Rate My Administrator – Vice President Edition – has been published

The fourth in series of Rate My Administrator surveys (this one focused on vice presidents) is available for all UHPA Members to download as a PDF. Our presidents survey is currently being produced and will be posted on our website when published.

“These results give faculty members the opportunity for a productive discussion on advancing a better relationship with their respective vice chancellors”, said UHPA Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman. “The results have been shared with President Lassner consistent with UHPA’s commitment to engage in efforts to improve working conditions for faculty members.”

You will need your UHPA Private Member website login and password to access this content

New UHPA Board of Directors Installed and Officers Elected

Congratulations to the newly elected UHPA Board members who were announced at UHPA’s 42nd Annual Membership meeting held at Honolulu Community College on Friday, April 29, 2016.  The following members were elected to fill three-year terms on the various campuses–five seats for University of Hawaii at Manoa and one board seat each for Hawaii Community College, Kauai Community College and University of Hawaii at Hilo:

Teresa Bill, Assistant Professor of Women’s Center
Jennifer Griswold, Assistant Professor of Meteorology
Ellen Hoffman, Professor of Education
Lynn Nakamura-Tengan, Professor of Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences
Glenn Teves, Assistant Professor of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences
David Tsugawa, Instructor of English
Richard Randolph, Associate Professor of English
Norman Arancon, Associate Professor of Horticulture

Additionally, at our April 30, 2016 Board Meeting, UHPA’s new officers were elected. Congratulations to (pictured above from left to right), Norman Arancon (Vice-President)Lynne Wilkens (President), Eric Denton (Treasurer) and Sarita Rai (Secretary).  The three Members-At-Large (not pictured) are Tom Apple, Sally Pestana and David Tsugawa.

We thank our new board and officers for their service to our faculty!

Dr. Jennifer Griswold: A #HeroProf Showing Us the Sky’s the Limit

Heroes face adversity with aplomb and always seem to find a way to overcome whatever life tosses in front of them. They are fearless, capable of maintaining a buoyant, confident spirit, no matter what happens.

This is the depth of heroism that resides in Assistant Professor Jennifer Griswold, faculty member of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


In the late 70s, Jennifer’s mother’s husband got a job as a computer scientist at IBM and her family relocated from New York City to Chicago. On the surface, it seemed all would be well, but his post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Korean War brought out another side of him that sent up a big red flag. Jennifer’s mom was brave enough to leave her husband, pack up Jennifer and her older brother, and head back to New York without giving it a second thought to protect her children.

An Inner Vow to Succeed

With no job to support the family, Jennifer’s family initially lived in their grandmother’s small apartment, but eventually moved to a small project, a 100-year-old building on Surf Avenue on Staten Island. It was slated for demolition, but a hurricane tore up the road and development plans for the area were permanently halted. It was the weather that allowed the family to continue living in the same rent-controlled home for $300 a month over the next 20 years.

“My mother struggled so much to support me and my brother,” Jennifer said, noting that her mother gave up her job as a statistician for an insurance company in Chicago, and took a job as a machinist at a local shop in New York for an annual salary of $18,000. Her mom later became a fish market salesperson at a local grocery and eventually a school aide at Jennifer’s high school, where she still works to this day.

Witnessing all of the stress left an indelible impression on Jennifer, and she resolved that when she grew up, she would not live that way nor be dependent on someone else.

For Jennifer, education was her ticket out of that life, her salvation, her path to freedom.  She would break out and escape, but always cherish her mom’s example of sacrificial dedication.

Weather In Her Bones

Just as the weather played a fateful role in where Jennifer’s family lived, the weather would eventually be a driving force in Jennifer’s career choice. It started when she was young.

Jennifer recalls that she could predict when it would rain because she had sensitive ears and could feel the pressure change associated with a passing cold or warm front.  Although her mother thought she was crazy, Jennifer would would wake up 10 minutes in advance of a wall of water coming down and got a bucket to collect the rain that poured in from their leaking roof – with consistent, amazing accuracy.

Jennifer said having this “super-power” allowed her to readily grasp concepts such as adiabatic temperature change that came in handy when she was a 12- or 13-year-old taking a boating license class in a sailing club. (An adiabatic temperature change is the change in temperature a parcel of air undergoes when it rises or sinks without a transfer of heat between the system.) Others in the class were “crusty, 60-year-old Popeyes” who could not understand these things as easily.

It’s no wonder that college was a natural fit for Jennifer. She was accepted into Cornell University but decided not to go there to avoid the cold temperatures. Instead, she chose Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, a 30-minute commute from her home. Best of all, the school offered Jennifer scholarships for tuition, but she had to take out loans to pay for housing on campus, which she is still paying off.

The Sky’s the Limit

Jennifer sailed through school, earning two bachelor of science degrees in meteorology and environmental science from Rutgers. She then received a Ph.D. in earth and planetary science from the University of California – Santa Cruz. Doors began to swing wide open for her when she applied for post-doctoral research with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Jennifer said she cried when she found out she was selected to work at this prestigious NASA project.

“It was an opportunity to be with the smartest people in the world who think on a different plane,” Jennifer said. “I wanted to expand the types of research I could do. I no longer had to wait for data for a thesis. With satellite-related meteorology, I could have access to many different data sets dating back 30 years. I taught them about clouds; they taught me about satellites.”

Laser Beams and Global Climate Change

Her work can seem intimidating. Using a Dual-Range Flight Probe phase Doppler interferometer (PDI) for local, mainland and international field projects, Jennifer studies cloud microphysics and precipitation processes. In simple layman’s terms, Jennifer explained that the equipment’s hang from a plane’s wings. The “phase” component has to do with the different angles from which the droplet is viewed. The “Doppler” component comes from the shift observed between these different viewing angles.

This data may seem esoteric but provides telling information on the size of the droplets and density of the clouds. Smoke from pollution affects the size of the droplets. When clouds are polluted there are more, but smaller droplets. This makes it harder for rain drops to form.

This means less rain and ultimately translates into drought. Areas that rely on cloud evaporation or fog are put at risk.

Off to Namibia, Africa

Continuous research and learning is a part of Jennifer’s life.  She is part of research group from the University of Hawaii that was chosen to participate in another major NASA project. Using state-of-the-art equipment, her research team is finishing the first year of research using the NASA P-3 Research Aircraft for the ORACLES project that is investigating marine stratocumulus along the coast of Namibia in Africa. The five-year project involves a year of planning, three years of summer missions, and one final year for post-mission data analysis.

More than 60 people are involved with this project and a total of six UH faculty who have cloud aerosol expertise are working on one facet of data collection. There were as many as 10 proposals on measurement alone that were submitted two years ago, and the UH team was selected.

The same group is also preparing for another possible NASA project in the Philippines to assess the effects of slash and burn agriculture on cloud particles, and its connection to climate change.

A Passion for Teaching

Jennifer, or Dr. Griswold as she is known by her students, is the newest faculty in the atmospheric sciences at the UH, and enjoys teaching Meteorology 101. Despite her experience with NASA research projects, she has not forgotten her roots and has not lost her love for teaching.

In fact, she volunteered to developed a new course over a nine-month period called “Pacific Climates and Cultures,” which won a stamp of approval from the Hawaiian Studies department. The course covers how weather and climate influenced the culture of the islands and was taught for the first time last year, and will be offered again this fall.

Inspiring Young Scientists

In heroic fashion, Jennifer also began a new program called “Expanding Your Horizons – Hawaii,” the only event in Hawaii that is part of the larger Expanding Your Horizons Network which has conferences all over the country. The event is aimed at middle school students from the sixth to eighth grades – a critical time when girls begin to lose interest in science. Through a National Science Foundation grant, the program is held every April and just completed its third consecutive conference.

Jennifer first became involved with the program while she was at the University of California at Santa Cruz as a volunteer, and has successfully imported this Science Technology, Engineering and Math conference and networking event for Hawaii’s young students.

The Tango: A Form of Science

As impressive as her science and academic career may be, there’s another side to Jennifer. She is also a teacher specializing in Argentine tango, with her husband, Brett.

She started taking ballet classes in New York City, but soon realized that she was too tall and curvy to compete effectively with the other ballet dancers. She can still do the split, which she happily demonstrated at a recent career day that made her an instant hero for another reason for the amazed students. However, she now prefers to focus on Argentine tango.

She met Brett at a tango class being offered at $2 or $3 a session while in Santa Cruz. Brett tagged along with a friend, who was trying to get credit for another class that required a cultural activity.  The teacher noticed that Brett was eyeing Jennifer, who was dancing and dating someone else at the time. The teacher whispered to Brett that he could make him a better, more impressive dancer than Jennifer’s dance partner. Brett took him up on the offer and it worked, eventually winning Jennifer’s attention.

Jennifer’s students range from ages 12 to 93. She sees life-changing results as a result of her classes. For example, one student lost 30 pounds and is no longer depressed. An 82-year-old women who lives in California flies in for private lessons once in while.

Jennifer says she has taught salsa and swing, but Argentine tango is “more me.” And rather than seeing dancing as separate and distinct from her academic life, Jennifer sees Argentine tango as a seamless extension. “There is science in the stochastic moves with infinite possibilities, like modeling.”


The Board of Directors approved the legislative priorities at their November 7, 2015 meeting.  The BOD’s determined that “Friedrichs” was “most critical” followed by the Cancer Center, Facilities, and Regent selection process.  The BOD included ERS and EUTF and monitoring of State Ethics Laws, Campaign Finance and any bills that impact faculty.

The 2016 legislative session began January 20, 2016 with dismal prospects of funding or support for faculty throughout the University of Hawai‘i system.  What was not evident at the onset of this session was the behind the scenes gearing up on the part of a few legislators to target a single program area; research. There would be an onslaught of attack bills that would need constant attention.

UHPA began tracking approximately 64 pieces of legislation.  The focus was primarily in the House with Higher Education, Labor and Public Employment and Finance.  There were a few hearings in the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee.  The issues surrounding Friedrichs were set aside with the death of of Justice Scalia in February.  The focus had narrowed to issues surrounding research funding, faculty right to campaign and hold elected office, EUTF and how the Finance Committee was going to fund the University of Hawai‘i.

EUTF and ACT 268

The Governor’s budget had indications that a line had been drawn regarding the EUTF and ERS funds.  ACT 268 of 2013 was passed to pre-fund retiree benefits.  It established an “annual required contribution” (ARC) in order to fund the unfunded liability over a 30 year period. The law requires 100% funding of the ARC by FY19, but developed a phased in approach leading up to it.  The Governor has made it clear that he is committed to fund the ARC at 100% before the FY19 statutory requirement.  The phased in approach started with 20% in FY15, 40% in FY16, 60% in FY17, and 80% in FY18.  We are currently at 60%, far above the FY16 requirement of 40%.  The Governor did not succeed in funding the ARC 100% this year, however, the Legislative Budget that passed includes an additional $81 million to fund the ARC, which puts the ARC well beyond the 60% requirement for FY17.

The idea of pre-funding the ARC is being sold as providing future cost savings, however, pre-funding the ARC beyond the statutory requirements has diverted funds away from more pressing concerns that require funding today.  Keep in mind that the Governor and his administration has been informing all of the bargaining units (all 14 of which are up for negotiations effective July 2017) that there is no funding for pay increases.  Funding the ARC beyond the statutory requirements leading up to contract negotiations takes potential funds away from public sector employees, something we are very concerned with.

Researchers to Raise their own Salaries!

The legislature prepared for crossover at the beginning of March and the pending damage to faculty through bills and the budget specifically was disconcerting.  The House vis-à-vis the Higher Education Committee passed a bill (HB 1625, HD1) that would have micromanaged the university and damaged or destroyed tenure. The bill would have required researchers (R faculty) to raise their own salaries through external grants.

House Finance Changes Funding Source

The House Finance Committee changed the funding source in the budget that would support HB 1625, HD1 outcome. The Finance Committee removed $44.8 million dollars in general funds from the UHM operating budget and $5.2 million dollars in general funds from JABSOM and replaced the monies with federal funding.  The end result would be a loss of $50 million dollars in funding for tenure track faculty specifically and R’s primarily.  House Bill 1625, HD1 combined with a $50 million dollar budget cut, the university would have faced a major crisis and loss of faculty. The impact of such an action was probably under-estimated by the Legislature and others. While researchers would have been seriously affected had the bill and budget passed, fortunately the UH contract prevents tenured faculty from being fired overnight. The damage would have been spread across the Mānoa campus and the entire system. Cuts would have first hit lecturers, junior faculty and support staff throughout the system. This attrition in turn would have greatly reduced the teaching capacity and income generated by tuition, leading to an existential threat to the entire University of Hawai‘i System.

UHPA Works with Senate to Reverse House Bills

The legislative team moved quickly to avert the pending crisis.  President Duffy and Executive Director Kris Hanselman outlined in elementary language the impact of both HB 1625, HD1 and the funding changes created in the House Finance Committee.  A clear and concise message was constructed and the team; Kris Hanselman, Christian Fern, Debi Hartmann and UHPA President, David Duffy, met individually and collectively with Leadership/members of the House and Senate.

It became evident that most of the legislators did not understand the symbiotic relationships that exist in the academic arena.  The opportunity to educate the legislators in both funding requirements, resources and the application of funds for academic research and instruction was beneficial as we moved forward.

Senator Brian Taniguchi, Chair of the Higher Education Committee did not hold a hearing on HB 1625, HD1; the bill was officially dead.  Senator Jill Tokuda, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee reversed the funding source that the House had changed.  The $50 million dollars was restored to the general funds in the UHM operating and JABSOM budgets respectively.  During the final conference committee between the House Finance and the Senate Ways and Means, the recommendations of the Senate prevailed and passed as the final budget; crisis averted!

CIP Funding

The final aspect of the budget is the CIP.  UHPA does not insert itself into the CIP discussion but it does monitor and track what is transpiring.  There are a few important CIP budget allocations worth noting.

JABSOM will be receiving CIP monies for a broad range of repair, design and/or construction backlog.  It is important to note that the monies are classified “B” or special funds.  This is referring to interest received specific to funding associated with JABSOM; and must be used for JABSOM.

UH West O‘ahu will be receiving monies for a New Creative Media Facility.  The proviso that the legislature has attached to these monies requires the UH Financial Officer to work in concert with the Director of DBEDT in order to expend any monies.

UH Mānoa is slated to receive CIP funds for Snyder Hall and the College of Education.  The monies attached to the College of Education also have a proviso attached requiring the monies to be expended in a manner that calls into question how and where construction of the building can take place.

CIP Continued Updates

The UHPA legislative team is working closely with UH in areas where we have agreement including CIP monies and other funding that address ongoing the maintenance backlog, renovations, modernization of facilities, design and construction of new facilities that  impact the health and safety of the faculty workplace environment.  There are yet unanswered questions regarding the current CIP budget.  We will continue to monitor this critical area and provide regular updates.

Respectfully submitted,

Legislative Team

Good News for Lecturers


As stated in Article XXI, Salaries, D. Lecturer Fee Schedule

Subject to appropriation of State General Funds, Faculty Members shall be compensated according to the following schedule:


Effective Date                            Step A                           Step B                         Step C
Start of Fall 2015 Semester          $1429                              $1717                              $2006
Start of Fall 2016 Semester          $1486                              $1786                             $2086

Subject to appropriation of State General Funds, effective at the start of the Fall 2016 Semester Faculty Members of the Community Colleges applicable rate per credit hour of instruction or equivalency shall be governed by UHCCP #9.237 Teaching Equivalencies (see R-06 of Reference Section).

Kapiolani CC Chancellor Leon Richards Announces Retirement

On May 4, 2016 UHPA received a copy of a Kapiolani Community College letter from the Chancellor’s office announcing the retirement of Chancellor Leon Richards from his present position on May 15, 2016 and from UH on December 1, 2016.

Shrinking support for the chancellor

This announcement marks the end of a series of No Confidence votes on the chancellor and public Op-Eds. UHPA Members at Kapiolani Community College embarked on a long and arduous journey to bring about change on their campus and we commend them on completing their quest.

Rate My Administrator played a key role

Results from UHPA’s “Rate My Administrator” survey for Kapiolani CC was  used by their Faculty Senate in their letter to the faculty when announcing the approval of a motion to initiate a vote of no confidence. UHPA Executive director Kristeen Hanselman said, “The recent events by employees and students demonstrated that taking a stand to be treated with respect can make the KCC campus a better place to work and study. This effort by many to speak out and share their common experience is something that others can emulate to demand a better campus environment. KCC employees and students did good.”

Expressing the will of the faculty

UHPA’s leadership will continually explore methods and tools to enable the expression and realization of the will of the faculty in the long-standing tradition of shared governance in higher education. We commend the Kapiolani Community College community in having the courage to voice their views and take appropriate action to improve their conditions.

Document History related to the retirement announcement