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Manoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes of June 19, 2006

Present: Staff, Harrigan, Cox, Rutter, Kent

M. Staff, Acting Chair during Tiles' absence, called the meeting to order at 3:00 pm. The SEC met with VCAA Smatresk from 4:00 to 5:00 pm and resumed the regular meeting between 5:00 and 5:30 pm.

The minutes of June 5, 2006 were approved.

The SEC discussed the matter of consultants' reports (external reviews) and concurred that Senate should encourage administration to provide full accountability and transparency by posting all reports for the campus community.

There was further discussion of approaches and problems to develop an updated faculty handbook. The SEC believes the old handbook, last updated in the 1970s, is too outdated and inconsistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement to use as a starting point. The task is complex and too large for the Committee on Professional Matters. The SEC decided to ask VCAA Smatresk for his ideas and possible resources.

An SEC member from the Kakaako campus has previously described a parking problem. The matter was raised with the Chancellor, who suggested that the SEC present a proposal to her. Harrigan will draft this for discussion at the next SEC meeting. The SEC also discussed constraints to active Senate participation by Kakaako senators due to current parking restrictions. The SEC decided to ask CAP to review the issues and make constructive suggestions. Some Manoa faculty must park regularly at two or three locations: (Manoa, Kakaako Leahi.) It was noted a) there are no parking fees at other campuses across the system and b) collective bargaining allows for parking reimbursements in certain cases, but department budgets currently cannot absorb these costs.

A Kakaako-based senator has asked for the option of participating in committee meetings by conference call. The SEC agreed to ask secretary Charlotte Mitsutani to collect information on devices such as VCT, speaker phones, etc. and identify purchase and recurring costs if such equipment were installed in the Hawaii Hall Faculty Senate room, and the Faculty Senate office. Now that Manoa has become a multi-campus institution, the SEC wishes to facilitate participation of all senators.

Topics Discussed with VC Smatresk

  1. Advising: Members of the SEC asked the VCAA to provide information and training to Faculty Ambassadors and others that visit high schools. The VCAA stated he is very interested in expanding outreach efforts, via the system's PK-20 initiative and through federal and foundation grants.
  2. Faculty Handbook: The VCAA suggested that a VC for Academic Personnel and OFDAS should be engaged to assist with this project. Committee on Professional Matters could come up with a document to guide the development of the new handbook this year. Smatresk mentioned that the project is complicated by the fact that there is no Manoa administrative policy in place and we still have the legacy system policy. Additionally there are state laws that interact with Collective Bargaining Agreements, all of which need to be interpreted and incorporated into the handbook.
  3. New course approvals: VCAA hopes to develop on-line templates for this process to improve and automate it. He envisions on-line forms and new course syllabi. He also mentioned the UH catalog revisions would be greatly improved by a similar process.
  4. Tenure & Promotion: VCAA responded to questions on this year's outcomes. The VCAA mentioned that he would like to see improvements in departmental level faculty mentoring and vertical communication, as well as some structural change to improve the process.
  5. Financial Assistance plan: Last week the system's plan prepared by Linda Johnsrud was approved by the BOR. In spite of many complaints the VCAA was comfortable with the need-based components of the plan. By working closely with Johnsrud, he was able to impact the final proposal in a way that is positive for Manoa and which did incorporate earlier Manoa consultation. He admitted to a conceptual, timing and communnication problem: the final plan was not distributed for comment in advance of the BOR meeting. Smatresk noted that there will need to be, and he favors, broad campus discussion to flesh out how the plan will be implemented here. He also anticipates that sorting out the merit-based scholarship details will be difficult and emotional. The SEC asked for further discussion on this matter.

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