Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Minutes of September 21, 2009
Present: David Ross, Susan Hippensteele, Martin Rayner, Halina Zaleski, Tom Hilgers, Shirley Daniel
David Ross provided additional details regarding the meetings which he has attended for the past week. He had previously sent a memo (APPENDED AT END) summarizing the Convocation, BOR, ACCSFC, B&P committee and other various meetings he attended as UHM faculty senate chair.
Regarding the BOR meeting, Chair Ross noted that many of the building projects that have been approved will be funded by the State of Hawaii general obligation bonds, and are not the obligation of the UH System. There are still budgetary issues for operating costs for these building, but not the debt service. Some building planning costs are coming out of the current UH budgets. Ross noted that the BOR, (and the UHM SEC) is concerned about the costs of the UHH Pharmacy program.
Regarding the ACCFSC, Ross also noted that the executive search processes at other UH campuses are also problematic, and he wanted to provide copies of the UHM policy CAB worked on last year with the administration, but he could not find that policy on the website. We need to locate said policy, and asked that CAB address this with VC Cutshaw.
The committee discussed the new proposed articulation policy that he received at the AACFSC. It appears that this was not properly routed through the UHM VCAA.
It seems that reuniting the UH System with UHM would not be opposed by other campuses because they think the separation is favorable to Manoa. Also, the CC’s believe that the articulation rules were proposed by UHM. They view the UH Articulation Committee as an arm of UHM; this may be because UHM has the permanent staff.
The SEC is concerned about the administration’s tendency to provide memoranda and information in meetings and then say it cannot be circulated. This is not consistent with the concept of open consultation and shared governance.
Ross showed the SEC a memo he sent to the administration expressing appreciation for posting notes from the BP working group meetings. In the memo he also reminded the administration of appropriate consultation procedures.
The SEC agreed to post the notes from the Sept 2 meeting, and provide them to VC Cutshaw to prepare her remarks for the meeting on the 23rd.
The SEC discussed the creation of the new advisory board for the CRCH which was announced by Pres Greenwood at the BOR meeting. Martha Crosby agreed to take up this issue with the CoR. The SEC is concerned that such an external committee may weaken faculty input in the operations of the CRCH.
Committee reports: CSA is dealing with the International Strategic plan submitted by Jenny Samaan.
Most other committees have not met since our SEC meeting last week. Several are scheduled to meet this week.
Gen Ed has been discussing the requirements and completion of the foundation courses. The articulation policy will be referred to the Gen Ed committee.
In October, the UHM administration is supposed to present a report on the state of the UHM mission to the BOR. (UHH and the CCs already did this.) This would present an opportunity for the faculty senate to provide testimony. We need our committees to provide input on this.
The SEC discussed potential talking points for our testimony. Certain data that we need to obtain include:
The number of UG students taught at UHM, the number of BA degrees from Manoa, the proportion of Hawaii students at Manoa, the proportion of UHM grads in various professions (teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, tech start ups, etc.)
The SEC discussed why the administration might prefer retrenchment to reorganization, due to the impact to senior vs. junior faculty.
VC Dasenbrock entered the room.
International programs and search procedure policies:
The SEC inquired about the draft Strategic Plan for International Programs, and the search for a permanent Assistant VC for international programs. There are some disagreements/confusion among the administration about whether the timing of the plan is appropriate, as well as the content and cost implications of the plan. He has started a search for the position, and noted that he was unaware of the executive search process that the Senate developed last spring. He described the people he put on the search committee, and why he selected them, noting that there are a majority of faculty on the committee. The SEC explained that the policy should still be followed due to problems encountered in prior searches. VCAA said he will try to find the policy.
He also noted they are doing a search for the Dean of CTAHR. There are other interim positions that may need to be replaced with permanent appointees. The group discussed the pros and cons of internal appointees, versus interims, versus external searches. The SEC noted that in the past many administrative positions were filled by senior faculty who rotated between the faculty and administration quite effectively. VCAA noted he might favor certain positions that are internally recruited with limited term appointments rather than always doing external searches, which are expensive.
He also notes that he appreciates the need to keep the administrative cost burden and head count low during these budget restrictions.
The VCAA gave an update on the status of his efforts to have workloads/teaching load policies formalized. He noted that the structure of all such policies should be a structure of equivalencies, as recommended in the BOR policy. He expects the rules to be well documented, and have logical reasons for variation. He is hoping that across the fall there will be policies developed and consulted with the faculty. He noted that because he doesn’t have direct communication with chairs, he instructed the Deans to get such policies formalized. He believes that in some cases, the college policy might be a collection of the various departmental policies.
The SEC noted that especially in natural sciences, there are large differences between departments. The VCAA agreed and said that this is also the case in JABSOM. He would have a bias toward consistency, but not necessarily uniformity. Just as T&P criteria are different between departments, the workload may vary by department, but there should be a logical rationale for it.
The SEC noted that there is inequity between Deans, some of whom are trying to cut costs and using this directive to develop workload policies as an excuse to coerce changes in teaching loads. The VCAA says that only about half of the colleges have formal workload policies, which is a problem.
After some discussion, the VCAA indicated that it is up to the faculty senates of each college to be aware of the UH and UHM policy. His position is that the administration’s job is to point out problems with policies, and not to develop them. If there are questions, he is happy to answer them. He is not trying to dictate policy, but to try to get them documented. There are many arguments that come up in faculty grievances that hinge around inequity in workloads, and not having written policies causes more problems.
The SEC reiterated that this does not mean that all policies should be uniform, and the VCAA agreed. The SEC noted that the T&P rules often have information/guidelines about research activities, and any workload policy equivalencies should not be inconsistent with these guidelines.
The VCAA is very concerned that there are not documented workload policies in many units. He believes there is a much bigger problem that policies are not documented. He is also concerned about inconsistency between departmental policies. The SEC indicated that variability between departments may be necessary. The SEC is also concerned about the top down (Dean down) method of setting policy, which is not in accordance with the UHM policy.
The SEC and VCAA discussed various issues with regard to communication protocol between faculty, and administrators. The VCAA explained various historical models, such as the Guild model, which is more bottom up, but a medieval model. There is also the Military Chain of command model, which precludes communications outside the rank and chain of command and is more top down, and is a little more modern, but still not very new. More modern management organization models would favor more open communication and flatter organizations. He would favor more open channels of communication. The SEC noted that some administrators have not been in the classroom in many years and may have lost touch with the needs of students and faculty. VCAA said that he was told by UHPA that he cannot teach. The SEC was not familiar with such a policy, but noted that with the recent laying off of a number of lecturers, instructors and other union member, UHPA may be more sensitive to this issue.
The VCAA doesn’t believe he has the final version of the proposed articulation policy. But he believes the idea is that any student transferring to UHM who completed the core at any other UH campuses would be considered to have completed the core. The SEC agreed with the spirit of the goal of helping students graduate in 4 years, but may have some problems with the draft policy proposed. However, when the policy does come down to the SEC, it will be referred to GEC and perhaps CAPP. The VCAA will forward it as soon as practical.
The VCAA said his office actually has 21% less budget than before. He has already eliminated one Asst VC position, but this isn’t enough. He believes the only way to meet the budget cuts will be to eliminate some of the personnel in his office, some of whom might go back to faculty positions. One concern is whether the faculty senate committees dealing with the issues these staff work on can operate effectively so that the UHM can do without these staff positions.
The VCAA and the SEC agree that assessment is the prerogative of the faculty and that resource decisions will not be made by the administration using assessment data or processes without faculty approval. While there is a need to keep administrative costs low, there is also a need for continuity and institutional memory to achieve high quality academic programs.
The SEC noted that the original plan for assessment was to be housed within OFDAS. There is concern about how the specialist faculty who are working on assessment might be evaluated for tenure. The VCAA noted that he has 2 temporary positions and one person is needed by his home department.
The SEC noted that assessment is a very important function, so it is important that we have an alternative plan for making sure this important work is done, and that the people who were hired for this function/department are appropriately treated with regard to advancement.
Update on enrollment goals
The VCAA will remit the results of the enrollment committee to the SEC soon. (Note: a paper copy dated Sept 14 was provided to the SEC later in the meeting)
The VCAA noted that there seems to be a sentiment among the faculty that retrenchments would not be necessary if some sort of retirement incentive was in place. He has recommended retirement proposals, but they have not been included in the Chancellor’s plans. VCAA recommended that if the SEC had evidence that faculty would retire if their departments would not lose the position, then the administration would perhaps be less interested in retrenchment, and develop some retirement options. He has been trying to oppose draconian budget cuts, and doesn’t believe retrenchment will be very helpful. But the administration doesn’t believe faculty will retire. He is asking the SEC to do a survey or to provide evidence which could support the arguments that retirements will occur if the lines stayed in their department.
He believes reorganizations would be a better idea than retrenchment, and we should have a lively conversation about that. But others in the administration want to see more data as they are worried about balancing the budget.
Enrollments are up, so tuition is up; therefore the budget for this year is not as bad as originally feared. However, the 6% cuts which are already factored into the budget are not easy to implement.
VC Dasenbrock left the meeting
The SEC discussed how we should send a survey to the faculty. S Daniel agreed to discuss with CAB tomorrow.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30.
APPENDIX: Written Chair's Report, 14-21 September 2009
Tuesday, Sep 14:
Met with Linda Johnsrud and Harry Davis (KCC, ACCFSC co-chair) to set ACCFSC agenda. Complimented VPAA office on new BoR handbook, for my trouble in return was given draft MOU on articulation that expands E5.209 to all foundations requirements.
Protocol for inviting President to Senate functions was discussed; LJ believes we mustn't do it.
Convocation: Managed to speak briefly/informally with Presley Pang about how bad things already were in some Manoa departments, and with VCAA about articulation.
Wednesday, Sep. 16
IT office has given us an email alias to use for all Manoa faculty.
Thursday, Sep. 17
- Greenwood announced creation of a committee to give oversight on CRCH activity.
- Budget update from Todo. No new information
- System strategic plan presentation from VPAA; same as we've heard before. One regent asked question, (paraphrasure) "If a major goal is 6-year graduation rates, why are we cutting instructors" LJ answer: If there was a problem at Manoa, we would have been hearing screams from students.
- Todo gave presentation on budget, John Morton a report on CCs, the VCAA from Hilo gave a report including progress on Pharmacy School building. Regents questioned why it was so expensive, and whether in this economic situation this should be postponed or scaled down. Greenwood said that the current appropriation is just for planning, and that part of this planning might include scaling the construction down.
- UH admin will be giving a similar report at October BoR meeting
Friday, Sep 18
- A subcommittee will be formed to discuss graduate student tuition (eg, how much can be paid by grants etc). I suggested that they interface with our CoR, which has looked at this subject before.
- Framing statement for data is still being discussed (it grew from last week).
- The "redundancy" subcommittee is identifying programs as outliers based on the data. Some of us expressed serious opposeition to this approach. ACCFSC:
- The Articulation memo came up. The VPAA's office tried to frame this as a "clarification" of current policy, when it is clearly an extension.
- As we discussed, I communicated to the others there the need to monitor the budget-driven activity of Deans et al as to consistency with UH policy.
- Howard Todo was there, we asked some questions about some details of his report, including (a) debt servicing (done by the State and not by UH on the latest round of bonds, but not without cost to the receiving institution), (b) how the System's share of ARRA funds will be used (answer: up to Lingle), and (c) whether there was any attempt to cost out re-merger of System/Manoa administrations. (No, but people talk about it, and LJ believes that UHM faculty think it is working to their advantage and would strongly oppose it.)
Spoke with the VCAA about non-financial incentives for retirement, for example guarantees of departmental FTE preservation. He says that many in the administration would need some evidence that people would really retire given such incentives.
Contact caroly at hawaii.edu with comments regarding this site.