Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Minutes of August 17, 2009
Present: Martha Crosby, David Ross, Susan Hippensteele, Martin Rayner, Tom Hilgers, Halina Zaleski, Shirley Daniel
The meeting convened at 3:10 p.m.
The minutes of the August 10 meeting were approved as corrected.
A A&S draft reorg proposal has been provided to the A&S chairs for consideration.
A. Chairs report:
1. Ross discussed the recent budget and MET meetings.
The administration intends to bring a retrenchment proposal to the BOR in the November meeting. This would require consultation with the faculty by October.
The administration is developing a process for retrenchment. One model is the consultation process for reorganizations that CAB revised last spring. Another model is the AAUP policy on retrenchment. The UH is not a signator on this agreement.
There is a specific BOR policy for retrenchments, but is does not provide detail on the process until after a retrenchment plan is presented.
The committee discussed the need for the administration to show specific cost savings with any retrenchment proposal.
Peer institutions on the mainland have not been subject to retrenchment.
The SEC discussed the most recent version of the efficiency report that was discussed at the budget committee. It has improved from the previous version, but still has a number of errors and problems.
A copy of the Academic Grievance Case Log for AY 2008-9 was provided. One grade dispute was listed for spring 2009, which was denied. The committee wondered whether there were other cases which were not reported because of earlier resolution or other reasons. The committee also remains concerned about grade changes without faculty input.
At the Budget meeting the administration announced that it would form a committee to examine duplication of programs across campus. This effort has to take place above the Dean’s level. Gregg Geary will chair this group. The SEC will continue to monitor the process.
2. The VC of Academic Affairs provided approved documents for an authorization to plan for a new Bachelor’s degree in environmental design in the School of Architecture. The VC also approved an authorization to plan for the College of Education for a new Ed
D. These proposals will be passed along to CAPP.
The administration also provided a reorganization proposal to move the Office of Environmental Health and Safety from the VC Administration to the VC Research. The proposal will be forwarded to CAB.
3. The SEC discussed the need to have HH 208 and the adjacent office for Faculty Senate business..
It was confirmed that the faculty senate committee assignments have been distributed. Now that the on-duty period has commenced, the committees should be meeting and electing their chairs.
B. Old Business:
The Manoa Assessment committee has been populated.
We need 2 people for the GEC as well as members for some other general committees. The SEC will put out a call for participants to fill these positions.
C. VC Reed Dasenbrock entered the room. The following topics were discussed.
Reed indicated that a draft proposal from the Deans of A&S for a reorganization has been circulated to the chairs in A&S for comment. The Deans were to forward the proposal to chairs for comment, then meet with them in September. The proposal addresses financial implications and an academic rationale for the reorganization. The proposal was developed by the 5 Deans and not the UHM top administration. Reed believes there should be a broad conversation within A&S about the proposal reasonably soon. If no agreement can be reached, then no change will be made. It is key that the proposal be from the Deans rather than the top administration, and Reed believes it has been a collaborative process. The structure of the upper levels of the A&S has been proposed by the Deans, but they are relying on the faculty to flesh out the lower divisional organization structures. There may be savings, but this is not the main intent. There seems to be pressure from the faculty to maintain divisional deans.
Reed discussed some of the issues and benefits of a well-organized and led A&S, including coordination of class offerings and student advising as well as effective advocacy for humanities and liberal education.
The committee noted that previously there had been more coordination of course offerings through the PCC committee, which is no longer effective.
Reed believes that there has been a structural underinvestment in UG education on campus. There needs to be improved coordination within A&S. He hopes that, if the reorganization is approved, a search for a strong dean for A&S would commence.
The committee noted that a proposal with data and numbers will be very helpful to the faculty in considering the proposal. They also noted that after the chairs had provided input, the proposal should go to the A&S faculty senate.
The faculty asked Reed if there was any connection or relationship between the A&S reorganization and retrenchment. The answer is no. The processes are completely separate.
Reed noted that there were clear guidelines on what happens after a retrenchment proposal goes to the BOR. Prior to that, there is no policy or procedure. The administration is thinking of setting up a committee to consider retrenchment and suggested that Chair Ross could represent the faculty on the committee. The reorganization process developed last spring by CAB may be a point of departure, but decisions may need to be made quickly. The new committee would develop the process to be followed for the campus to come up with a retrenchment process, including consultation processes. He suggested some potential members of the committee.
The committee asked whether retrenchment was a foregone conclusion. Reed responded that barring a collective bargaining agreement, he thought so.
The SEC emphasized that budget cuts should not be dealt with entirely through cuts of academic programs and faculty. Reed agreed that all programs and units, including administrative units should be examined, and that we should look symmetrically across all programs. He noted that it is a problem that the proportion of spending on instruction at Universities has declined over recent decades. He does not agree with this policy, and is worried about further cuts that might harm instruction.
He wants to pay more attention to the enrollment issue, especially with regard to Hawaii students.
The UHM administration has not been as effective with the legislature as they could be nor as effective as other campuses.
UHM is, in actuality, part of a solution to the economic downturn rather than part of the problem. This message should be communicated to the legislature and the community in general.
There are both short term and a long term budget problems.
Reed believes that the quality of the conversation with the faculty for the next 6 weeks is critically important. He believes that the conversation must deal with all programs and include the plus and minus side. He wants to try to avoid long-term damage to the University. All agreed that the conversation should focus on the budget, not just on retrenchment.
The committee agreed that Ross Christenson and David Ross would serve as faculty representatives for this short term committee to develop policies/processes should retrenchment become necessary.
Reed noted that he has a draft document outlining the enrollment goals resulting from the enrollment meeting held a few weeks ago. The draft is on the Chancellor’s desk. He wants to also take it back to the participants at the meeting to ensure accuracy and intent. Basically, UH Manoa should grow; the State needs more educated people. He outlined 4 vectors of growth: more Hawaii HS grads at UHM, a student body that looks more like Hawaii (that is, better representation of minorities, particularly Native Hawaiians and Filipinos), increased flow rates of students from the 2 year campuses to our 4 year programs, and increased student retention. He hopes these goals will be formally endorsed by the UHM faculty.
He believes that more effective and efficient intersection between 2 and 4 year transfers has a lot of potential.
Workload letter from UHPA
Reed indicated he had seen the letter, but he was not involved in any policy that raises enrollment caps in any courses. He noted that increases in enrollment caps in English 100 to 23 were in anticipation of attrition. He emphasized that the conversations he has had specified that any changes to course enrollment caps must be agreed to by the faculty. He has said that if there are places where voluntarily and pedagogically, the faculty believes enrollments could be increased, then that is o.k. But if we know of anything happening unilaterally with regard to class size increases, he would like to know.
The committee noted that classroom space is an issue. Most people realize there is a balance between pedagogy and efficiency. However, if there is pressure to increase class sizes, there is a facility problem, because many rooms have limited capacity. Reed noted that facilities management is working on a better information system to improve space utilization and classroom assignments. However, he is not aware of the status of that right now. The committee also noted there is also a shortage of rooms equipped with computers and projectors.
The meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m.
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