Happy New Year!

From all of us to all of you, may 2015 bring all that you desire to fruition. Happy New Year from UHPA!

FacFAQs: Will the snap-back be included in my “high three”?

Pearla has served many years as 9-month faculty at Lili’uokalani Community College, and is looking forward to her retirement in Spring 2015! After much congratulations and many joyful tears from colleagues, she started thinking about the financial repercussions of the snap-back. She knows that ERS often doesn’t include retroactive payments so as not to inflate one’s AFC. Will the snap-back be included in her “high three”?


Although Pearla’s “retirement estimate” does not reflect it, and it is not common practice from ERS, the snap-back payments are the exception that proves the rule! Because the lump sum falls within Pearla’s “high three,” she can rest easy that the lump sum will definitely be included in the ERS’s calculation of her actual AFC.

FacFAQs: Can I split up my sabbatical?

Marvin is an Associate Professor employed at UH Waimea on an 11-month appointment. He applied for and was granted a 4-month sabbatical leave during Fall 2014. After he returned from his sabbatical, he applied for another leave, this time for 2 months during Spring 2015. However, his fiscal officer, Jan is telling him that, “the clock starts over again,” and that he should have requested the split time before taking the initial 4-month leave. Marvin is shocked! He reread the third paragraph of Article VI, Leaves of Absence with Pay, and can’t find anything prohibiting this. In fact, Marvin thinks Jan might be misinforming him. Marvin asks Jan if she is sure about this, and Jan reiterates her position that Marvin has lost his opportunity, having checked with someone in the VCAA’s office. Is this a contract violation? What should Marvin do next?



After contacting UHPA offices and speaking to a staff member, Marvin learns both that Jan’s assertions are a contract violation, and of his options moving forward. Since Marvin has written communication (an email) from his fiscal officer last week asserting that he must have filed the request as separate, he notifies his Dean and VCAA that he will be filing a grievance.

Marvin’s Administration expresses surprise! Apparently the person Jan spoke to in the VCAA’s office was an APT, and the Dean tells Marvin she wasn’t even aware Marvin was misinformed. Marvin applies and receives his extra 2 months of Sabbatical Leave.


Tenure Conversion Language Upheld in Historic Decision

The case of Dr. Mironesco comes out of UH-West Oahu and concerns a long term faculty member, who was generally funded but was not assigned to a tenure-track position count, thus not making her eligible for tenure.  The language we negotiated into our collective agreement (see Article XIII, Faculty Appointments Not Eligible for Tenure) has established the right of faculty members to tenure-track positions once they are available to the campus.  The administration would then have the burden of proof that the individual was not qualified to keep them from being placed in the new tenure-track position.  This arbitrator’s decision accepts the argument that was made as to the interpretation of the language we wrote and the administration accepted in 2003.  This is a huge victory for “adjunct faculty” and makes UHPA’s contract language even more exceptional on a national level.


Try-all Tech Expectation Garners Eyerolls from Faculty

We’ve heard many promises about how using tech in the classroom will make things better, but the actual results are not always promising. Our favorite quote from this piece in the Hechinger Report, “Is technology actually making higher education less efficient?“:

“We’ve been hearing over the last four or five years that technology is going to reduce costs, increase quality and increase access,” said Diane Harley, director of the Higher Education in the Digital Age project at University of California, Berkeley.”

“I always say, pick two.”

What are your experiences with technology?

Weigh in with your views on the UHPA Facebook site!



We’ll Miss You, Pam!


Who is UHPA?

We are UHPA! Our Assistant Executive Director is snapping quick YouTubes of our  members and you might be next!


UHPA Vice-President Sally Pestana instrumental in expanding iCAN program

Between 2011 and 2014, the UHCCs received fifty million dollars in four rounds of federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant funds through the U.S. Department of Labor.  The grants focus on all aspects of job creation — including new workforce training program development, existing program enhancement, and job placement. For the past two years, UHPA Vice President Sally Pestana has been the grant coordinator for the first round of funds received by Kapiolani CC.

One part of the KapCC grant outcomes was the creation of the iCAN program (Individualized Career Achievement Network).  The iCAN Career Skills course is a 130 hour course designed to help participants prepare for a job training program at a University of Hawai’i Community College or entry-level employment.  The course focuses on upgrading the reading, writing, and math levels for students who never thought college was an option for them.  In addition, Sally developed a 30 hour iCAN Health Care Foundations course this semester. This course focuses on medical terminology, ethics, safety, and communication skills needed for entry level employment in the state’s health care sector.

Sally was instrumental in expanding the iCAN program to off campus venues such as the Oahu Work Links (OWL) office and McKinley Community School for Adults.  She is quick to give credit to a fabulous team of instructors and counselors she coordinates who deliver the program.  You will have a better feel for the iCAN program through two short videos highlighting the great work this program is doing for our state — one person at a time!

Read more: Non-traditional students discover they can with iCAN

Non-traditional students discover they can with iCAN from University of Hawai’i System on Vimeo.

UHPA Director Sets World Record

Congratulations to UHPA Director, Jennifer Small Griswold, Ph.D., and her husband Brett for setting a new Guinness World Record for longest time danced by a couple.  They danced the Argentine Tango for over 36 hours while simultaneously raising money for the National Federation of the Blind.

Dr. Griswold is an Assistant Professor of Meteorology at UH Manoa.

UPDATE:  Congratulations Jennifer and Brett on ANOTHER world record!

The Griswolds did it again!

This past Sunday (12/14/14) in the Honolulu Marathon, with a time of 11 hours 43 minutes and 8 seconds, UHPA Director, Jennifer Griswold, and her husband Brett broke the Guinness World Record for “The Fastest Marathon Tango Danced by a Couple”!