Fall 2022 Welcome to UHPA Members

Aloha Kākou and Welcome Back!

I hope you’re acclimating well to the demands of this new fall semester. I intentionally held off from sending you this communication last week because I know the first week of the semester can be overwhelming, but I wanted to officially welcome you back and give you a brief update on what lies ahead of us in the coming academic year.  

Hope You Had A Good Break

Although the pandemic is still with us, vaccinations and other mitigating tools and factors have allowed us to begin returning to the activities many of us enjoy, like traveling, so I hope that you were able to take advantage of the opportunities to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation during the off-duty period this summer.

We’ve Been Working For You Over The Summer

While the summer months offer a brief break for many of you from teaching, research, and service, the business and operations of the University of Hawai‘i never stops. That means the work of UHPA also continues.  As you may know, it requires constant vigilance and relentless monitoring, analysis, and assessment of issues to ensure UHPA members can continue to teach, conduct research, and engage in service without distractions. Academic freedom for faculty and the principles and accomplishments of faculty that have made the University of Hawai‘i great can never be taken for granted.

Including Regular Meetings Related to Key Issues

Over the summer UHPA has remained active and busy in meetings with the UH administration over a number of issues impacting faculty.  From weekly meetings of the BOR appointed steering committee over the implementation of the SCR 201 recommendations, to participating and facilitating the “S” (i.e. Specialist) Faculty Workgroup meetings, to the filing of a prohibited practice complaint (PPC) with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB) against the UH, and actively participating and assisting campaigns in the Stateʻs election campaigns for Governor and Lieutenant Governor during the primary election.  

We’re Hoping for the Best But Preparing For Adversity

Over the past year, we have seen unprecedented levels of threats to academic freedom, tenure, and even faculty classification from certain legislators and even from certain members of the UH Board of Regents. While the intensity of these threats may have waned during the summer months, they still remain at the forefront of conversations and discussions at the UH.  While they now lurk below the surface, we should not be surprised nor should we be ill-prepared if they rear their heads in the form of ill-conceived bills and resolutions from the legislature or findings from BOR permitted interaction groups. Please be assured UHPA stands ready to defend academic freedom and the contractual rights of our members. 

The General Election Gives Us Cause for Optimism

With the general election approaching in November, we are hopeful for a more collaborative and open State administration that already possesses a deeper appreciation for the UH and the significant and important role of the UH faculty.  There is no question that the Legislature will undergo changes and there will be new members and new committee assignments occurring before the next legislative session. In the months ahead, we’ll spend time getting to know our elected officials better and ensure they have a deeper understanding, appreciation, and recognition of faculty.

We’re Best When We Work Together

We have all witnessed the power of SOLIDARITY in what we can do when we come together collectively as a whole.  We have demonstrated we can rise to whatever challenge is before us and be a force to be reckoned.  UHPA will continue to keep members informed of new developments, provide timely and pertinent and relevant information, provide the highest quality of representation to the membership, and provide recommendations on how to get involved so that we can continue to have a positive impact on the University of Hawai‘i and our State.

Mahalo nui loa,

Christian Fern

When Will You Receive Your Pay Increase and Bonus?

Thanks to the UHPA Negotiating Team, and all of you for your overwhelming support, we’re happy to announce when the newly-contracted pay increases and retroactive bonus payments will be referenced in your paychecks.

According to UH Administration, all 11-month faculty are tentatively scheduled to receive their 3.72% salary increase on their July 20, 2022 pay date while all 9-month faculty are scheduled to receive their 3.72% increase on their August 20, 2022 pay date.

All eligible faculty, including eligible retirees, are tentatively scheduled to receive the 1% one-time lump sum payment on September 20, 2022 based on your annual base salary.

Both the pay raise and the bonus are in accordance with Article XXI, Salaries, of the 2021-2025 Unit 7 Agreement

In Solidarity.

Over 99% Vote in Favor of Contract Extension

Recognition and Appreciation to all UH Faculty in Bargaining Unit 7

Over the past two days, you had the opportunity to ratify extending the current 2021-2023 UHPA-BOR Agreement an additional two years to June 30, 2025 with the following pay increases:

  • 1% lump-bonus payment retroactive to July 1, 2021
  • 3.72% increase on July 1, 2022
  • 5% increase on July 1, 2023
  • 5% increase on July 1, 2024

The offer from the Employer was approved by the UHPA Board of Directors on April 2, 2022 to be given to the UH Faculty in Bargaining Unit 7 for their consideration and to take a ratification vote.

Results of the Ratification Vote

The ratification vote ended today, Friday, April 8, 2022 at 12:00 PM.  The results of the ratification vote are as follows:

99.1% – YES (1806 in favor)

0.9% – NO (17 opposed)

UHPA greatly appreciates you taking the time to vote.  Needless to say, the past couple of years have been daunting, challenging, and extremely difficult.  However, the UH Faculty in Bargaining Unit 7 displayed tremendous resilience, determination, and dedication by continuing to persevere through these difficult times allowing students to obtain their degrees and increasing student enrollment at the UH Manoa and the UH Hilo campus while nationally the trends show otherwise.  UHPA is proud to represent the UH Faculty.  In Unity We Stand.

Mahalo!

Vote Now: Your Ballot Is In Your Inbox

The ratification vote is underway regarding the State’s offer to faculty.  Ballots were sent to the email address we have on file for every member of Bargaining Unit 7.

If You Haven’t Seen Your Ballot, Check The Following:

  1. Your inbox.  Ballots were sent on Wednesday 4/6 with the Subject line “2022 UHPA Contract Ratification Vote” from the address “vote@simplyvoting.com”.
  2. Your other inbox:  if you previously registered your non-edu email with us, the ballot was sent to that email address
  3. Spam folders:  check both your .edu and non .edu email spam folders.  Search for the address “vote@simplyvoting.com” 

Still Can’t Find It?

If all of the above fail, please email Kathy Yamashita and in your email body please confirm that you have performed the 3 steps above and cannot find your ballot.   Kathy will confirm that you are in the bargaining unit and the email address the ballot was sent to.

Big News on SB3269: Faculty Made a Difference!

Faculty Made a Difference!

SB 3269, SD2 – House Will NOT Hold Hearing on Tenure Bill

UHPA was notified today by Representative Gregg Takayama, Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education and Technology, that he will NOT hold a hearing on SB 3269 SD2 Relating to Academic Tenure at the University of Hawai‘i.

Representative Takayama shared that he reviewed the many pages of testimony from the Senate hearings, and took to heart your concerns and perspectives on tenure that unequivocally expressed opposition to this bill. He also shared that he clearly understands and respects the role and responsibilities of the UH Board of Regents, and how this legislation attempted to circumvent their decision-making authority.

Faculty engagement was critical in effecting this final outcome.  Without your collective voice, this outcome would not have been possible!  This proves that as a union, your voices can and are being heard!  We extend our appreciation and thanks to all of you for responding to the Call For Action.  No further action is required or needed at this time, but will keep you informed and apprised since we will continue to monitor this situation during this legislative session.

MAHALO

Special mahalo to Chair Gregg Takayama, House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, and the entire House Leadership Team who took the time to listen, understand, and work with UHPA to hear the collective faculty voice on this critical issue.

IN SOLIDARITY

Legislative Bill to Obliterate UH Tenure System Moving Forward

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is holding a hearing on SB 3269 SD1, relating to academic tenure as a last-ditch effort to keep this bill on academic tenure alive during this legislative session. The hearing is scheduled for Friday, March 4, 2022 at 10:10 am.

Need Your Urgent Support

The Senate continues to push their modus operandi by using alternative facts to justify that tenure is supported by tax dollars and restricting tenure leads to cost savings which is absolutely incorrect “IF” you truly understand academic institutions.  Remember, this legislation is being pushed by a former disgruntled Regent who has openly expressed and interjected her personal feelings and emotions over this issue of tenure without facts or data to support her conclusions.  Thus, Faculty input is critical, essential, and needed to change the false narratives, misinformation, and deceptive tactics to prevent the intended and unintended negative consequences that will happen if this bill passes.  Your input and voices so far seem to be working. Two changes have been made to the original bill: 1) librarians are now allowed to receive tenure; and 2) community college faculty are not required to conduct research, as the originally proposed. However, the issue of tenure still hangs in the balance and the bill still threatens the viability of the University’s ability to hold and protect tenure, academic freedom, and academic governance absent legislative meddling. We must continue the good fight to protect the pillars and foundations of the academy.
 

Written Testimony is the Only Way to Voice Your Concerns

If you provided testimony for SB 3269 (SD1) for the Senate Committee on Higher Education (HRE) use your testimony as a template and make the necessary modifications to reflect the changes in the bill as you deem fit.

Oral Testimony Not Accepted

This upcoming WAM Committee hearing will NOT allow oral testimony, therefore  NO question-and-answer period. Therefore, it is imperative and meaningfully important that you submit written testimony before 10:10 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday, March 3, 2022) so that it will not be marked as “Late” and to ensure that Legislators are able to receive it before the hearing.  This will be your last opportunity and the only way to express your thoughts about this dangerous bill to the Senate. The overall number of testimonies submitted from faculty will send a strong message to the members of the WAM Committee and you can make a difference in the outcome in protecting your rights and interests.

Mahalo for your ongoing support and engagement!

BOR Drops The PIG And The Curtain Gets Pulled Back

At Thursday’s (2/17/2022) BOR meeting, the BOR voted to adopt the Report of the Senate Concurrent Resolution 201 (2021) Task Force and to disregard the findings and recommendations of the dissolved Tenure PIG (Permitted Interaction Group).  By the BORʻs vote on Thursday, it sends a clear message to the Senate that the BOR doesnʻt support the action proposed by the Findings and Recommendations of the Dissolved BOR Tenure PIG.

Moreover, as a governing body that by Constitution is granted authority, power, and exclusive jurisdiction over the internal structure, management, and operations of the university, they have decided that it is in the best interest of the University of Hawai‘i to follow the recommendations as detailed in the Report of the Senate Concurrent Resolution 201 (2021).

Jan Sullivan Exposed

Based on the BORʻs decision, it provides the clarity UHPA was seeking as to the genesis of SB 3269.  Thursday’s BOR action clearly revealed that the BOR is not supportive of the legislation introduced by Senator Donna Mercado-Kim and dispels the narrative that this bill was proposed by the now dissolved BOR Tenure PIG.  Only one former BOR member testified in support of the bill, connect the dots and the picture will be revealed for all to see..

And Senator Donna Mercado Kim Exposed

At the Senate HRE Hearing on February 10, 2022, Senator Donna Mercado Kim directly accused UHPA of inciting fear and scare tactics in UHPAʻs Newsflash to its membership, and openly took offense at UHPAʻs assertion that “The bill is an attempt by Senator Donna Mercado Kim, Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education to interject the Legislature into the constitutionally established role of the UH Board of Regents by taking away the exclusive jurisdiction over the internal structure, management and operation of the UH, thereby granting themselves as the governing body of the Board of Regents.”  further stating that “Now, this measure was again, proposed by the Board of Regents permitted action group.”

Proof That DMK Wants to Dismantle the BOR

However, on February 8, 2022, Senator Donna Mercado Kim as  Chair of the Senate HRE Committee, without any open public discussion or conversation, unilaterally amended SB 3186 with a draft SB 3186, SD 1, by proposing a Constitutional Amendment to change Article X, Section 6. of the Hawaii State Constitution, relating to the powers of the BOR to eliminate the BORʻs “exclusive” jurisdiction over the internal structure, management, and operation of the university.  This recent action taken by Senator Donna Mercado Kim further supports UHPAʻs claim that the Senator is trying to assume the constitutional power and authority granted to the BOR and to become its governing body.  Actions truly speak louder than words.     

Senator Fevellaʻs Alternative Facts

Where Does He Get This From?

Based on last weekʻs Senate HRE hearing on SB 3269, SD 1, UHPA performed its own due diligence in researching various statements and comments offered by Senator Kurt Fevella when he questioned testifiers by making the statement “I donʻt know what they was <sic> reading?” 

No, Taxpayers Don’t Pay for All of UH

In Senator Fevellaʻs public statement that “…the State of Hawaii is the only one that pays for everything by the taxpayer” we can only assume the context of his comment was as it applies to funding of the University of Hawaii (UH).  However, that public statement is by far the furthest from the truth.  While we all wish the legislature  funded all of the UH, the legislature appropriates about 60% of the total funds to operate the UH. 

We Are, By Definition, a Public University

The UH is no different from other public research universities (and there is at least one in every state) across the country.  In fact, the term public research university is actually defined as a “research intensive, doctorate-granting institutions that receive a share of funding from state and local appropriations an serve as a critical component of the overall higher education landscape.”  This definition of a public research university is found in the 2012 Report  by the National Science Board (NSB) that was submitted to both the President and Congress.  Public research universities play a distinct and indispensable role in producing research and scholarship, enhancing economic development and technical assistance to our communities, states, and our nation, as well as opportunities for anchor-institutional collaborations.  The difference between public and private research universities is that public research universities are charged and expected to equally address all these roles together as effectively, efficiently, and affordably as possible.

This is What Public Research Universities Do

While UHPA may not agree with Senator Fevellaʻs statement on the overall funding of the UH, we hope that Senator Fevella agrees with the importance of public research universities which are that they: 

  • Initiate the fundamental research that drives scientific and technological discovery; 
  • Educate and train the skilled workforce of tomorrow; 
  • Prepare school teachers and faculty for the classroom; 
  • Are stewards and repositories of human knowledge; and most importantly 
  • Equip the next generation of leaders and policy makers with the knowledge, skills, and education to lead a twenty-first century democracy with honor and empathy.

Which Universities is he Talking About?

In regards to Senator Fevellaʻs statement that, “The researchers that we talk about, that weʻre talking about and the oneʻs thatʻve been talking, they donʻt bring in 80% of their research fund.  Most of the colleges in the mainland does require that” UHPA is assuming that Senator Fevella is referring to public research universities and not colleges as he referenced in his statement.  

Uh, Colleges Don’t Do Research. Universities Do

For clarification, colleges across the nation do not normally employ research faculty and neither do any of the colleges under the UH system.  While the word “college” doesnʻt have the same meaning in every country, in the United States the term college is normally used to define smaller education institutions that offer undergraduate/Bachelorʻs degrees, associate degrees, or certificates.  On the other hand, “universities” in the US are normally defined as larger education institutions that offer both undergraduate and graduate/postgraduate degree programs, while “research universities” are a subset of doctoral degree-granting institutions that conduct research.

UH Manoa is in Rare Company

More significantly for UH Manoa, it has obtained the distinguished Carnegie Research I designation (very high research activity – and one of only 146 private and public institutions granted such designation) that per the 1994 edition of the Carnegie Classification system is defined as:

  • Offer a full range of baccalaureate programs
  • Are committed to graduate education through the doctorate
  • Give a high priority to research
  • Award 50 or more doctoral degrees each year
  • Received annually $40 million or more in federal support.

And Yes, Our Researchers Pick Up Most Of the Tab

As noted in the UHʻs report (Report to Examine and Assess the University of Hawaiiʻs Tenure System) to the 2022 Legislature per SCR 201, SD1, HD1, (2021), it reflected that for Research faculty at UH Manoa who are not tenured or on a tenure track, only 5% of their funds are received through the State general funds, and 75% is expected of the researcher to cover.  In all, 3% is from Tuition & fees special fund, 5% from Research & training revolving fund, 12% from other funds which covers the remaining 20% in question.

Senator, Kindly Point Out Where You Got Your Facts From, Please

Thus, while UH Researchers are accountable for 75% of their extramural funds, we couldnʻt locate any public research R-1 universities in the mainland that require the 80% requirement as referenced and maintained by Senator Fevella.  UHPA respectfully requests that Senator Fevella share what he was reading when he made the above-referenced statement.

Mystery Remains on Hearing’s Details

Re: SB 3269 SD 1

Where is Jan Sullivan’s Missing Testimony?

While an NFL Superbowl LVI Champion was crowned, restaurants and florists inundated with reservations and deliveries on Valentines Day meet the challenge, and as the US moved up from 6th place to 3rd place on the 2022 Winter Olympic medal counts, there is still no posting, access, or availability on the Hawaii State Legislature’s website to obtain former Board of Regent member Jan Sullivan’s testimony on SB 3269, SD 1.  Since former Regent Sullivan continued to reference her written testimony during the hearing, inquiring minds are interested to read the contents of her written testimony as it was referenced many times during her testimony and questioning.  

Does Oceanit Have An Interest Here?

It’s perplexing that this is supposed to be an open public hearing and not just a one way listening session.  While the majority of all testimonies were posted on the website, including LATE testimonies, so how is it that former Regent Sullivan’s testimony remains elusive and missing?  As the Chief Operating Officer for Oceanit, we do recognize that former Regent Sullivan has a vested, if not, personal interest in all matters surrounding the UH.

Who Asked Who?

Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Donna Mercado Kim continues to stand by her statement that this isn’t an act by the Legislature to impose their will on the Board of Regents (BOR). The only Republican on the HRE, Senator Fevella, supported HRE Committee Chair Kim’s statement that, “we did not come up with this Bill as stated by Ms. Sullivan.”  (1:08:08) Chair Mercado Kim explained in an email to a UHPA Faculty Member that:

“This measure was introduced for a couple of reasons: 

(1) Outlining the recommendations of the Board of Regents’ “permitted interaction group” (PIG) that was charged with evaluating the institution’s tenure system and set forth ideas for reform and improvement to allow public discussion on the Regents report

(2) The UH administration failed to meet the deadline of January 4, 2022 (10 days before the convening of the Legislature) to report on SCR 201 Report to Examine and Assess the University of Hawaii’s Tenure System so it could not be introduced in a bill as the bill introduction deadline was Jan.26, 2022.”

Where’s The BOR PIG Written Testimony In Support Of SB 3269?

At the hearing, Chair Mercado Kim stated that SB 3269 was proposed by the BOR PIG (32:50-32:56).  In review of all the testimonies posted on the Legislature’s website, there were no written testimonies available from any of the BOR PIG members.  Again, the BOR PIG consisted of BOR members Jan Sullivan, Ben Kudo, Ernest Wilson, Robert Westerman, UH officials Deb Halbert, Bonnie Irwin, Erika Lacro, Brennon Morioka, Velma Kameoka, and UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern.  

Other than BOR PIG member Jan Sullivan verbally testifying in support of the bill, there were no other individuals of the BOR PIG who submitted written testimony in support of the bill or at least there was none posted, referenced, or recognized by Chair Mercado Kim.

Again, who asked who to introduce this bill?

Where is Ben’s Testimony?

Former BOR Chair Ben Kudo (Attorney Ashford & Wriston) only provided oral testimony on the proposed SB 3269, SD 1, and was cut off before he had a chance to state his position in support or opposition. He only got as far as testifying that the BOR did NOT act on the PIG recommendation. 

Are You For, Or Against This, Ben?

UHPA asks that Regent Kudo clarify his position over SB 3269, SD 1, and whether he was speaking on behalf of the BOR, a member of BOR PIG, or as an individual.  As a standing member and current Vice Chair of the BOR, Regent Kudo’s position needs to be identified to determine his standing when testifying on this measure.

In solidarity we stand!

TODAY: Watch SB3269’s hearing LIVE

The Moment Has Arrived

Today at 3pm, the Committee on Higher Education will be holding a public hearing and broadcasting it live via YouTube

Democracy Belongs to Those That Show Up

One silver lining of COVID restrictions is that we can now all attend public hearings remotely.   Use this opportunity to virtually show up.  Go to this YouTube link at 3pm today and let it play on your desktop or mobile device. 

Let’s Break Youtube Viewing Records

A quick glance of the Senate’s YouTube channel shows previous hearings with a few hundred views at most.  UHPA members are in the thousands.  Let’s all “show up” as a sign of solidarity for the future of higher education in Hawai‘i and blow out the views.  

Share your commentary via Facebook

We created this post which also links to the hearing video.  If you are watching the hearing (either live or after the fact) and come across something notable (good, bad, ugly, or otherwise) please post your commentary on this Facebook Post.  For extra points, add the time stamp on the video at your notable moment so that others can go to that point in the hearing and see what you saw. 

All Your Hard Work Is Now

We’ve had countless, non-stop emails and messages from you that see the danger being posed. You’ve worked hard to write and submit your testimony. Attending live and watching this drama unfold is our next step. Join us! 

ICYMI – get caught up

I)n C)ase Y)ou M)issed I)t , catch yourself up on this issue and read this collection of articles we published since Jan 31.