Pick up Your Member-Only UHPA Shirt On Campus

Stand in Solidarity with Style!

From left: Dwight Takeno, Sarah Beamer, Joe Sam, Jim Kardash and Christian Fern (back), and Jamie Mow and Rovena Varde (front). Missing: Kathy Yamashita.

For all UHPA members who ordered their UHPA custom-designed polo shirts in December, your shirt has come in! Kāhala, the manufacturer of these quality, dry-fit shirts promised our official UHPA shirts would arrive for the fall 2023 semester, and they have kept to their schedule. 

As you can see from the photo above, these attractive polo shirts have a distinctive Hawai‘i look and subtly incorporate our UHPA logo into the overall design. Your shirt allows us to stand in solidarity with style.

Windward Community College

Room: TBD – will be announced when finalized
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
10 am – noon
UHPA Representative: Dwight Takeno

Kapiolani Community College

Room: TBD – will be announced when finalized
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
11 am – 1 pm
UHPA Representative James Kardash

Leeward Community College

Room: TBD – will be announced when finalized
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
10 am – noon
UHPA Representative Sarah Beamer

Watch for dates and times for the other campuses.

UHPA Expands Leadership Team

This week, UHPA gladly welcomed Jamie Mow to our leadership team as an associate executive director.

“We’re glad to have Jamie on our team to broaden the capabilities of our leadership team and to prepare UHPA for the future.” said Christian Fern, UHPA executive director. “Jamieʻs background will be a valuable asset to the UHPA team.”

Jamie has extensive leadership and legal affairs experience.

Prior to joining UHPA, Jamie had been an investigator and compliance officer with Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s Office of the Assistant Inspector General since August 2020, responsible for conducting audits on shipyard programs, operations, and processes, and leading investigations into allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, and harassment, or related civil administrative or criminal matters.

She also served at HMSA’s legal affairs department from April 2011 to August 2020, starting as an associate counsel, and rising to counsel and eventually counsel and manager. In those roles, she provided legal advice and counsel to HMSA and was responsible for research and interpretation of state and federal law and regulations, corporate governance, and defending the organization in litigation and arbitration.

Jamie also served as a law clerk to Chief Administrative Judge Bert Ayabe in the First Circuit Court in the Hawaii State Judiciary. She also was a senior tax associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in San Jose, California from 2006 to 2009.
The Mānoa resident received a bachelor of arts degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of Washington, in Seattle, and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.

Welcoming Our Members to Fall 2023

Aloha UHPA Members:

Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed a well-deserved summer break and are ready for the fall semester.

Our Hearts Go Out For Maui

I’m sure the Maui wildfires are top of mind for many of you. Over the past three weeks, we have seen the tremendous devastation to Lahaina and cannot help but feel a deep sense of loss. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or have suddenly become houseless as a result of being displaced or because their homes have been burnt to the ground.

Crises like these stir a range of emotions. We have witnessed expressions of sorrow, despair, anger, and blame. It is no doubt a trying time for everyone. But crises can also bring out the best in people.

Supporting Our Maui ‘Ohana Affected By The Fires

When we learned about UH Maui College faculty who were impacted by the fire, the UHPA wanted to offer support. Without hesitation, the executive committee of the UHPA board of directors unanimously voted in favor of providing support for them. I’m pleased to let you know that UH, through the UH Foundation, partnered with UHPA to support the impacted faculty members.

Michael Young

It is this kind of lōkahi that is vitally needed now as those on Maui start their journey toward recovery. We were able to provide financial support for Michael Young, an instructor and apprentice program coordinator, who offers UH Maui College students a range of on-the-job training options to prepare them for meaningful careers, from architecture to culinary, from healthcare to construction trades. He received the 2021 Volunteer Award from Habitat for Humanity Maui for leading students in helping renovate substandard housing to address homelessness in Lahaina. We are glad we are able to support Young, who has invested so much into Maui and Valley Isle youth. 

Velma Panlasigui

We were also able to provide financial support for Velma Panlasigui, who attended Lahainaluna High School, UH Maui College, and UH-Mānoa, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech. She was able to return to her home island and give back to the Maui community as the coordinator and student advisor for the UH-Mānoa outreach program, serving Maui students in distance degree programs.

Laureen Ampong Kodani

UHPA and the UH Foundation were also able to provide financial assistance to Laureen Ampong Kodani, assistant professor and educational, communications and technology developer for instructional design at UH Maui College. Kodani has been a part of the UH Maui College ‘ohana for more than a decade, starting as a lecturer before being named to her current position. Kodani received degrees in accounting as well as applied business and technology from UH Maui College before earning a master’s degree in education focusing on educational technology from UH-Mānoa. 

Happy To Have Helped

These faculty have contributed so much to Maui and the next generation of leaders. UHPA is glad to have a small role in helping them through this challenging time. While many of us have not had time to reflect on the tragic events and process all that has happened, we know that aloha shines through in the darkest moments. 

Join Us and Help All Faculty

As always, UHPA is committed to helping all of our faculty and empowering them so they can remain true to their calling for conducting research, instructing, supporting students, and serving the community. Please consider joining our ‘ohana and letting other faculty know about the UHPA. There is power in unity. Now is the time to embrace others and welcome them.


Christian L. Fern 

Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi

There are no words that can describe the devastation, loss, and tragedy that occurred in Lahaina, Maui.  The incident has impacted so many families who have lost so much, not to mention the loss of life. As an island state, we are all connected and feel the loss either personally or emotionally.


UHPA was informed that three of its Lahaina members have been significantly impacted by the incident and unfortunately lost their homes or were displaced.  As we pray for those we lost and for the victims of this unfortunate tragedy, the UHPA Executive Committee authorized UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern to withdraw funds from the UHPA Emergency Relief Fund to help these three members. UHPA established this emergency fund after Hurricane Iwa hit the islands to help faculty members impacted by disasters.  In addition, the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teacher’s labor organization in America, through its President Randi Weingarten, generously donated $10,000 to help UHPA members who were adversely impacted by the incident.  

With the combined resources of the UHPA Emergency Relief Fund, the AFT donation, and the UH Foundation, $10,000 checks were distributed to each of the three UHPA faculty members on August 23, 2023 at UH Maui College to help kick-start their recovery efforts.

From left to right: UHMC Chancellor Lui Hokoana, UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern, UHMC Staff Member Mike Asami, UHMC Staff Member Dwight Kalua , UHPA Faculty Member Michael Young, UHPA Faculty Member Velma Panlasigui, UH Foundation Associate Vice President Karla Zarate-Ramirez. Missing: UHPA Faculty Member Laureen Kodani.

It’s Only A Start

While the $10,000 donation is miniscule to the financial challenges ahead for these three UHPA Faculty Members, any amount of support and donations are going to help ease the burden and stress these members are going to face in the long road of recovery.

Organizations You Can Support

If you are interested in making a donation to help support those impacted, UHPA recommends the following vetted nonprofit organizations:

UH Foundation’s Help Maui

The University of Hawaiʻi is uniquely positioned to respond quickly in emergencies affecting our students, faculty, and staff.  Visit here to make a donation to directly support impacted faculty and staff.  

Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund

HCF is collaborating with state and county leaders, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and philanthropists to identify evolving priorities for Maui communities impacted by the fire. Visit Maui Strong’s website to make a donation. 

Maui United Way

Maui United Way provides direct relief to families and nonprofit organizations. Visit the Maui United Way website.

The Salvation Army

As the fires continue to upend lives on Maui, the Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division is quickly responding with food, shelter, emotional and spiritual care, and other critical services. Visit the Salvation Army website.

In Solidarity We Stand.

Political Action Fund Notice

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) has an active Political Endorsement Committee that has participated in state & federal elections through political endorsements, contributions to candidates and independent expenditures on behalf of our endorsed candidates. The UHPA Board of Directors has taken action to allocate from the dues of all UHPA Active members an amount of $5.00 a month to be placed in a Political Action Fund. The Fund will be subject to the accounting requirements and used for purposes consistent with the Hawaii State Election and Federal Election laws.

Our policy allows Active members of UHPA to object to the $5.00 per month allocation to the Political Action Fund. This will not lower their total dues, but it will not add to the total amount of funds allocated for partisan political purposes with respect to candidate endorsements and contributions. If an Active member chooses to object to this funding, they will not be allowed to vote on any recommendation for candidate endorsements made by the Board of Directors.

The request to withhold funding from the Political Action account must be made each year. If you do not wish to contribute to the “candidate endorsement” fund for fiscal year 2023-2024, then you must sign, date, and return an UHPA Allocation Objection Form by September 29, 2023.

The UHPA Board of Directors has taken this action in response to the strong feelings held by some members that the union should not participate in making candidate endorsements or political contributions. However, we believe it is essential for a public sector union to maintain a political presence since the fundamental work of our bargaining with the State of Hawaii is ultimately subject to legislative approval.

Hearts Going Out For Our UH Maui Ohana

This is a difficult time for all of us in Hawai‘i. It has been hard to watch the devastation from the wildfires occurring in Lahaina and other parts of Maui and not be moved with compassion and sadness.

Things to Consider Before A Housing Move

Our partners at HomeStreet Bank submitted the below article which contains useful information for our members. Follow this UHPA Membership Only link to access your UHPA HomeStreet Bank Benefits.

There’s no place like home.

It’s your sanctuary, your place of rest, your family’s stomping grounds. Finding and settling into the perfect home brings such a rewarding feeling, but let’s be honest: The process leading up to it is no cakewalk. There’s a lot that goes into buying a home, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a stressful experience. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can ensure the whole process goes off without a hitch. If you’re planning a move soon, be sure to consider the following things:

The Neighborhood

Before you even start looking at houses, think about the area where you want to live. Location is the one thing you can’t change, so this needs to be determined up front. Do you have kiddos? Is walkability important? How about the school district? Even if you don’t have children, buying in a good school district can help with resale down the road. Don’t forget about your work commute, either — do you need easy access to highways or public transportation? Once you’ve settled on a neighborhood, find a real estate agent who’s a specialist in that area so you can maximize your potential for finding the right home.

Your Budget

Buying a home is a financial decision, and as such, budget should be a driving factor in your decision-making process. If you’re moving up, consider how your monthly payment will increase and whether you’re prepared to handle that. If you’re moving to a fixer-upper, take into account any extra expenses you’ll incur with renovations. Also, research the cost of living in the area, as well as property taxes and HOA fees. And of course, don’t forget to budget for the actual move.

The Home Itself

Once you’ve found a home, gone under contract with the seller, and started the mortgage process, it’s time to begin packing and planning for the big move. The key to a smooth move is organization. Here’s a handy checklist to help you get started on the right foot:

Do a purge. 

Begin by going through and getting rid of unnecessary stuff, from clothing to furniture to old holiday decorations. This will not only make for a lighter move but will also help you start fresh in your new home.

Pack smart. 

Save some money as you pack by using items you already have. For example, fill up laundry baskets and suitcases with non-breakables, and wrap delicate items like glassware in kitchen towels and linens. Be sure to label every box and, if you want to be extra organized, keep an inventory list of what’s in each box and which room it should go in. Check out more clever packing tips and tricks.

Hire legit movers.

A reputable moving company can save you a lot of headaches on moving day. Check that they are licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and only accept Full Value Protection insurance to cover any damage to your belongings. Be sure they perform a thorough in-home estimate, and don’t move forward until you have an agreement in writing.

Plan for moving day.

Outline your game plan for moving day well in advance. Determine what you’ll do for food, lodging, and transportation. Can you arrange for someone to watch the kids, or do you need to find some games and movies to keep them entertained throughout the day? Don’t forget to make room for the dog or cat, or plan to drop it off at the pet sitter’s to make its life and yours a lot easier.

It’s a Big Deal

Buying and moving into a home is one of the biggest milestones in a person’s life, whether it’s your first time or your third. When you know what to expect and what steps to take along the way, you can make finding home sweet home a fun and enjoyable experience.

Access your UHPA HomeStreet Bank Benefits Content

Follow this UHPA Membership Only link to access your UHPA HomeStreet Bank Benefits.

This content is made available to UHPA Members only using Google Drive files. Please follow the instructions on this link if you cannot immediately access the files.  
If you’re not a member, signup is quick and easy via our online form.

Book Now: UHPA’s Disney Aulani Weekend!

Our very popular UHPA Disney Aulani Weekend returns for its 9th annual event on Oct 27 & 28, 2023.  Don’t miss out!

UHPA members love the Disney Aulani Resort. If you are an early bird planner, this is your chance to get the best rooms at our heavily discounted rates before they sell out as they do every year.

Start Earlier or Stay Later

Our special rates are in effect for Oct 27 & 28.  Want to stay longer? You can reserve dates up to 5 days before or after our special rate days.  As in previous years, it overlaps the Halloween weekend which should be extra fun for the whole family

First Come, First Serve Will Sell Out Quickly

Last year this sold out within weeks.  Early bird reservations are open now and we highly recommend you make your reservations as we only have limited availability and if previous years are an indication, this will sell out very quickly.

SCR 201 Primer for UHPA Members

In response to the SCR 201 feedback form content we’ve received, UHPA has published a Primer on Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 201 and related UH Policy Proposed Changes to assist members with understanding and accessing relevant documents.

The primer includes:

  • Overview of the SCR 201 purpose
  • Justification for Policy Changes
  • Key Changes at a Glance
  • Links to redlined versions of each affected Regent and Executive policy


The primer and redlined policy changes are made available to UHPA Members only using Google Drive files. Please follow the instructions on this link if you get a “You need access” dialog box and cannot immediately access the files.  

If you’re not a member, signup is quick and easy via our online form.

Submit Your SCR 201 Feedback and Recommendations

UHPA has created a SCR 201 Google Form to collect your feedback on the proposed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 201 Policy Changes. Any recommendations that you provide will be used to assist and guide UHPA in advocating and conveying faculty questions and concerns to management over the proposed SCR 201 changes during the consultation process. While these recommendations will be brought forward for discussion, they in itself do not guarantee policy language changes in line with the recommendations offered.


What is SCR 201 All About?

Read our SCR 201 Primer to bring yourself up to date on this issue.