Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Minutes of July 27, 2009
Present: David Ross, Martin Rayner, Helen Zaleski, Susan Hippensteele, Lei Wakayama, Tom Hilgers
The meeting convened at 3:10 p.m.
The committee discussed the availability of the support funds for SEC members. It seems that the funds have been approved and should be available for use.
Chair’s report Part 1
Summary of the last MET meeting: It is difficult to make progress in these meetings due to the uncertain economic environment. Positive developments discussed include meetings with the dignitaries, and securing the new telescope grant. However, no one knows what’s happening with the budget. Discussions regarding retrenchments and vertical program cuts have not resulted in specific information about how much money would really be saved.
A 5% paycut should net UHM $12.5 million. The Chancellor has indicated that the Omsbuds office will be closed. A suggestion to move this up to the system was made at the MET, however this probably is not going to happen. The committee noted that there remains a need for better dispute resolution and communication mechanisms.
The System has the asked the campuses for supplemental budgets, but the Governor hasn’t asked for it. Items discussed are primarily planning money and other CIP items.
There will be a joint meeting of the budget advisory work group and the prioritization work group on July 31. Chair Ross will not be able to attend, so Vice Chair Rayner will attend.
The pay lag issue came up again. The faculty and UHPA are opposed to this. As a counter proposal, UHPA has suggested that faculty be paid over 9 vs. 12 months, which would accelerate pay to faculty.
MAC The committee met Dr. Paul Brandon, new chair of MAC. The Manoa Assessment Committee will have 9 faculty and 2 student members. John Goss is the Vice Chair. The MOU is still being revised. The locus of tenure for the Assessment office staff will be in Academic Affairs. The assessment staff is feeling vulnerable to budget cuts, however, the SEC believes this is not likely to be a problem. Areas to improve include the faculty’s role in assessment and administrative follow-through on issues.
The GEO was established after the faculty senate adopted a Gen Ed reform resolution. It was assumed that the Assessment office would be established similarly after senate action on assessment, but the office was established before the senate had acted. The Assessment staff should serve the faculty, but not set policy or impose agendas. The policy direction and agendas should come from the faculty. The MAC should act as if the structure and policy for Assessment are as intended and should promote the faculty’s point of view and try to ensure that Assessment is faculty driven. The GEO processes, which are faculty driven, are a good model for the Assessment Committee. For example, faculty and the administration should bring issues to the MAC for consideration and it is the Chair’s prerogative to consider those requests and set the meeting agendas and determine the scope of the Assessment Committee’s role.
Suggestions were provided about what we would like the Assessment Committee to accomplish during the next year. The Committee should be setting policies and guidelines for assessment. The WASC evaluation processes have driven the development of policies by the administration, and the lack of a faculty driven committee for assessment has resulted in the administration and staff delineating policies to meet what they perceive as WASC requirements. WASC requires that the UHM have a culture of evidence in assessment processes, but leaves it to the campus to develop assessment policies. The new Assessment committee should take the responsibility to develop faculty driven assessment policies that can be used across campus and will meet the WASC requirements, but will not be driven by the accreditation process. Also, problems occurred in the past with the lack of guidance for learning outcomes for new course proposals, etc. that were considered by the curriculum committee, who might have little expertise in assessment.
There are 3 issues to be addressed by the Assessment Committee: 1) that the faculty should be in charge of assessment processes that are used to evaluate curriculum; 2) the faculty should also be in charge of the use of those assessments; and 3) the faculty should be in charge of what services are provided by the assessment office. The chair of the Assessment Committee could bring questions about the role of the Assessment Committee to the Faculty Senate through the Executive Committee, for example, there may be questions about the division of labor between the Assessment Committee and the Faculty Senate. Similar issues were faced in the formation of the GEO office, but have been resolved satisfactorily.
Location of IRO staff in the Assessment Office may be an issue; physical proximity of staff can imply that different units are in effect one unit. Is the IRO going to be part of Assessment? In the previous WASC plan, IRO and Assessment were united to create a more symbiotic relationship and to provide appropriate data for assessment. This was not specifically implemented, and the budget for assessment was reduced from the $275k requested to $100k, and there seems to be no money for faculty requests for assessment and data analysis. This highlights the need for faculty control of decisions on the availability and resources for assessment.
The accomplishments of the Committee may be limited by time constraints of the Committee and staff support. Nevertheless, the primary goal will be to develop assessment processes that are helpful to faculty in improving their instructional performance and student learning. Departments and programs should “own” their assessment. However, the Manoa Assessment Committee would consider administrative proposals that might influence policies across disciplines and programs. The definition of what constitutes a program was unclear in the recent prioritization process. The ownership of data from assessment processes is also an issue. There are no policies regarding this. Some data are being provided to WASC that have not yet been approved by the program units.
The SEC discussed the Assessment Committee’s goals and its role with regard to representing the faculty in fulfilling the WASC review requirements, which is a key priority. Zaleski will be the liaison between the SEC and the Assessment Committee.
Chair’s Report Part 2
Chair Ross continued to report. He reviewed the BOR meeting. Most of the new construction for UH is at UHH not at UHM. Johnsrud provided a report to propose a relaxation of the limits on out-of-state students, but this was not an official presentation to the board. This issue will be addressed at a future meeting, and the faculty requested that we be able to provide input.
Ross indicated that he had a moment to talk to incoming Pres. MRC Greenwood. He hopes to invite her to meet with the UHM SEC in the near future.
The process of faculty evaluation was raised by VC Dasenbrock. Ross indicated that these processes are done at the department level. Faculty own the evaluations. This is a matter that may require further discussion with the VCAA.
The draft SEC position statement regarding budget cuts was discussed. All agreed that the statement was well-written and should be posted on the website and issued as a press release to the local media. Additional communication messages with specifics regarding the impact of UHM (research and instruction) to the community will be developed over the coming weeks and also issued.
Senators and other faculty members will need to be informed of their committee assignments. The previously sent list of committee assignments should be finalized and sent to the Senators.
The UHM Calendar committee will meet this coming week, and there was some discussion of what issues should be considered in that meeting. The coordination of schedules between campuses is part of the issue.
The VC Research has called a meeting with the faculty of the CRCH to discuss their input on the CRCH Director appointment. There are concerns about the process and fairness to all candidates.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15.
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