Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Minutes of August 10, 2009
UHM Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting August 10, 2009, 3 p.m. Hawaii Hall 208
Present: Susan Hippensteele, Martin Rayner, Halina Zaleski, Shirley Daniel, Tom Hilgers, Martha Crosby
Note: The committee met with VC Ostrander from 2 to 3 p.m., and notes from that meeting were separately recorded by Helena Zaleski.
The committee noted that the draft CPR report has been circulated for comments. Comments are due in only a few days, so time is of the essence.
The committee discussed whether we should issue any additional statements regarding the budget cuts. With so much uncertainty and lack of information, we decided not to issue any additional statement at the current time.
Chancellor Hinshaw and Greg Takayama entered the room around 4 p.m.
The committee inquired about budget issues in the state and how they might impact UH. Specifically, we inquired about retrenchment and asked for an update on the prioritization process.
The Chancellor noted that the prioritization process was being diligently worked on, but there were too many programs classified in the middle or maintain category. Therefore it was decided to integrate the prioritization and budgeting information so better decisions could be made. There are also new efforts to measure costs and efficiencies of units and departments. (Dr. Rayner had previously provided the group with a new draft spreadsheet being developed by VC Cutshaw to try to track efficiency.) Discussions are on-going about consolidation of programs, such as TIMS, PBRC, the Kewalo laboratory, etc. Some of the program cuts suggested in the 1990s seem similar to what is needed now, however, none of those suggested cuts were implemented.
There is nothing about retrenchment except what is in the UHPA contracts.
The committee discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the prioritization process. Hilgers brought up the issues of the rate of change and “shelf-life” of programs. How can we better cope with the rate of change?
Some of the financial savings that might result from program consolidation or elimination are hard to measure. Sometimes cuts don’t result in fewer faculty and staff, but better time utilization for faculty and staff. Retrenchment discussions have revolved around cuts of weak programs. Prioritization was supposed to be a long term planning process.
The committee emphasized that to address the middle of the prioritization, you need to maintain transparency. There are duplications across the campus. Eliminating such duplication may be a way to effect cuts of programs that have been classified as “maintain.” People are reluctant to talk about mergers because they fear their program will be cut. There is also a need to communicate with faculty coming back for the fall, and to engage them in problem solving.
The committee asked what actions are happening at the UH System level.
All agreed that we also cannot afford to be redundant between campuses. The committee discussed how the various campuses could work together better. The committee also discussed opportunities for more distance education, and prior policies that may need to be addressed to increase online course offerings.
Hinshaw brought up the issue of establishing a naming committee to allow UHM to approve names for rooms, buildings, on the UHM campus etc. without going to the Board of Regents. The committee was favorable to this idea.
She is also going to work to obtain better maps and signage for the UHM campus.
Hinshaw provided an update on the search for the CRCH Director. She noted that access to experimental trials for cancer patients in Hawaii lags other locations, so it is important that the CRCH succeed for the benefit of the State. The UH and the State will also benefit from collaboration between CRCH and JABSOM. She noted there are 4 critical things that the CRCH needs to accomplish to get its NCI designation:
- Hire a Director
- Hire more research faculty
- Write/submit the NCI application
4. Build the new facility Therefore she needs to consider all these issues in making her selection.
The group discussed opportunities to better communicate UHM’s role in the State’s workforce development. While there is a perception that the Community Colleges are focused on workforce needs, the UHM provides a majority of many of the professional and technical workers in the state. We need to better convey the importance of our graduates in the workforce.
The committee also suggested additional student co-recruitment activities with the Community Colleges. Co-enrollment with the CCs is now easier. Students could benefit from a clearer idea of their academic goals at UHM at an earlier stage of their enrollment. The committee agreed to discuss these issues with VC Hernandez. There may be opportunities to work with the State Dept of Education on the new student academic plans required in the 2013 BOE recognition diploma process. Bringing K-12 students to the UHM campus could help tremendously. There is a need to better intellectually engage our Freshmen and Sophomores as well. We want to decrease non-completion and improve rates of completion for students.
The meeting adjourned at 6 p.m.
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