Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Minutes of September 28, 2009
Present: Martha Crosby, David Ross, Susan Hippensteele, Martin Rayner, Halina Zaleski, Shirley Daniel, Tom Hilgers
Invited guests: ASUH representatives Matt Prellburg and Eve Millett GSO representatives Jeff Rich and Morey Hubin
Everyone introduced themselves, and the students were asked to speak about their concerns.
ASUH is concerned that there is no student representation on the budget and prioritization committee. Student representatives were involved last year, but were not included in any of the summer deliberations, and ASUH has not been able to get representation on the committee this fall, even though they’ve asked the administration specifically. ASUH is very unhappy about the lack of transparency on the part of the administration.
Students are concerned about the merger of TIM and Shidler College of Business. ASUH doesn’t have an opinion about this and other administration proposals, because they haven’t received enough information to evaluate them.
After the media attention, ASUH has finally been contacted by VC Hernandez who is meeting with them tomorrow. They believe Chancellor Hinshaw is also planning to attend.
ASUH is having a public meeting tomorrow night and inviting as many students as possible. They passed out an announcement for the meeting for distribution.
The SEC and faculty senate have also been concerned about the lack of transparency and consultation, particularly since the end of the spring semester. The SEC was not asked to provide representation for the combined committee. While there are faculty on the committee, they are not representatives of the senate.
The administration has a tendency to hand-pick faculty to serve on committees, rather than ask for a faculty senate representative, and then claim that they have faculty representation on the committee. The students should be alert to this practice, which is not acceptable.
The SEC noted that communication to the public about UHM is not clear and not representative of our main purposes and concerns.
The committee asked how the current budget situation is affecting the students in their classes. The students mentioned that during the last few days the budget has been more prominent in classes and discussions. Students have been encouraged to attend the “teach in.” However, because many students commute, they don’t really talk much about campus politics. There isn’t a great sense of doom, except in some of the programs that have been targeted, such as TIMS, and a few other programs. Students are experiencing some problems with not being able to get classes and major in the fields they want. They are concerned that if one program goes, then another program will go, and a whole-scale deterioration might occur. They expressed concern that the value of their Manoa degrees may be affected if programs close and valuable faculty are fired or leave manoa.
The SEC noted that the administration’s piecemeal approach to providing information increases concern.
For example, the speech pathology program is being closed out (no new students being admitted) without faculty consultation or referral to CAPP.
ASUH students noted that the closing of the Ombudsman office was a concern to them.
The GSO is concerned about tuition hikes that can reach $1100. Meanwhile GA stipends are not going up. The students have been approached with a new $50 athletic fee, which they opposed.
The GSO noted the varying effects of tightening budgets. Departments that are small, or don’t have outside funding (such as humanities), suffer.
The GSO has members who are willing to get involved, but who need to be directed and better informed about issues.
The students asked whether cuts are going to have to be made quickly, and how they can be effective in monitoring them.
The SEC noted that the short term cuts have already been made through cuts at the unit levels, and cutting of lecturers and temporary positions.
In the medium term, the administration has been looking at program cuts in 2011, the next budget cycle.
There has also been a shift of faculty resources to lower division courses, which may create problems with upper division courses not being offered for majors.
The SEC noted that when the Chancellor arrived, she expected to increase class sizes, and has been working on that since she arrived. We are not sure what what else is on her agenda. There are questions about whether a campus/system that is still building facilities and hiring administrators is really under budget pressure, and whether UH can claim fiscal exigency in these circumstances.
The ASUH noted that there are many procedural and legal issues with respect to the AAUP policy on retrenchment, which VC Cutshaw referred to in the budget briefing last Wed. morning. The SEC noted that only 5 other institutions on the mainland have gone to retrenchment. The impacts on external funding and on students, particularly grad students, are unknown.
The SEC noted that it might be helpful to have student testimony at the Regents’ meeting that stresses the value of an education at a major research institution.
The SEC noted that while we might have to cut some programs, one goal should be to speed the graduation time for UG students. This would reduce cost to both the students and the university.
The students have not seen any cost data, so it is very difficult for them to evaluate proposals.
While the administration has not provided information, the SEC believes that there will be proposals made soon regarding specific cuts. At that time, it might be hard to effectively oppose or reverse them. Both the SEC and the students should let the BOR know our concerns and that the appropriate consultation is not taking place.
The SEC informed the students that System rules prohibiting faculty from advocating directly to the legislature. They noted that students were very effective in dealing with the legislators in the past.
The GSO needs more information and input from their assembly to determine what they might do.
One of the best ways to keep students informed is through student representation on committees. ASUH and GSO representatives should be on the BPW and MAC; a GSO representative should be on COR; and ASUH representatives should be on CAPP and GenEd.
The SEC can provide some of the information we receive from the administration to the ASUH and GSO.
The SEC invited the students to stay in touch and encouraged them to provide contact information.
ASUH are willing to make a statement, but are not yet clear what to say. They are hoping that tomorrow’s meeting with the administration will provide some direction. The students have heard about retrenchment, but are not clear it might impact their ability to graduate on time, or the prestige of their degrees. The students are concerned that UHM is taking a larger share of the cuts than other campuses in the system.
The SEC encouraged them to voice their concerns to us and to the administration.
The student representatives left the room.
The minutes for the Sept 14 and 21 meetings were approved as corrected.
Chair Ross sent his report in advance via email.
Committee reports: COR: There have been some problems at CRCH, including resignations of staff and hiring of a PR person to serve the new director. There may be faculty grievances resulting from other actions by the new director. There may be a resolution from the COR relating to these issues.
CSA: It isn’t clear what groups need to deal with the international strategic plan. CSA will be asked to provide some input on the plan.
Chancellor Hinshaw and Gregg Takayama entered the room.
The Chancellor noted that there was a request on Sept 2 to provide financial information, and even though she was going to be traveling, she asked VC Cutshaw to provide a briefing as soon as possible. The Chancellor mentioned that her meetings with alumni on the mainland went well. There is a lot of support for UHM among the mainland alumni. Some are stepping forward, and UHM needs private donations at this time. It is important to get the alumni chapters organized. Some chapters have raised scholarship money to send students to other universities. The administration is encouraging them to give to UHM for scholarships for UHM students.
The Chancellor noted that she received a report today indicating that Gartley Hall has some serious structural problems that will require evacuation of the building, including relocation of people and classes. This problem results from poor drainage and a lack of proper repairs and maintenance. The SEC noted that the condition of the building has been poor for many, many years.
There is damage to other buildings from leaking roofs (e.g. Bilger). The Chancellor noted that there is a list of such repairs that are being worked on. The SEC noted that there are health hazard concerns on the upper levels of Saunders that may be related to the microwave towers.
The Chancellor discussed the administration presentation at the BOR meeting in October. The report will address how UHM meets the UH System performance goals and provide information about progress on campus. The Chancellor plans to present data on research dollars as well as student numbers.
The SEC noted that UHM needs to do a better job of communicating how we serve students. UHM graduates have a very high rate of giving, and a good graduation rate.
Many of the CC faculty and many of the state’s teachers are UHM graduates. The SEC asked that the administration emphasize how many of the state’s bachelors degrees are granted by UHM. About 2/3 of the state legislators are UHM graduates.
The Chancellor agreed that we have many new Regents who want to know what’s going on at UHM. She noted that she was meeting with Pono Shin from Enterprise Honolulu, who wants to help promote UHM. The Chancellor noted that the BOR has begun to take notice of all the buildings being constructed on other UH campuses, and have noted that UHM has not had much construction.
The SEC emphasized that the faculty wants the UHM administration to be more visible in the community. The SEC suggested that we could personalize the image of UHM by asking students to provide a poster session outside the BOR meeting, or otherwise participate in the briefing.
The Chancellor noted that students are our best ambassadors and wondered if we could organize a student day at the legislature.
The SEC noted that it appears that higher education is not valued as important for all populations in Hawaii.
The group discussed the UHWO campus, and the willingness of UHM to serve west Oahu. The advantages of having UHM serve west Oahu include economies of scale, variety of majors, caliber of faculty, and better quality and more rapidly available programs. Drivers for developing the West Oahu campus include concerns over traffic and real estate development.
The SEC discussed outstanding issues relating to faculty representation on various committees. Specifically, in May there seemed to be a real change in the transparency of the priority process. Last spring, faculty representation was good, and minutes were posted. However in May, the transparency of the process seemed to disappear and student and faculty representation was lost.
The Chancellor asked what should be done. Chair Ross noted that the combined BPW was too large and did not have a clear charge/brief. All subcommittees (eg on redundancy) should have sufficient faculty representation. All meetings should have public minutes and agreement on an issue should be by an open recorded vote.
There is a sense that the presence of faculty is taken as agreement even if no vote is taken. The only legitimate procedure for obtaining the agreement of faculty is by a Senate resolution.
There is a feeling that some committees have been formed to lend legitimacy to decisions that have already been made by the administration. Some things are being pushed as a result of the budget crisis, but seem to be based on a previous agenda or another motivation. There was a sense that the process with the CRCH director was not completely honest.
The SEC is concerned that data are being provided at meetings but not allowed to be circulated. This shows a lack of transparency.
The SEC implored the administration to deal openly and honestly with the faculty. The reorganization of CTAHR using a bottom up process by faculty task forces was described as a good model.
The SEC noted that we have a very experienced faculty senate, who know what the UHM policies are and expect the administration to follow them.
The Chancellor asked for suggestions about the BPW. The SEC suggested separating the committee into 2 committees to focus on short term and long term issues. The SEC also noted that the prioritization process was originally set up to create transparency and there was buy in on that. When problems were noted, it was assumed that there would be time to fix the problems. However, then the process went “underground” and began to be driven by the deans. This is problematic, and now the faculty does not support the outcomes of the process.
The SEC encouraged a more thoughtful look at how priorities are being set and how programs are being evaluated. There should be a deeper discussion about quality of various programs. Efficiencies are only one measure to examine in setting priorities.
The Chancellor and Mr. Takayama left the room.
There was an agreement that Chair Ross would present the revised workload memo to VCAA Dasenbrock.
Faculty are not in favor of hiring a permanent Asst VC for international programs given the budget constraints. However, the administration seems committed to move on the search for the VC international. The SEC concurs with the 2008 CAB recommendation that the Asst. VC position should be a qualified academic. The SEC will try to find additional information about outside consultants or reviewers reports on international programs that were issued in the last few years.
The international strategic plan (CAPP, CAB and CSA) and the Asst VC for International Programs recruitment were referred to the appropriate faculty senate committees for their recommendations.
The SEC agreed to move forward with our retirement survey, even though the UH System has sent a survey to personnel over 60. The data from the administration’s survey may not meet our needs.
The outcomes proposal was referred to CAPP and MAC for comment and recommendations.
We are concerned about having appropriate direction for the Assessment Office. There are potential benefits of having the Assessment Office report directly to MAC. Faculty should not be asked to do additional work without recompense, but should be given relief time or clerical support or extra compensation to pick up the extra work.
The articulation memo will be considered by CAPP.
Chair Ross noted that he needs a member of the COR for Lassner’s subcommittee, which meets Friday at 8 a.m.
The meeting adjourned at 6 p.m.
APPENDIX: Written Chair's Report, 22-28 September 2009
(updated, includes info from email reports).
Tuesday, Sep. 22
VC Cutshaw gave a dry run of her budget presentation before a "friendly audience". At end I pointed out that any framing of the budget isue designed to manipulate the faculty into voting for the contract would probably have the opposite result, that the faculty were wary of giving up their salary to "invest" without some assurance the investment would go into the core mission and not buildings or administration or athletics, and that there was not a lot of confidence in the current administration's goodwill. I also pointed out that reference to the prioritization process was dangerous, since confidence in that process was also low.
Wednesday, Sep. 23
One of our LLL senators has quit the Senate. We need to have some of the correct procedure for such things written down.
Meanwhile, we need to think about a replacement senator for LLL.
Friday, Sep 25
* Formation of splinter subcommittees. I have circulated the email detailing what they were. Two points here:
/> The "position control" committee is suposed to be mainly about getting control back to the University from the legislature, and is connected to Act 188. It is possible that it will evolve to being more about centralizing position control at UHM, at which point I suspect more deans will weigh in.
/> It was suggested that the Redundancy subcommittee should not be looking for within-college redundancies, but rather for things that need to be addressed at the Campus level. This includes IT, tutoring, and course/program redundancy. I pointed out that w/r to the latter, there was simply not appropriate expertise in the room to judge this. Core curriculum was also mentioned, but the VCAA rightly said that the Core is property of the Faculty.
- "Anomolies" committee is still generating generating stuff.
- I said I was troubled by documents with the header "Do not circulate", and that I could not represent Senate on anything if I could not bring these documents back to SEC. I suggested all the documents be made available.
Talked to VCAA about transmittal to/from Senate, and with Joanne Clark about the International programs.
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