunity for people, community members to let their voice be heard. When asked who, Interim President McClain only replied, ``We shall see''. He said he had spoken to such people. He also said that he is agnostic on UARC.

  5. Agenda of December 7 Senate Meeting

    The committee turned to discussion of the agenda for the next meeting.

    Tiles suggested discussion of the COR resolution.

    Lamp said that any changes are up to Senate.

    Tiles wanted the Senate to refer it back to COR because a better resolution was necessary.

    Lampe felt that it would be hard to get a better resolution. Sending it back is a kind of 'no' and it all might be pointless given 2002 resolution.

    Tiles said any resolution should be an amendment or supplement to 2002 resolution. Although the COR resolution quotes the 2002 resolution it does so out of context. The COR resolution also talks about freedom but not about rights and responsibilities.

    Bley-Vroman noted that the 2002 resolution spoke of the freedom to pursue research without undue restrictions. The COR resolution replaces that with "right to pursue research". Any change seems to means without any restrictions at all. He said that there was nothing we can do but take it forward to Senate.

    Lampe said that was already a resolution on the subject and the COR resolution should properly reference it and make clear the ways it wants to amend previous resolution.

    Bley-Vroman said that the chair of COR should provide a context for this resolution. The SEC must make sure that the context is there. An earlier version of the COR Resolution said that faculty could accept whatever publication restrictions they wanted.

    Tiles noted that research done on the 20% released of time is not restricted by resolutions.

    Bley-Vroman suggested that the chair of COR be put in touch with Torben Nielsen because of subtleties needed in the resolution. He also suggested that we should ask Mary Tiles, the UHPA president, about replacing ``right'' with ``freedom''.

  6. Unfinished Business
    1. Petition to Overturn the UARC Resolution

      No word has been received about anyone trying to rescind the UARC resolution. People have until Dec 19 to propose a petition. The Bylaws said that people have 10 days after publication of the resolution to try to mount an attempt to overturn it. There hasn't be a way to ``publish'' a decision. Bley-Vroman said that the Senate now has a system to get resolutions in News@UH.

    2. Email Voting

      Tiles had a prepared statement on email voting.

      Lampe said that he favored as simple a statement as possible. It should apply to all situations. Sometimes people aren't willing to say they don't like something. So a simple policy, such as, majority of votes, a majority of the committee is best.

      Bley-Vroman said that the policy need not be strict in all cases. It is possible to get agreement even when the item is not in its final form. For example, the chair would fix it and email to all. There might never be a vote. If no one screamed before a given date, it was ok. This was based on experience is his department. If anyone objects, it goes to face-to-face vote.

      Tiles said this would work for proposing for new initiatives. If anyone objects it must go to committee.

      Lampe agreed that he would try to ``deword'' Tiles' statement and try to come up with something simpler for the next meeting.

Adjourn 4:12.

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