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Manoa Faculty Congress Minutes of February 7, 2007

Law Classroom #2

Chair Tiles called the Congress to order at 3:10 p.m.

Tiles announced that Interim Dean of JABSOM, Gary Ostrander, has been working hard on understanding and acting on the fiscal situation there. He is preparing reports and materials from his work there and these will be posted soon on line.

Robert Bley-Vroman, Chair of the Chancellor’s search committee, was asked to provide an update on the search. He noted the committee is on-track and will soon announce campus visits of the finalists. The search committee is optimistic and encouraged by the applicant pool.

Tiles announced that a handout on assessment is attached to the Congress packet today. Senator Helen Baroni and Tiles will provide an explanation on what is being considered/proposed.

The minutes from the last meeting (August 30, 2006) were approved.

Tiles summarized the work of the Assessment Task Force, which presented its report at the last Senate meeting. WASC is requiring a more systematic assessment system, especially of the General Education program. Currently the assessment process is in its infancty. Faculty senate feared that if there was no action on the part of the Senate to have direct control of assessment, then faculty would lose control of the assessment process.

Helen Baroni was liaison to the Assessment Task Force and found it a very efficient process. The report was timely, well written, very collaborative. To the suggestion that some of the newer national assessment instruments would be appropriate to assess General Education, there was disagreement…or at least, the committee unanimously believed it would not be appropriate to use these instruments alone. Faculty would like instruments created here, with our faculty and our particular gen-ed core taken into consideration, in order to improve the curriculum. If assessment is done exclusively by administration, faculty would not be as directly a part of change. There was positive agreement among committee members that faculty should take over assessment, and would take over “oversight” but not all the implementation. There is a need for significant resources from administration so that there are not “unfunded mandates”. These were the driving concerns that led to the task force.

Tiles noted that GEC is not resourced to cover assessment; also there is possible conflict of interest if assessment responsibility was added to the GEC mission. The new office envisioned for assessment will be patterned along the lines of the GEC but will be independent. Nationally, pressure on the institution for assessment will not diminish; it started in Clinton administration but has intensified under Bush. This is part of the accountability stick. Thus the Senate hopes that faculty will support the efforts of the Task Force and the proposals that have resulted so far and will be fleshed out in the future. There has been lingering confusion because perhaps faculty were not given adequate background. More background information will be circulalted before the next Senate meeting.

Tiles introduced Chancellor Konan, who announced this is the first Congress of the Centennial. Konan presented a power point prepared for Centennial opportunities in the community. March 25 will be “Charter Day” and community is invited to dress in period costume (1907) to celebrate. She noted that the original faculty members were recruited from Cornell and there were 5 students in the first class.

Points from the Power Point:
Today the campus is a hip urban campus, reflecting the need for students to live, work, study and play on campus. The Library is now a 24-hour facility.

Chancellor has now signed over 900 letters of students with high SATs and GPAs to offer scholarships and early admissions.

Manoa now has capacity to launch its own small satellites and is the sole university globally with this capacity. Manoa is an international university, with a study abroad program that has increased 44% in 5 years. International student enrollment has increased about 21%, and a steady number of international scholars come to work here temporarily. Also, the number of international hires has increased.

Biennium Budget requests were aligned with the following themes: student excellence, campus renewal, faculty excellence, research support, and academic program support. Requests include enhancing academic and student support services with new positions. Also, facilities improvements are key to the budget, for example a utility management office, and enhanced staffing for maintenance/repair.

This year the university is supporting faculty salary increases and a long list of research projects. Administration has been very active at the legislature. There are also budget themes at the legislature such as sustainability and energy policy, creative media, innovation economy (human and intellectual capital), educational partnerships, social needs, assessment and accountability, and position control.

Faculty Equity Initiatives grew out of discussions with deans and directors, and others. Currently faculty are receiving the largest increased in the contract. But there is a need to better support outstanding achievements, address market gaps by discipline, and obtain across-the-board increases tied to cost of living. The Deans wish to have a more systematic methodology for merit increased and have been discussing how Manoa faculty are different than the issues for community college faculty. The UHPA has engaged a consultant for an equity study.

The outcome of the survey on faculty and staff was surprising. Across the board, Manoa has low levels of staffing compared to other DREUs (doctoral research institutions). Faculty levels are about right but we have about half the level of staff as do other universities. In the mid 1990s, budget limitations protected academic programs, at the expense of repair and maintenance, administrative and support staff, and acquisition of library resources, etc. Now, Manoa has its own HR office and improvements are occurring.

In the future, we can expect more delegation of authority from President to Chancellor’s level, as well as the expansion of staffing in key support areas.

The Chancellor announced that “the Year of the Student” last year was successful.

Students report they are highly engaged in majors, there is good diversity and many international/mulitcultural opportunities, there are many research opportunities and there is a comprehensive range of choices. The survey also showed the need to work on:
retention and graduation rates, improve teaching methods and rigor for high-achieving students, to improve financial aid access, and to develop a single location for advising, better classrooms and more study spaces. Also student housing development and expansion is important. With respect to student housing, the new student dorm with more than 800 beds is under construction. There is a need to expand on-campus housing to 5000 beds (now 3000), including allocated graduate and international student spaces. With the new Manoa bond approvals the campus can begin to implement a very aggressive strategy to improve housing. Also, students through ASUH and Campus Center Board, planned to increase student fees to expand Campus Center.

A UHM-KCC Pathways Agreement is in process that will encourage community college students to think of themselves as Manoa-bound. The agreement will include dual enrollments, advising enhancements, early access to Manoa resources, and better coordination of the curriculum. It is envisioned this first CC agreement can be a template for other agreements with other sister campuses. The Chancellor appreciates that faculty input is helping refine and improve the agreement.

Campus Renewal is focusing on aging classrooms, flood recovery efforts, mold issues, and soaring utility costs, as well as sustainability. The recent Chancellor’s Energy Summit produced goals and defined projects. HECO is partnering with Manoa and will monitor our energy use and help steward progress. Mary Tiles has chaired a sustainability committee and collected ideas from students, faculty, staff that have been very productive. But, we are not using our homegrown talent to improve our campus at this time. A new climate change commission will begin to use our local talent. Hawaii is vulnerable to climate change; we have and can organize our expertise and offer it elsewhere in the Pacific and beyond. More on this will be announced soon.

Hawaiian Sense of Place: A proposal to create a School of Hawaiian Knowledge has been drafted and will be presented to Senate soon. It’s exciting to see a significant growth in Native Hawaiian students, a fact that will allow Manoa to qualify for new federal funding. Recently Manoa had its first doctoral dissertation written entirely in the Hawaiian language.

Chancellor Konan took questions on 1) classroom technology in the current biennium budget, 2) on repair and maintenance plans, 3) on the impact of W. Oahu on Manoa, and on the library crisis and the library budget. Konan noted that support for the library has increased at a higher rates than in other departments. She noted the need to be thoughtful and strategic as we consider the uneven needs for a physical library. She noted that leadership in the library is in transition. Another faculty expressed the hope for faculty housing improvements in the near future and the Chancellor noted that her office is looking at options to buy, build, provide creative financing through a campus real estate office, etc.

The Congress was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Martha Staff for Secretary Harrigan


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