Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Minutes of August 10, 2009 with Gary Ostrander
Present: Susan Hippensteele, Martin Rayner, Halina Zaleski
Discussion with Gary focused on the budget. Assuming we have a pay lag (value $6.5M) and stimulus payment (value $14.7M), the budget shortfall will be $14M. This can be met by cutting Arts and Sciences 2.5%, Hawaiian, Facilities and Security 0%, and all other units 6%. This is the only way to make rapid cuts. The units will have the flexibility to decide how they will meet the cuts.
Prioritization has identified 2 programs that can be consolidated away. Reorganizing other programs would have little effect because of faculty and staff overlap with programs being maintained. An effective prioritization plan is not ready.
System retrenchment is not being discussed. UH is slow to move and adapt. There is duplication of programs within the system. Political issues need to be addressed at the system level.
Retrenchment will be needed for the longer term sustainability of Manoa. Administration is unclear on bumping rights, whether they are by campus or by program. The UHPA contract language governs this. It is unclear how program is defined. All faculty have the same rights as defined in the contract and must be treated equally. The result may or may not be in the best interest of UHM. A retrenchment plan has to be presented to the BOR by October.
Hawaii taxes are low to medium compared to other states, considering that the cost of education is included. Government does not appear to put a high priority on education. The balanced budget amendment is a limitation, but it includes an escape clause.
Early retirement incentives have been considered, but the state retirement fund has limited resources. One incentive discussed is a buy back plan for years of service. Eligible people are likely to be better off retiring than taking furloughs.
In order to move forward we need to hold town meetings to promote a sense of inclusion and open and frank discussions. Information provided should include positive and negative outlooks, union views, and retrenchment information. The effect of mergers as opposed to retrenchment and the possibility of moving the locus of tenure need to be clarified. The process is very important in minimizing negative effects on the campus climate.
The prioritization process may provide a model to build on because it was seen as transparent, inclusive and criteria-driven, especially in the earlier stages, although the quality of some of the data is highly questionable. The usefulness of the results is limited because most of the programs were placed in the maintain category. Some units have recently been through program review, which provides another source of data. Clarification is needed on whether and how this might be used.
There is a need to educate the BOR on economies of scale as opposed to duplication of small programs.
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