March 2007 Board Notes

NEA HIGHER EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

NEA Higher Education Director Sally Pestana reported that she, Directors Jerome Comcowich and Adrienne Valdez attended the NEA Higher Education Conference that was held in San Diego, California in early March.  The two predominant themes throughout the Conference were accountability and assessment.  She indicated that Texas Governor Rick Perry has proposed having mandatory college exit exams for all higher education graduates.  Monetary incentives would be given to Texas state public higher education institutions for the students they graduate.  The amount of the incentive payments would vary with more given to critical fields such as nursing.  Governor Perry’s proposal includes a boost of $363 million to their state appropriations for financial aid and an increase to $964 million for 2008-9.   (President Tiles reported that Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Neal Smatresk, had proposed a similar exit exam for UH-Manoa graduating students, but now that he is leaving the University, it is unsure whether his predecessor will pursue the idea.)

Another big issue was contingent faculty.  They are defined as anyone who is non–tenured or not in a tenure–track position. In some parts of the U.S. a 40% tenured/tenure track to 60% contingent ratio is typical. One California community college has a 75:25 ratio with 400 tenured/tenure track faculty and 1200 contingent faculty! Thirty years ago, the State of California passed a law that stipulated if a faculty member taught at 60% FTE, the employer would need to offer them a full time position.  It was intended to ensure that full time positions were the norm.  In reality it has proven to be a huge brick wall, keeping thousands of faculty at less than 60% positions, forcing them to teach at multiple institutions as “freeway flyers”.  (President Tiles commented that this issue is a serious one for UH-Manoa, involving not only lecturers but researchers in large numbers.)

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

  • President Mary Tiles reported that there has been a growing concern over the conduct of faculty members and their relations with other faculty and other staff.  The University has had discussions about inappropriate behavior, and the union has been involved in a number of cases.  Directors reported incidents where faculty members have been confrontational to both staff and colleagues, using profanity and abusive language for all to hear.  President Tiles reported that UHPA’s national affiliate, the National Education Association, has a Code of Ethics for its members.  UH-West Oahu Director Adrienne Valdez indicated that the UH Workplace Non-Violence Policy may be viewed at http://www.hawaii.edu/svpa/ep/e9/e9210.pdf.  Directors and Faculty Representatives need to become familiar with this policy.  Faculty having faculty to faculty or faculty to staff conflicts may seek assistance from the Conflict Resolution Center at UH-Manoa or the University ombudsman, and Unit 3 and 8 staff members can receive assistance through their own union, the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA).
  • A Memorandum of Understanding to put foreign faculty on tenure track is said to be ready for signing but has not been signed yet.  It should take effect next fall.  Foreign faculty without “green cards” will be considered to be on tenure track rather than temporary faculty.
  • Executive Director J. N. Musto and President Tiles attended the Board of Regents’ monthly meeting that was held at Hawaii Community College.  Much time was spent on personnel matters.  Other issues at the BOR meeting included:

The P-20 Council has received $10 million from the Kellogg Foundation.  Funding is earmarked to help all third graders to read at their grade level.

The University’s land sale to the Texas based Hunt Corporation for the construction of the UH-West Oahu campus has finally been signed.

The Community Colleges accreditation review is usually done every six years.  A new report from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) requires another year.

The UH Centennial Recognition Day is scheduled for March 22.  UH coaches will be honored on March 27.

Regents considered another reorganization proposal for the UH system.  UHPA responded adversely to the proposal, reiterating the multiple reporting lines and some going in a circle.  The UH President indicated that as long as the “right” people were in those line positions, there should not be a problem.  President Tiles pointed out that there is a problem with the relationship between the system and the campuses.  Each campus has had to reduplicate positions because it needs to operate as a campus, meanwhile positions remain at the system level.

The Regents approved the appointments of Virginia Hinshaw as the new UH-Manoa Chancellor, Manuel Cabral as the Interim Chancellor for Leeward Community College, and approved the permanent status of John Morton as Vice President for Community Colleges.  Regents also approved salaries for newly appointed administrators.  Information about these appointments may be viewed at http://www.hawaii.edu/newsatuh/2007/0319/printable.php.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

  • Executive Director Musto assured Directors that the issue of workplace violence will be referenced in the next faculty contract.  The UH System Executive Policy on Workplace Non-Violence can be found at http://www.hawaii.edu/apis/ep/e9/e9210.pdf.
  • Testimony was provided by the Executive Director on the proposed reorganization of the UH System.  Regents were informed that since 2001 UHPA has conveyed the fundamental problem between the organizational structure of the UH System and its relationship to the campuses, especially with the UH-Manoa campus that is disproportionably larger and more complex than any of the other campuses.   The break up of the unified Community Colleges into semi-autonomous campuses has also created a “resource inefficiency” without advancing the mission of the community colleges.  Executive Director Musto’s testimony may be viewed at http://www.uhpa.org/news/testimony-concerning-proposed-uh-system-reorganization-plan.
  • During discussions over the development of the UH-West Oahu Campus, UHPA recommended that the Regents’ consider the proposal made by UniDev, LLP as the ideal developer since it tied the campus development to the creation of workforce housing for faculty members at below market prices.  UH President David McClain responded to the testimony of Executive Director Musto by saying that UniDev did not hold exclusive market on this housing development concept.  The UH Regents never considered the UniDev proposal, but accepted the administration to grant the development of UH-West Oahu to the Hunt Corporation.  The UH recently signed a letter of intent to sell 298 acres of university land for $100 million to the Hunt Building Corporation.  This will enable construction to begin for the UH-West Oahu campus at Kapolei.  Although there remains $36 million of general fund appropriations that are needed for capital improvement before UH-West Oahu can break ground, Directors expressed concern for the campus’ continuing operational costs once the campus is built.  The development of workforce housing could have been a source of perpetual and growing revenues to support UH-West Oahu operations.  Other commercial development will not generate the same amounts of revenue over time nor, more importantly, will it offer below market housing opportunities for faculty on all the campuses of Oahu. Directors were concerned that the issue of faculty housing had not been addressed and, therefore, passed the following motion… that the Board of Directors direct Executive Director J. N. Musto to send a letter to UH President David McClain conveying our concerns on the land sale to the Hunt Corporation with regard to faculty housing and the continued funding for the operation of the new UH-West Oahu campus.
  • UHPA Vice President Joseph Chernisky has received approval from Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton to have a Faculty Classification Plan Task Force that would meet to discuss student learning outcomes (SLO), and other proposed changes.  One of the issues to be discussed will be faculty classification.  The Task Force include Chancellors Clyde Sakamoto (Maui CC) and Peggy Cha (Kauai CC), Faculty Senate representatives Harry Davis (Kapiolani CC) and Marcia Roberts-Deutsch (Honolulu CC), UHPA Executive Director J. N. Musto, UHPA Vice President Joseph Chernisky (Leeward CC), and Community Colleges Director of Human Resources Sandra Uyeno.
  • Executive Director Musto announced that he and Associate Executive Director James Kardash will be meeting with UH-Hilo and Hawaii CC administrators and campus leaderships to discuss guideline changes for promotion, tenure, and contract renewal.  This is the first time that a joint meeting with the UHH administrators, division chairs, and the UHPA staff and leadership has occurred.  The meeting is scheduled for March 21.
  • He also announced that Systems Director of Human Resources, Ed Yuen, will retire on April 1.  He has agreed to represent the President’s level on Unit 7 grievance cases and to represent the University in faculty negotiations for the next two years at 40% time.
  • Governor Lingle has decided to reappoint UH-Manoa Professor Emeritus Byron Bender to serve again on the UH Board of Regents.  Dr. Bender was one of three candidates UHPA had nominated for the Board of Regents before his confirmation to the BOR in 2003.  Directors unanimously passed a motion to inform legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives that UHPA supports the reappointment of Dr. Byron Bender as a member of the UH Board of Regents.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Treasurer Ming-Bao Yue reported that UHPA has completed six months of the fiscal year, which began September 2006.  She explained the expenditures that have affected the budget this past month such as the Faculty Representative Forum.  Directors passed a motion to receive the financial report for the fiscal period ending February 28, 2007 and to refer that report to the Finance Committee.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORT

Chair Tom Jackson informed Directors that all UHPA members may view the bills that are being tracked by Radcliffe and Associates on the UHPA website.  UHPA members need to log in and go to “Legislature” to find the link to the tracking site http://www.hawaiilobbyist.com/UHPA/.

Last month, Directors approved participation in the Human Rights Day at the State Capitol.  Maui Director Josh Cooper reported there were over forty committee groups, and faculty who participated from other groups expressed their joy and appreciation to see UHPA’s banner and display.

UH-Manoa Director L. Thomas Ramsey will represent the All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs (ACCFSC) on the Candidate Advisory Council to enable legislation for the constitutional amendment.

Directors shared the loss of positions from their campuses.  It was noted that 21 staff and faculty positions were from UH-Manoa and 10.75 positions were from the community colleges.  Funding for those positions, however, were supposedly being used in other areas.

NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

Chair Adrienne Valdez reported the results on the voting to approve the proposed constitutional amendments.  Of the 2,909 ballots sent to members, 501 ballots were returned—representing a 17% participation.  Of this, 7 ballots or 1.4% were spoiled.  There were 469 or 93.6% in favor of the amendments and 25 or 5% not in favor of the amendments. Two-third of votes were in favor of the proposed amendments, therefore the changes take effect immediately.  With the passage of these amendments, the election of UHPA officers and members-at-large can take place before the end of the fiscal period.  That election will take place at the Board of Directors’ meeting in May.  This will allow the new officers to plan over the summer months for UHPA activities during the next academic year.

The nominations and elections process for Board of Director seats that are to expire on August 31, 2007 will begin the week of March 19.  The eight positions include UH-Hilo, Hawaii Community College, Kauai Community College, two UH-Manoa at large seats, UH-Manoa constituency for Education, Business, Law and Architecture, UH-Manoa constituency for CTAHR and Natural Sciences, and UH-Manoa constituency for Social Sciences, Social Work, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Arts and Science.  Deadline for Board nominations is April 6.

The nominations and elections process for Faculty Representatives is currently going on.  Only specific Primary Academic Units (PAU) have open seats.  The deadline for Faculty Rep nominations is March 23.

The nominations and elections process for delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) is also occurring.  There are twenty positions available to UHPA.  The RA is the annual meeting of UHPA’s national affiliate, the National Education Association.  This year the RA will be held from June 30 through July 5 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.  Deadline for NEA-RA delegate nominations is March 23.

AFL-CIO HAWAII STATE FEDERATION MEETING

UH-West Oahu Director Adrienne Valdez reported on the Hawaii State Federation meeting that she attended in place of President Tiles, who needed to attend another meeting.  An informative presentation was made regarding advanced directives, and much of the meeting was spent discussing political issues.

NEW BUSINESS

1.  Committee Appointments

Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointment of Richard Nettell (UH-Manoa) as a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee.  His term begins immediately and will end on August 31, 2007.

2.  Faculty Representative Appointment

Nominations and Elections Committee Chair Adrienne Valdez reported that PAU 087 consists of nine faculty members, and they all have indicated their support for the candidate.  The faculty member, who is willing to serve as Faculty Representative, teaches and resides on Kauai.  After due consideration, Directors unanimously passed the appointment of Scott Robinson of UH-Manoa as the Faculty Representative for Primary Academic Unit 087.  His term begins immediately and will end on May 31, 2008.

Testimony Concerning Proposed UH System Reorganization Plan

March 15, 2007

On behalf of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, we would offer the following testimony with respect to the proposed UH System reorganization plan.

This is at least the third proposed reorganization of the UH System brought forth by the UH administration since 2001, when a substantial change was first proposed. At that time, I suggested that the Regents should give serious consideration to reducing the size and redundancy of the UH System, taking into the consideration that the campuses that compose the UH System are widely diverse in complexity and size, UH-Manoa being uniquely significant. Specific suggestions were made with respect to the Vice Presidents, Human Resources, the Community Colleges, and the various reporting lines that were included. Those comments and suggestions did not lead to any change or modification in the proposal, and I assume it is unlikely that any that is now suggested will have any more impact.

1. As a matter of principle, we believe that multiple reporting lines lead to ambiguity and lack of accountability with respect to policy implementation. We suggested that there was too much double reporting in the last proposed reorganization (that which is now the current chart) and this proposal at least doubles the amount of double reporting. You’ll notice that if you trace the lines from some of the positions to the next, they go around in a circle. 

2. As particular evidence of the “dual reporting,” the community college chancellors report to both the VPCC and the President. It is assumed for practical purposes the “line authority” of the President would run through his Vice President to the CC chancellors. This organizational structure is confusing and ambiguous. The relationship between the CC chancellors and the Vice President is unclear, and the CC chancellors, despite their titles, obviously possess a position below the other chancellors of UHM, UHWO, and UHH. What is needed is a complete recognition that the reorganization that created the “independent” community colleges with “chancellors” was flawed and should be abandoned. I would suggest that the community colleges should be part of a statewide system of community colleges, as they were created, or returned to community colleges organized around each county.

Certainly, it cannot be denied that the presented organization has created ambiguity with respect to the mission of the community colleges, and in the extreme “mission creep” in the development of competing programs and degrees. In any event, the current organization of the community colleges has been inefficient and duplicative. The community colleges have created mirror images of the administrative structures of independent campuses that has been used to justify unnecessary overhead costs without providing any greater service to the students or the community than existed when there was one unified state community college system.

3. We have suggested over the years that the System-level administration focus on support of the statewide functions and policy formation held by the Regents. We have recommended that functional units, i.e., Manoa, Hilo, West Oahu, and the community colleges, be delegated the resources and authority to carry out their respective educational missions. Those resources held by the UH System to carry out functions that fall upon the campuses should be transferred. We note that the issue of the VP Research and VP Student Affairs remain unresolved, and these are two positions that offer resources that could be better utilized by the campuses. We would recommend that these positions be eliminated, especially in light of the administration organization of research under the Vice Chancellor at UHM, and the proliferation of associate deans for research in the colleges, e.g., SOEST. As we have said in the past, student affairs should be under the control of the chancellors of the various campuses.

4. We have recommended that the VP for Administration be eliminated and replaced with a VP for Human Resources since by law the university negotiates employee contracts that apply uniformly across functional units. It would make sense to include in this position the necessary technical resources to support the institutional research necessary to carry out both the practical aspects of the employment and the measurement of the long-term impact the mission of UH is having on our state and in the world. However, under the proposal before you, the human resources function remain under a Director, while both capital improvements and external affairs are assigned to Associate Vice Presidents. Titles show where the organizational priorities rest.

5. If there is a need for a Director of Capital Improvements, the position should be under the VP for Budget & Finance. There is absolutely no rationale that supports elevating the CIP Director to that of an Associate Vice President. In fact, the recent facilities report recommends that Manoa should be building its own CIP capacity. Again, this demonstrates resources being held by the UH System that could, at least in part, be redistributed to the major campuses. Given the current practice of setting administrative salaries based on titles, this proposal of adding another Associate Vice President would increase the UH System overhead costs.

6. A final aspect of “dual reporting” is created in the relationship of the Office of General Counsel to President and Board of Regents. We supported the Regents earlier reorganization that created a direct line of reporting from the General Counsel’s Office and the Secretary to the Board of Regents to Regents. We felt at the time that this added an internal and independent voice for the Regents to hear especially when differences or difficulties arose between the President and Regents.

One way to avoid recreating this confusion would be to change the fundamental relationship between the President and the Board of Regents, and therefore, the President to the Chancellors of campuses. We have long suggested that UH should consider a model where the President becomes the Chancellor of the UH System and the Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Regents. The Chancellor’s function, on behalf of the Regents, would be the evaluation and oversight of the campus presidents. The functional decision-making, once the Regents made budget allocations, would reside with the presidents. This is a subject that would deserve much greater discussion, and thus we’ll end our comments on this point.

This proposal does not encourage UHPA with respect to the future of our formal relationship with the UH administration. We believe that it will continue to be an inefficient and ambiguous organizational structure that confounds campus accountability and the delegation of authority.

It is our sincere hope that the Regents will take into consideration the issues we have raised before the Board proceeds to “rubber stamp” this proposed reorganization.

Respectfully, 

J. N. Musto

Executive Director