UHPA Responds to UH’s Online Conversion

UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern responds to UH President David Lassner’s email regarding the plans for online course conversion.

200312 Ltr to D. Lassner re COVID-19

2020 UHPA Board of Directors’ Election

In accordance with the UHPA Bylaws, the UHPA Nominations & Elections Committee is charged with preparing a list of nominees for the 2020 Board of Directors’ Election.

On April 3, 2020, all UHPA Active members of the relevant constituency units (Honolulu CC, Kapiolani CC, Windward CC & UH-Manoa) will receive an email notice with voting information and instructions on voting electronically. A link to all candidates’ biographical information and personal statements will also be provided. The voting period for the UHPA Board of Directors’ Election will run from April 3, 2020 through April 20, 2020.

UHPA Appoints Dwight Takeno

Dwight Takeno Named Associate Executive Director of
University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA)

Dwight Takeno, who has nearly 30 years of human resources, public administration and union leadership experience, has been named an Associate Executive Director with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), the union representing 3,700 faculty across 10 University of Hawaii campuses statewide. His appointment became effective Feb. 10, 2020.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Dwight’s caliber as part of our team,” said Christian Fern, UHPA Executive Director. “His extensive experience in the administration of large, complex programs and in collective bargaining representing both unions and employers will be valuable as UHPA continues to work collaboratively with others in our community.”

Prior to joining UHPA, Takeno had been Administrator of the Employee Claims Division of the State of Hawaii’s Department of Human Resources Development from August 2018 to February 2020. He had been responsible for administering multiple programs, including the statewide self-insured workers’ compensation program for the executive branch, public charter schools, Hawaii Public Housing Authority, the legislature, the state’s safety program, and the State’s Return to Work Priority Program.

Takeno also has nearly 10 years of leadership experience within the University of Hawaii’s System. He initially joined the UH as a Senior Human Resources Specialist in 2007 for a year and, after serving as Interim Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), he rejoined the UH in January 2010 as the Assistant to the Senior Executive for the Vice President for Academic Planning and Policy to provide consultation to senior leaders on issues relating to academic human resources management and strategic initiatives.

A year later, he was promoted to Director of Collective Bargaining & Employee Relations to provide consultation to UH chancellors, senior executives and personnel administrators on collective bargaining agreements as well as personnel policies and procedures of the UH Board of Regents and UH. Takeno served in that role for five years before being named Director of Administrative Services in the UH Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation where he served for two years. In that role, he was responsible for directing, planning, and administering the strategic and programmatic administration for the Research and Innovation Office.

Takeno also has private sector experience, having served as Vice President – Operations and General Manager for Progressive Communications, LLC, from March 2003 to March 2007.

In addition to HSTA, Takeno’s union leadership experience includes serving as Interim State Director and Director of Research & Legislation with the United Public Workers, Local 646, AFL-CIO for 12 years, from February 1991 to January 2003.

Takeno, a Kaneohe resident, holds both a bachelor’s degree in education and a professional diploma in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations and currently serves as Chair of the Human Resources Committee of the Board of Education.

 

Why does UHPA get involved with political endorsements?

Mention the term, “political endorsements” to some faculty, and you may get a virulent reaction. These faculty may believe we should not have to stoop to being involved with such dirty, messy processes.

Unfortunately, that may be the same reason many in Hawaii do not actively engage in the political process and voter turnout remains low, even with our state’s change to mail-in ballots. Some may see the political process as a waste of time and not worthy of their time and attention. They willingly relinquish their rights to those who are willing to dive into the process. Unfortunately, this means many do not have a say in who leads our state or makes decisions that directly impact faculty. It’s a vicious cycle that leads to more disenchantment with the political system.

Rationale for Political Endorsements

Faculty, of all voters, should understand and appreciate the rationale for political endorsements. UHPA carefully reviews and vets candidates to determine who is willing to listen and understand the perspectives of UH faculty. Our Political Endorsement Committee now includes members of UHPA’s board of directors to ensure broad representation of views in endorsement recommendations that are presented for a vote before the full board.

Endorsements are important to candidates. They count on endorsements from credible organizations because it shows they have the substantial backing— either financial support, volunteer campaign support, and ultimately, voter support—to win in their respective race. When others see this, they also want to support a winning candidate.

Improving Favorable Outcomes

Supporting candidates that are supportive of UH faculty is no guarantee of getting what we need, but it enhances our ability to be heard on critical issues and improves our likelihood of having outcomes favorable for faculty.

Five Ways to Be a Part of the Political Process

You can play a key role in stopping elected government officials from making uninformed decision-making that have negative consequences for faculty. Here are five ways faculty can be a part of the political process:

  1. Just getting through your own set of challenges within your department and managing your own priorities can be challenging enough as a UH faculty member. Rise to the challenge of becoming engaged with our external political environment—all the things that affect the UH outside of the UH.
  2. Be informed about who is introducing or advocating for policies or practices that support or harm UH faculty. The UHPA team is also doing the same and chances are you will have the same views for political endorsements.
  3. Feel free to discuss this within you Primary Academic Unit (PAU) so that it can be rolled up for discussion at the Faculty Forum. Your input may be enlightening or confirm what others may also feel about prospective candidates.
  4. Consider becoming actively involved in supporting candidates. This could be sign waving, being involved with their fundraisers, or other activities that a candidate may require support.
  5. Vote. Complete the endorsement process by voting for the candidate. Imagine if every UHPA member voted and all supported a candidate. That would be more than 3,500 votes that could push them way ahead of an opposing candidate.

 

Political Party Organizing is Underway in Hawai‘i

Democratic Party Precinct Meetings

The Precinct meetings, where the election of Precinct & District officers as well as the delegates to State & County Conventions, will take place on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at various locations across the state. You will be able to find a complete listing of those locations on the Party’s website www.hawaiidemocrats.org in January 2020 as well as in the ads that will run on Sunday, February 9, 2020 in your county’s paper of record.

Democratic Party Presidential Preference Polls (PPP)

All members of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i will be able to vote by mail in the Party-run Presidential Primary as noted below:
If someone is an enrolled member of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i (which you can do on-line at www.hawaiidemocrats.org/join and a registered voter in the state of Hawaii (https://olvr.hawaii.gov) by February 18, 2020 a ballot will be mailed to your house.
A second mailing will be done after March 8, 2020 only for those who join between Feb. 19 & March 8, 2020
Anyone that joins after March 8, 2020 will be required to go to a polling location on April 4, 2020 (see recommendation below)
It is recommended that if you have your ballot in your possession on April 1, 2020 (March 30, 2020 for rural areas) that you drop your ballot off at one of the polling sites, as all ballots must be received by 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2020 to be counted.)

Republican Party

The Republican Party has forgone any Precinct Meetings or Presidential Preference Poll for the 2020 election cycle. Should you have any questions here is their party website (https://www.gophawaii.com/).

Green Party

The Green Party has not listed any information regarding meetings for 2020. Should you have any questions here is their party website (https://www.greenpartyofhawaii.org/).

Register to Vote – ALL MAIL VOTING

Hawai‘i is now an all mail-in voting state. Make sure you are registered to vote at this link.  We will continue to update you.

Happy New Year!

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

Welcome, 2020! It’s a new year and a new decade, and UHPA members remain committed to being a vital part of our community.

We are an organization that is accustomed to tackling challenges head on. Securing, protecting and upholding the rights of faculty has many challenges. UHPA members continue to be front and center in the fray. You have proven to be nimble, agile and tenacious.

Our faculty make our campuses, our state and the world a better place. Supporting an environment where faculty can function at an optimal level continues to be our foremost priority. We must all do our part to ensure faculty receive what they need to flourish. Together, our shared vision of having great faculty able to share their knowledge with the next generation of Hawaiʻi residents and to conduct groundbreaking research that benefits all of us will become a reality.

We anticipate the journey ahead this year will not be easy, but we are confident that through the collaborative efforts of faculty and the broader community, we as UHPA can play a leading role in ushering in positive change for our state.

Let’s all commit to making 2020 the start of a great new year and decade.

UHPA leadership team and staff

Why does UHPA invest in legislative activities?

In an ideal world, University of Hawaii faculty would be able to focus on what they do best—research and teaching—and they would in turn receive the appreciation and professional respect due them. This would be reflected in favorable public policies and state appropriations that support the UH, its faculty and programs.

Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. It has been imperative for UHPA, which represents the faculty, to step forward to intervene, defend and proactively shape legislation to ensure faculty are being treated respectfully.

Upcoming Session Requires Ongoing Vigilance

You can count on the UHPA team to continue to be involved on behalf of faculty in the upcoming legislative session, which begins Wednesday, January 15, 2020, and continues through Thursday, May 7, 2020. It will be an intense, 60-day period that requires vigilance, tenacity, perseverance. Here is the schedule for the 2020 legislative session. 

Top three reasons UHPA is actively involved in the legislature:

  1. The University of Hawaii is an autonomous organization, but initial funding decisions rest in the hands of state legislators, particularly those who are on the Senate and House Committees on Higher Education. Since many do not differentiate between the UH administration and UH faculty, legislation designed to hold the UH administration accountable may have the unintended consequence of adversely impacting UH faculty. It is important UHPA makes this distinction by ensuring UH faculty have their own collective voice in the legislature.
  2. UH administration and UHPA should be tied at the hip when approaching legislators. What is good for UH is good for UH faculty, and vice versa. However, we know UH administration and UH faculty have not been unified. UH faculty have had to fend for themselves to avoid having their rights trampled upon by legislators. We remain hopeful one day faculty can feel confident that UH administration has their back and will support their rights while also supporting the UH.
  3. A quick glance at the types of legislation proposed in the upcoming session reveals that we will be starting off the new year and new decade with some tough challenges. Many of the bills being introduced relate to funding UH programs. We will be closely monitoring bills, actively providing testimony, and having heart-to-heart, one-to-one meetings with legislators this coming session.

For your reference, follow this link to see the legislative bills affecting UH programs and faculty.

2020 UHPA Legislative Agenda

Aloha,

December has arrived and it is time to prepare for the 2020 Legislative Session.  Your legislative team will now include the members of the UHPA Board of Director’s Political Endorsement Committee.  We are excited with the expansion of our legislative team.  The team prepared the Legislative Agenda for 2020 and presented it first at the October 19, 2019 Faculty Forum for their review and input. It then went before the Board of Directors at their November 2, 2019 BOD meeting and was approved for implementation.  Top priority is the Collective Bargaining appropriations Bill.  For full details please see link below.

As we start the first legislative newsletter for the 2020 session, we would like to provide you with a few resource links

Board of Regents Financial Reports Budget

UH Budget Documents

UHPA Bill Tracking

Aloha Kākou! Message From Christian Fern, Executive Director

Aloha Kākou!

It is an honor and privilege to be serving as Executive Director of the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA). I appreciate the Board of Directors’ vote of confidence by selecting me to succeed Kris Hanselman to build upon the solid foundation she, and her predecessor J.N. Musto, have established. I owe a debt of gratitude to Kris for providing me the opportunity to work with her over the past five years. My appreciation for the role and work of UHPA and my commitment to serving the faculty have grown exponentially over the years. We are fortunate that Kris will continue to be available to provide support to me and UHPA through the end of January 2020 to help ensure a smooth transition.

Looking to the future

Ashley Maynard, President of UHPA’s Board of Directors, told me it was important to have someone who can successfully lead UHPA into the future. I am up to that challenge. The University of Hawai‘i – Mānoa is my alma mater, and I am a proud graduate. Across our state, the University of Hawai‘i System and UHPA have so much to offer the community, and we have only begun to scratch the surface.

Our University of Hawai‘i campuses statewide are places of transformation

I can speak from my own experience. When I was a student, it was my political science professor, Phyllis Turnbull, who set me on an exciting path. When there was an internship opportunity at the legislature, she said, “Why don’t you apply and see if you like it?” She spoke just the right words at the right time. She must have seen something in me that I didn’t see in myself. Her words gave me a newfound confidence. It turned out to be a rewarding, memorable experience. I was hooked on the political process and public policy as a result of that internship.

Faculty cultivates our future workforce

I’ve often wondered how many other students have been touched and transformed by conversations like these with their professors throughout our University system. Business, government and community leaders are where they are today because of these types of interactions and connections with their professors. It is a powerful realization. We need to take care of our faculty, so that they can continue to nurture and cultivate homegrown talent who will become the workforce of the future. UHPA supports faculty so they can in turn continue to inspire the next generation to take their rightful place and help them realize their full potential.

The University of Hawai‘i and its faculty are the cornerstones for economic growth and vitality in our state.

They are intricately connected to our quality of life. As a state, when we do not invest in these assets, we pay the consequences. When we try to cut corners, and hire part-time faculty instead of full-time faculty who are willing to go above and beyond to help their students succeed, we see enrollment drop and students choosing mainland institutions over the vast opportunities we have here at our home institutions.

Our University of Hawai‘i campuses are not viewed as a first choice for colleges among many Hawai‘i residents because many have been conditioned to think these campuses are inferior, which is often reflected in our state’s decisions and actions. We have become our own worst enemy and have created self-fulfilling prophecies. Even I have faced this challenge. My decision to return home from a mainland college to finish at the University of Hawai‘i to save my family money on tuition was met with mixed reactions from my own family. Yet, it was a decision I will never regret.

We will do more as allies

As a state, we have bigger challenges ahead of us and need to start defining and shaping the future we want for Hawai‘i. Instead of expending energy attacking each other and believing the worst about each other, it’s time to work together to find solutions. Instead of being adversaries, we need to see each other as allies. We can accomplish so much more when we collaborate together.

Workforce development for our future here in Hawai‘i is right at our fingertips, through the University of Hawai‘i campuses, by our faculty.

Faculty are already addressing many of the issues raised by legislative and community leaders. Faculty are helping to address the teacher shortage through the College of Education at Mānoa, and all other campuses statewide. Faculty are helping achieve our food sustainability initiatives through our tropical agricultural and culinary programs. Faculty on our campuses are training our future physicians, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, dental hygienists and technicians, and other healthcare professions. Community college faculty are helping our brothers and sisters in the building trades by training and developing a sustainable workforce for the future. All faculty are helping address the 55 by 25 statewide initiative to have 55% of Hawai‘i adults earn a college degree by 2025.

We all have the potential for positive future impact

These are just a few examples. Thanks to our faculty, all areas at the University of Hawai‘i campuses have the potential to prepare the next generation to fill important needs in communities across our state and to address the state’s real concerns. This requires a change in mindset, and it requires support. Faculty cannot fulfill their responsibilities without adequate resources. Just trying to make do and get by with what they have and compromising their standards should no longer be acceptable if we want to raise our community to a new level.

It’s time to forge new connections and get serious about job creation

But we cannot stop there. We can make sure faculty are treated respectfully and students graduate with all of the right skill sets, but to what end if there are no jobs available for them to stay in Hawai‘i? UHPA can play a pivotal role in bringing the community together to start serious conversations about job creation. It will mean forging new connections and sitting down together, face-to-face, with those who we typically have not been in the room with before. Imagine what Hawaii would be like if UHPA leaders and faculty got together with leaders from government, business and the community. We would roll up our sleeves and work elbow-to-elbow to collectively chart our course for Hawai‘i’s future. No more silos, no more fiefdoms, but everyone looking at the greater good of Hawai‘i.

Collective Bargaining and our contract are foundational priorities

You may have noticed that not once have I mentioned collective bargaining rights and contract maintenance and enforcement. This was intentional. Of course, those concerns will always be priorities and UHPA will always stand by faculty. However, as we begin to move forward together with others, my hope is that there will be a healthier respect for faculty and that the thoughts and input from UHPA and our faculty members will always be considered in making major decisions. I believe we will get to that place and would like to invite you to join me in being a catalyst for positive change.

Mahalo for allowing me to serve as your Executive Director. I look forward to working closely with our members and bringing the community closer together.

Me ke aloha,

Christian Fern

2019 UH Executive & Managerial Salaries Updated

Head on over to the Executive Managerial Salaries page within Salary Research to browse the latest data set as supplied by the Office of Human Resources. You can narrow your search to division and/or campus. This data typically gets updated each year.