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Manoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes of October 16, 2006

The SEC meeting was called to order by Chair Tiles at 3:05 p.m.. Attending were Chin, Harrigan, Lampe, Rutter and Staff. The Minutes of October 9 were approved, pending additions to summarize discussion on the agenda for the senate meeting scheduled for October 18.

Lampe reported that the CoA had met but had not met quorum. He had been the acting liaisaon with SEC while M. Staff was away. Left to electronic voting was the approval of the Academic Plan for Athletes of May, 2006. M. Staff reported that voting had occurred and she was relatively certain it had passed. She will check with Chair Nitz and ask him to present the plan and move for passage by the full senate on October 18.

Tiles reported that CAB had agreed to recommend joint sponsorship of a Forum on the Consitutional Amendment. Tiles will ask for approval from the full senate October 18.

Tiles asked for a discussion on the proposed Task Force on Assessment, with the ultimate goal of establishing a Manoa Academic Assessment Council that will take over academic assessment. Rutter asked to note that WASC kicked this off and it is a response to WASC concerns. Chin stated that a major concern will be resources to do it correctly, if MFS takes on this task. It must be a partnership, with administration providing a budget: probably a large budget. Harrigan agreed the questions on budget were critical. Lampe noted there would need to be two levels of support: first to fund the development and implementation of a new system, and second the on-going dollars. Tiles mentioned that Tom Hilgers will be a critical player on the task force, and that John Norris has experience and should play a key role, too. Determining what constituencies should be represented on the Task Force and later on the committee will be important. A deadline of January-February for the task force report will be requested.

Tiles mentioned he has been discussing with the Chancellor her desire to have FS adopt a 7-page statement on academic freedom. However, the Senate already has a brief policy on academic freedom, and experience with UARC indicates this may continue to be contentious. This issue was referred to CPM. It was noted that CoR is looking at both classified and proprietary research this year and may take action as well. There are many thorny issues related to publication restrictions, even for research that is not classified.

The SEC discussed how to run the elections this year. Lampe had concluded that since the by-laws were not changed last year, it is not proper to continue with electronic voting, in spite of its obvious advantages. It is urgent to decide by the October 18 meeting, since paper ballots would need to be printed and we are nearly past the deadline to get this done. There continue to be unresolved technical problems with electronic voting, and no one appears to have the time/skills to take this on. The SEC concluded that paper voting would need to be done, and will ask the senate to approve.

Regarding the request from Smatresk to respond to the WASC draft report, SEC members reported that CAB, CAPP and GEC are preparing written responses.

At 4:00 pm, the meeting adjourned in order to meet with Smatresk.

Summary of discussion with Neal Smatresk.

Tiles summarized SEC thinking on the Faculty Task Force on Assessment. Charges would include overseeing/monitoring both general education’s and department’s efforts to assess their programs; and to supervise the implementation of standardized instruments as well as evaluating their effectiveness. The Task Force would recommend how to establish the Manoa Academic Assessment Council, including which constituencies would be represented on this body and how they would be chosen.

The conversation turned to resources. Smatresk committed to staffing the task force from his resources, and stated the task force should have a short life span of no more than one academic year. He commented that WASC is asking for an “assessment grid” to show what are students learning and how this is being measured. He asked the question, “What are we going to do about core competencies?” Lampe noted that perhaps the General Education requirements can be defined as core competencies. Smatresk noted that in 2000 we agreed to assess General Education but it has not been done. Smatresk agreed to ask SEC to forward a request to GEC to review “core competencies”.

Regarding a budget for academic assessment, Smatresk stated he expected it to cost $300,000-400,000 per year. Several SEC members stated it may cost $1.5 million.

Smatresk noted that the PCC is moving toward a campus wide hybrid model. By this he means it will be a faculty/administrative partnership, signed off on the chancellors level. Funding will come from the undergraduate education office budget. Lampe noted that the SEC does not have the right to ask Arts & Sciences to give up the PCC. Smatresk stated it is in the best interests of all to “elevate” it. Lampe agreed to undertake a discussion of this matter as part of the by-laws revision discussion.

Smatresk is thinking about the best way to staff both a Manoa institutional research office and the academic assessment office. Possibly they can be staffed together. For now, he will leave faculty evaluation off the table. He noted that in many areas of “best practices” UHM is far behind. Curriculum management is one of these areas. There are good electronic systems available, with templates, and on-line signing and storage. Many of these lead to simpler catalog and syllabus updates, etc. Although Banner has some of these features, they are not the best systems or the easiest to use. Gary Rodwell is being asked to develop these systems. Recently he worked with Financial Aid office to implement on-line package acceptance, and has more recently developed the first part of a scholarship module.

Regarding scholarship revisions for Fall 2007, M. Staff asked Smatresk to explain why no proposals have been circulated, noting that we are way past due on notifying prospective students intending to start or transfer to Manoa then. Smatresk stated that he is dissatisfied with the level of system control on this issue. The President has taken a personal control of this matter and will not allow Manoa to move forward yet.

The SEC agreed to give Smatresk a 5-10 minute slot on the October 18 senate meeting agenda to update the senate on WASC.

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