Faculty Rights to Privacy Violated

UHPA is actively pursuing measures to protect faculty members from Legislator information requests that breach the privacy of personnel files. Numerous information requests have been received from Senator Kim that target individual faculty members in a manner that UHPA contends surpasses what is allowed by the collective bargaining agreement and Chapter 92F of The Uniform Practices Act.

UHPA has a pending grievance and is in discussions with the University on establishing standards for release of information which protects the privacy of faculty members

The information requests are raising the spectre of legislative intrusion into work load and faculty evaluation. Both the exercise of academic decision making by faculty members and University autonomy are undermined by the collection of data with little restrictions on use.

This is a growing area of UHPA activities designed to protect the ability of faculty members to meet their work responsibilities free from legislative intrusion.

UHPA Safeguards Your Intellectual Property: New Rights for Faculty Members

UHPA knows that as a faculty member you have made significant investments to develop and expand your knowledge in your specific field of study. The original materials you create for your classes and other purposes are the result of years of research. You have no doubt become a subject matter expert and your work deserves to be protected from misuse or copyright infringement.

You can be reassured that you are protected from having your works misused. After two years of tough negotiations with UH administration, UHPA has successfully included new contract language that respects the rights of faculty members. Article XI Intellectual Property, Patents and Copyrights, now in effect for faculty members, spells out the terms and conditions for any work for hire by the University of Hawaii.

Works for hire for copyrightable materials must meet specified conditions that are defined in the contract and can be enforced through the grievance procedure. The new language allows copyrightable products—as well as patents—to be subject to shared revenue agreements. This was designed so that faculty can receive an equitable economic return on any of their work that may be sold. The contract contains an updated definition of copyright, and UHPA now receives copies of all work-for-hire agreements.

UHPA and UH is in the process of developing templates for work-for-hire agreements to ensure there is compliance with the contract terms and conditions. Watch for more details.

UHPA Stops Residency Requirements for Lecturers! Being a UHPA Member has Advantages!

In June community college lecturers started receiving notices that because they did not reside in Hawaii they could no longer be hired to work for the community colleges. This action was taken unilaterally without regard to contractual rights of lecturers and the harm that could occur to instructional programs for Fall 2019. At risk were rights to long term rolling contracts, rights of assignments of 6 credits per semester, annual contracts, and health insurance benefits.

UHPA successfully prevailed in stopping the Community Colleges from implementing and imposing a change in conditions of employment for lecturers. Contrary to the misinformation that was circulating on some campuses there is no Hawaii law that requires hiring of only persons who reside in Hawaii. The University is exempt from state law that requires employees to be residents.

All Community College faculty members should receive notice from the employer that there is no residency requirement.

If you’re a UHPA member your support makes these wins possible!

UHPA Prevails in Obtaining Revised Contract Renewal Letters for Probationary Faculty

UHPA filed a class grievance regarding the failure to properly inform probationary faculty of the contract renewal recommendations by the DPC and Department/Division chair by December 20, 2018 as provided by the collective bargaining agreement. This information can be critical to any faculty member who may be subject to non-renewal or has performance deficits that may raise concerns with a Dean or Vice Chancellor. The December date enables a probationary faculty member to determine what options may guide their future employment and ability to remain at the University of Hawaii.

Such defects in the process will be corrected for the 2019-2020 academic year. As a remedy
Faculty members who were improperly denied a contract renewal will be awarded a contract renewal. Faculty members who were renewed and received improper letters will be sent corrected letters which affirm their contract renewals.

Tenure and promotion datasets updated for 2018

UHPA Members can access tenure and promotion data that includes 2016-2018 academic years.  Members can access both graphs and the tables producing those graphs published within a Google sheet.

UHPA Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman said, “Each year UHPA gathers information on faculty success in obtaining tenure, increased compensation with promotion, and completion of probationary periods thru contract renewal. These indicate that UH continues to replenish some tenured faculty positions and faculty members are successful in their career path. ”

This content is made available to UHPA Members only via our Google Drive files. If you’re not a member, signup is quick and easy via our online form.

 

Faculty rating is highest of recent UH Manoa rankings

The 2018-2019 CWUR World University Rankings report evaluated 18,000 universities worldwide.  Of those, UH Manoa ranked 306, 105 nationally, 245 in influence, 541 in citations and 574 in research output.  A detail not lost on us is that our UH Manoa faculty was ranked at 100, the highest of the ratings for the campus.  It’s nice to see great efforts and great results recognized by all. Congratulations UH Manoa Faculty!

Tenure and promotion datasets updated

UHPA Members can access tenure and promotion data that includes 2016 and 2017 academic years.  Members can access both graphs and the tables producing those graphs published within a Google sheet.

UHPA Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman said, “Each year UHPA gathers information on faculty success in obtaining tenure, increased compensation with promotion, and completion of probationary periods thru contract renewal. These indicate that UH continues to replenish some tenured faculty positions and faculty members are successful in their career path. ”

This content is made available to UHPA Members only via our Google Drive files. If you’re not a member, signup is quick and easy via our online form.

 

2018 Hawaii State AFL-CIO Scholarships

Thanks to American Income Life (AIL) for their generous donation of $3,000 for the 2018 Hawaii State AFL-CIO scholarships. There will be three scholarships awarded in the amount of $1,000 each. High school students planning to attend post-high school study on a full-time basis will be considered for the three scholarships. Please see the details and the criteria below that will be used in determining the winners.

____________

The Hawaii State AFL-CIO has established scholarships that will be awarded to students who are currently attending high school in the state of Hawaii and plan to pursue post-high school study on a full-time basis at a university, college, community college, vocational or trade school.

The following criteria will be used in determining the awarding of the scholarships:

  1. An essay of not more than 1000 words as to the importance of labor unions in Hawaii. The essay may be written from a personal point of view or from a historical perspective.
  2. Completing a cover letter with relevant information: name, address, phone number, e-mail address and what type of school you plan to attend.

The scholarship is open to any graduating senior and having a family member in a union is not required. There will be three scholarships awarded in the amount of $1,000 each.

All submissions must be received or postmarked by Friday, April 20, 2018. Applications can be sent by e-mail to: aflcioscholarship@gmail.com or by mail to: 345 Queen St., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI 96813. Please direct all questions to Jason Bradshaw at 597-1441.

A decision will be made by Friday, April 27, 2018 and winners will be notified shortly thereafter.

 

Senate Bill Puts Quality of Higher Education at Risk

SB 2328 proposes that all courses at all UH campuses be required to use instructional materials exclusively from the OER at the UH, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

As the chief advocates upholding the quality of the education at the University of Hawaii, UHPA and faculty members submitted testimony against SB 2328 for a hearing before the Senate Higher Education Committee held on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Legislators were urged to defer or reject the proposed bill for sound reasons.

Our Top 10 Reasons UH Faculty Oppose Open Educational Resources Mandate:

1. Infringement on Academic Judgment

Restricting the resources that faculty can and cannot use for their courses infringes on the academic judgment of faculty. Is this a new definition of a state-run university?

2. Impact on Quality of Education

Open source information is usually generic and basic; it is not the cutting-edge information Hawaii university students deserve. Textbooks are written by national experts and contain up-to-date resources on specific subjects. They become future resources for graduates in their vocation and part of their library for life. Putting constraints on what faculty members must use to conduct their courses hampers their ability to educate students with the latest information. An OER mandate will decrease the quality and amount of information students can receive in their classes.

3. Lack of Important Resources

Higher education is a time for students to spread their intellectual wings and delve deep into subjects with passion. Unfortunately, not all instructional materials are available on open access. This limits academic rigor and holds back students from fully exploring subjects. Libraries continue to play a significant role in universities, but at the UH even our libraries have been subject to budget cuts.

4. Significant Funding Requirements

There are other costs associated with OER that on the surface may not be as readily apparent. Even under the best of circumstances, OER cannot provide instructional and research materials without a substantial investment to develop materials and purchase academic resources that are not subject to open access.

5. Cost of Course Development

The cost to construct course content and the methodology for delivery are also worth noting. Depending upon the area of study, specialized technology and software-based resources are required to meet OER standards.

6. Technological Constraints

Eliminating textbooks creates access challenges for both students and faculty members. With the rapid changes in hardware and software, some may have a challenge accessing online materials because of a lack of appropriate tools, internet access, security, access to technical support, and other obstacles. This creates an uneven playing field for student learning.

7. Need-Based Subsidies

With the increase in the cost of textbooks and other instructional resources, there needs to be a corresponding increase in funding for textbooks through subsidies. By decreasing the out-of-pocket expenses for books, the net effect is lower educational costs for students. This can be accomplished through allocations made by the legislature.

8. Legislative Overreach

Simply commanding faculty members to turn over their intellectual property is not only offensive to academic practice, but also fails to recognize that the content may be subject to peer review. Asserting that faculty are required to make their work available to all is contrary to academic protocols. Already, many faculty members voluntarily share their work among their department and students. It is substantial legislative overreach for the legislature to act as the employer by assigning specific duties to faculty members.

9. Alternative Solutions

OER is not a black-and-white, either-or issue. Textbook manufacturers seek to maximize their profits by releasing new versions of books each year with minor changes, such as reordering exercises and adding modest material, and have reduced the number of books that could be used for several semesters. UH faculty, on the other hand, search for the best mix of quality and cost when choosing textbooks. Some use past editions, available on Amazon, halving the cost of a textbook for students. We should encourage OER material when it makes sense and think of more creative ways to lower the costs of educational materials for students.

10. Non-OER Books Facilitate Dialogue

At a time when so many scholars are engaged in writing about social justice and look to publish their work in the near future, this bill unintentionally subverts attempts for students to become scholars who offer a critical lens about race, class, and gender. By mandating what a faculty member may or may not include for course material, we set back the clock on educational resources for the 21st-century learner. At a time when people of color and women face daily harassment and persecution, recent, cutting-edge publications become increasingly crucial for students, teachers, staff, and administrators to engage in dialogue.

Faculty Speak out against proposed OER mandate (SB 2328)

SB 2328 proposes that all courses at all UH campuses be required to use instructional materials exclusively from the OER at the UH, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

Of course our UHPA Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman testified against this bill.  We also asked for your feedback and faculty responded.  Some of their public testimony is below:

David Duffy

Bill Could End Academic Freedom In Hawaii –  “Senate Bill 2328 is a strong disincentive to teach and will politicize the University of Hawaii.”

Matthew Tuthill

Dear Senator Kahele,
I am contacting you to oppose the proposed SB 2328 concerning OERs be implemented for all UH courses.

As a former student and instructor within the UH System for over 20 years, I have been on both sides of the class and intimately know what works, and what doesn’t for courses. As professors, we choose the best resources for courses, and some of these include OERs, while often times they do not.

I strongly disagree that those not in the classroom or discipline dictate what is best for the course and student. How one teaches and what tools they use have been crafted by examining a multitude of possibilities. I am a professional that works very hard to make the most engaging course for my students, and the STEM student success numbers (of degrees, transfer rates…) at Kapiolani Community College attest that we are achieving and surpassing goals.

OERs can be useful, but often hard copy resources provide more active learning by students… therefore greater success. Numerous studies show that internet/online courses and resources at best equal face-to-face course, but in many cases result in lower student scores. Using OERs is done strategically, but is not the complete answer to many course settings.

More importantly, the UH and the State government should move towards allowing equitable journal access across all of the UH System. Currently an undergraduate student at UH-Manoa has better journal access than a Ph.D. professor at any Community College. VP Morton (and M.R.C. Greenwood before him) are aware of this two-tiered platform and vowed to level the playing field of online resource access. To date though, nothing has changed.

Although the cost of student tuition is stated as a justification of OERs implementation in SB 2328, the reality is that Community College tuition in Hawaii is amongst the cheapest in the nation. These students are just testing the waters of their career and academic lives, and forcing them to use more “passive” methods of OER learning is a disservice to all.

Please consider addressing equitable electronic (journal) access across the UH System, but leave the teaching tools at the instructor level. We do have a driving professional integrity and constantly experiment to find the perfect resources for student teaching and success… and in many cases they are not OERs.
Simply put, I trust you are an expert in your area and discipline, and therefore would not dictate what resources you use to accomplish your work… and neither should elected officials do so for professor’s instruction.

Earl Hishinuma

I oppose this bill because it will decrease the quality of teaching to students at the University of Hawaii by restricting the resources that faculty can utilize and the bill infringes on the academic judgment of faculty. While we should be deeply concerned about the overall rising cost of higher education for our youth and young adults, this bill is not the solution. The broader issue is the “starving” of our one and only state university system for the past several years. Reversal of this “starvation” could result in need-based subsidies of required textbooks/materials for students.

Karla Hayashi

While well intentioned, SB 2328 will result in University of Hawai’i students losing access to current and comprehensive information and resources which provide them with information vetted by credible academic bodies as well as being reduced to relying only on one person’s point of view.

By mandating students use only open educational resources (OER) the breadth and depth of academic information will be severely restricted and handicap our students. OER is still in the infancy of development and of those currently available, not all are appropriate for academic study in all fields. Those academic disciplines where open source materials are unavailable or limited in number would mean students would have no texts and materials to read, review, and learn from.

Additionally, mandating students rely only on instructor-created materials can literally mean students in some academic disciplines will only have access to information in the public domain due to copyright laws. This means students would only be able to learn from information that is minimally 75 years old and older. In a discipline like literature, courses that focus on contemporary literature would be wiped from the catalog. Exploring ideas and hearing voices of contemporary artists would be impossible. Students would be relegated to reading and discussing literature and responses to literature that only exists in the public domain. Students would not be able to further their literary studies through an examination of contemporary issues, a critical component of literary studies.

SB 2328 will severely handicap our students and prevent them from engaging with, reviewing, and learning from carefully vetted, current information as well as reduce their ability to learn from multiple points of view. Limiting students’ access to different opinions also reinforces the growing national voice disparaging facts as “false” as well as policies that call for elimination of words from official communication because one group of people find these words objectionable. Students’ perceptions, understanding, and knowledge will be limited to the point of view of the individual instructor. This defeats the purpose of obtaining a university education, as students’ ability to learn how to think critically will be severely compromised.

SB 2328, however well intentioned, takes our state’s public higher education backwards by decades and can result in our students falling significantly behind their peers nationally and globally.

Glenn Ioane Teves

This bill is ill-informed and will decrease the quality of education. Textbooks are written by national experts and contain up-to-date resources on the subject. They become future resources for graduates in their vocation, and part of their library for life. I still refer to text books I purchased in college. This bill will hamstring the teachers ability to educate students with the latest information and will decrease the quality and amount of information students will receive in classes. Open source information is usually generic and basic, and not the cutting edge information Hawaii college students deserve.

Lynne Wilkens

I oppose SB2328. As a UH faculty member, I am irate at the rate of inflation in college textbooks, which has been 4 times the consumer price index. Therefore, I applaud the desire to lower educational costs for students. However, while some of the UH faculty can and do produce stellar educational material, an all UH-derived material approach will not produce a uniformly quality product that the students of Hawaii deserve. Faculty have been working to reduce costs. However, textbook manufacturers have moved to maximum their profits. They are currently releasing new versions of books each year with minor changes, such as reordering exercises and adding modest material, and have reduced the number of books that could be used for several semesters. Faculty at UH search for the best mix of quality and cost when choosing a textbook. Some use past editions (available on Amazon), halving the cost of the book for students. We should encourage OER material where it makes sense and together think of more creative ways to lower costs for educational material for students.

Amy Nishimura

At a time when so many scholars are engaged in writing about social justice and look to publish their work in the near future, this bill unintentionally subverts attempts for students to become scholars who offer a critical lens about race, class, and gender. This bill does not consider how disciplines or courses that attempt to teach critical thinking skills in relation to social justice, disciplines such as Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Hawaiian Pacific Studies, History, Literature, Philosophy, and many others, ask students to reference and cite the work of Noenoe Silva, Jonathan Osorio, Amy Stillman, Lisa Kanae, Dorothy Fujita, Sara Ahmed, Cornel West, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and countless others. While I support some facets of OER and look to attend a workshop on our campus this March, by mandating what a faculty member may or may not include for course material, we set back the clock on educational resources for the 21st century learner, and at at time when people of color and women face daily harassment and persecution, cutting edge and recent publications become increasingly crucial for students, teachers, staff, and administrators to engage in dialogue.