So you want to run the university like a business? Try making nice to the faculty.

By David Duffy, UHPA President.

In most businesses, it is elementary that a motivated work force is a productive one

Motivations can be financial, social or even minatory.  Businesses pay well and reward performance with bonuses, pay raises and corner offices. Medals and promotion are the currencies of the military. Unfortunately too many universities seem to be completely gormless when it comes to motivation and reward, beyond tenure and promotion.

I’d like to suggest some simple things that can work to motivate faculty

The easiest of course is money, as businesses have long known. Like everyone else, academics have families and need salaries that keep up with the cost of living.  Universities  may have mechanisms for merit increases, but too often blame the lack of awards  on unions and collective bargaining: “the unions won’t allow it”, often without even reading the faculty contract.

Many universities provide awards in recognition of productivity, teaching excellence and service

UH has all of twelve awards for its ten campuses and three thousand faculty.  Not exactly an inspiring commitment to recognizing excellence.

Even if funds are short, there are ways to reward faculty

Many universities bestow honorary titles like “University”, “Distinguished” or “Regents’” professorships.  Some of these titles are for endowed chairs, but many are not. Some are permanent, some are only of limited tenure. Chairs can be named after distinguished alumni, even if unendowed. Students, and their parents, may feel they are really getting their money’s worth, when taught by a distinguished professor. And when applying for research or other funding, such a title doesn’t hurt faculty, especially when they are up against competitors at institutions that shower titles on their own professors.

Even symbolic acts can be of benefit

At many universities, a senior faculty member, faculty senate president or other acknowledged representative of the faculty is among the leads at academic ceremonies such as graduations. This professor sits in the front row facing the audience.  While deans and directors merit respect, faculty do the teaching and award the degrees, so they merit a place of honor. Of course several thousand can’t sit in the front row but neither should they be consigned to the nose-bleed section behind the podium. It’s just a single seat but it has symbolism.


Many think that universities should be run more like businesses.  It isn’t always clear that such folks have ever had to make a payroll, but if they have, they should remember that businesses do better when their staff are working with them, not just for them.—David Duffy

UHPA End of Legislative Session Report – 2015

By John Radcliffe.

The 2015 Legislative Session, began, proceeded, and ended as I had predicted it would–as far as the University System and the UHPA are concerned. And not because I am an oracle, but because we all worked hard to make it happen that way. In my address to the UHPA Faculty Forum in early February, I was able to predict that while the UHPA contract would be properly funded, I expected that there would be no “bad” legislation passed that directly affected the union–because we had the means of killing them.

At the same time, I was able to report that there were dozens of anti-university bills going through the process and that I expected that all or most of them would also die. I did add that the Legislature is sending “a message” to the University: Shape up or else. Please note that from just about every avenue available, from every voice, from every quarter, the message is the same: The University of Hawaii is politically inept.

And it impinges on the rest of us. This could be fixed, but most likely will not be.

Your lobbying team worked on and tracked one hundred and eleven (111) bills and resolutions. One hundred and two (102) of them died and seven (7) passed. No “bad” bills passed. Below, please find the UH Budget items and PDF links to all bills and resolutions that we worked on during the Session.


                                              3,232.24*      3,232.24*

OPERATING                         UOH      194,372,784A   194,796,866A

                                                416.25*        416.25*

                                  UOH      361,154,425B   361,082,295B

                                                 78.06*         78.06*

                                  UOH        6,880,575N     6,873,565N

                                                 30.25*         30.25*

                                  UOH       65,054,713W    65,039,713W

INVESTMENT CAPITAL                UOH        8,950,000C              C


                                                243.10*        243.10*

OPERATING                         UOH       17,933,214A    17,937,727A

                                  UOH       27,758,949B    27,758,949B

                                  UOH        6,603,547W     6,603,547W


                                                523.75*        523.75*

OPERATING                         UOH       31,071,988A    31,133,744A

                                                 95.00*         95.00*

                                  UOH       45,834,600B    45,842,307B

                                  UOH          443,962N       443,962N

                                                  8.50*          8.50*

                                  UOH        7,251,666W     7,261,666W


OPERATING                         UOH          978,941A       978,941A


                                                215.00*        215.00*

OPERATING                         UOH       13,190,416A    13,196,948A

                                  UOH       20,272,479B    20,272,479B

                                  UOH           33,544N        33,544N

                                  UOH        2,000,000W     2,000,000W

INVESTMENT CAPITAL                UOH       24,000,000C              C


                                              1,880.00*      1,880.00*

OPERATING                         UOH      119,990,760A   120,208,842A

                                                 48.00*         48.00*

                                  UOH       98,435,547B    98,465,109B

                                                  0.50*          0.50*

                                  UOH        4,428,296N     4,428,296N

                                  UOH        5,044,753W     5,044,753W

INVESTMENT CAPITAL                UOH       15,000,000C              C


                                                449.00*        449.00*

OPERATING                         UOH       49,389,105A    49,389,105A

                                                 33.00*         33.00*

                                  UOH       15,899,318B    16,017,434B

                                                  4.00*          4.00*

                                  UOH          950,311N       957,327N

                                                 15.00*         15.00*

                                  UOH       17,233,795W    17,238,873W

INVESTMENT CAPITAL                UOH       44,434,000C              C


OPERATING                         BUF      143,117,530A   146,188,884A


OPERATING                         BUF       91,093,213A    96,912,969A


OPERATING                         BUF      106,789,267A   114,707,632A
Download report of LIVE bills in the 2015 Legislative Session


Download report of DEAD bills in the 2015 Legislative Session


Acclaim for JN Musto from UH Maui College

The UH Maui College Academic Senate honored UHPA Executive Director JN Musto at the May 2, 2015 Board of Directors meeting.  Dr. Nani Azman presented him with a framed and signed resolution recounting his many victories in support of University of Hawai‘i faculty as he negotiated contracts and battled budget cuts across four decades.

The UHMC senate felt the excellence of Dr. Musto’s leadership and wisdom in his thirty-five years of service warranted a formal accolade.

UHMC faculty wish Dr. Musto a heartfelt aloha a hui hou in his retirement.

UHPA Leaders Norman Arancon and Melissa Kirkendall awarded Regents’ Medals for Excellence in Teaching

Congratulations to UHPA Director and UHH Assoc. Professor Norman Arancon and UHPA Faculty Representative and UHMC Instructor Melissa Kirkendall for winning the Regents’ Medals for Excellence in Teaching!

“It is indeed quite an honor and a blessing to have been recognized this way. I have learned so much from everyone. “, said Arancon

Additional congratulations to all of the other recipients of the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, and the Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching!!

UHPA director and UHM Professor Brent Sipes in the News

Kudos go to Brent Sipes who was on camera in a KITV story “UH professors seeing red over greenhouses” and bringing visibility to a sad renovations project on the Pope greenhouse complex that has become ensnared in delays keeping them out of the facility for over five years now.

We’ve started a thread on Facebook  on this story and invite you to join the conversation!

UH Manoa VCAA controversy continues

Sarita Rai and Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa co-authored this Op-Ed along with  entitled “Administrative malfeasance is wounding the UH we all love” expressing their views on the continued controversy surrounding UH Manoa VCAA.

Join the discussion about this topic on Facebook

New Board of Directors and Officers Start the 2015-2016 UHPA Term

At our May 2, 2015 Board Meeting, UHPA’s new Board was installed and its officers elected. Congratulations to (left to right), Lynne Wilkens (Treasurer), Nani Azman (Vice-President), Sarita Rai (Secretary), and David Duffy (President).   We thank our new board and officers for their service our faculty!

EUTF Board of Trustees Enhance Retiree Dental Plan

The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) Board of Trustees, at its April 28, 2015 meeting, voted to increase retirees’ dental plan maximum from $1,000 to $2,000 retroactive to January 1, 2015.  Additionally, they voted to pay for the additional cost of the enhanced dental benefit from EUTF’s excess reserves for the calendar year 2015.

Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) will be sending a letter to all retirees who exceeded their $1,000 maximum from January 1, 2015 to explain that they will reprocess those claims and reimburse payments to the retiree’s dentist.  Retirees should contact their HDS participating dentist to see if they are owed a refund.

For questions, contact HDS Customer Service at 529-9310 or toll-free (866) 702-3883.

Note:  The enhancement does not apply to the HSTA VB dental plans.