Faculty Working From Home

Message from UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern and UH Vice President Don Straney on behalf of the UHPA-UH Joint Workgroup

This message is to clarify the University’s intent regarding its new “work from home” form and its application to University faculty. To reiterate, instructional faculty (including lecturers), research faculty, graduate assistants, and other faculty who are not normally expected to be on campus during set working hours, are not required to fill out the work from home form or create a work from home plan. These employees also are not required to input their status as “Covid-19 Work From Home” in the online leave system. Faculty who, under normal conditions, are required to have a physical presence on campus during set working hours (for example, Librarians, or some Specialist Faculty), are the only faculty expected to fill out the work from home form (and the online leave system) to indicate the days they will be working from home or on-campus. Because the Covid-19 Work From Home status in the online leave system was intended to apply to all University employees working from home, including our hourly employees, it includes an “hours” and “minutes” data field; however, these fields are not intended to apply to faculty. The intent was not to “keep track of” faculty’s work.

The campuses may request faculty to self-report when they will physically be on campus. Again, the intent is not to keep track of faculty’s work, but for logistical purposes of tracking building use. If buildings are not being used, or are only partially being used, the campus may be able to close certain buildings or portions of buildings and reduce custodial and other services to those buildings. We appreciate the cooperation that faculty have shown in this regard, and ask that you continue to help us assist our facilities’ staff in dealing with the emergency situation as best we can.

If you have any questions regarding this memo, please contact your designated campus human resources department.

Message from UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern and UH Vice President Don Straney on behalf of the UHPA-UH Joint Workgroup

Last week, the Temporary Remote Teaching Workgroup—a combined effort of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and UH administrators—met to review the support and resources available to faculty preparing for the transition to working with students who were not on campus. Several recent proclamations from the Governor and Mayors probably made your preparations more challenging. This week, we have been monitoring the initial stages of implementing last week’s planning on each of the 10 UH campuses.

The initial reports are that you have made a great start on this new mode of working at UH. We have heard from faculty on each campus and from some of their administrators how the first two days have gone. There have been issues, glitches, and problems for sure, but far fewer than one might have expected. The resources and mini-courses provided by instructional designers last week are definitely paying off. Most impressive to us have been the reports of faculty pitching in to help one another: explaining to colleagues how to use Zoom, offering advice on posting videos to YouTube, even videotaping each other performing lab experiments for students to critique and analyze. Librarians, advisors and other faculty supporting student learning have also had to adapt to delivering services in a climate of uncertainty about health and safety. The hard work of last week (and it has only been that long) is beginning to pay off for our students. Your professionalism, creativity and commitment to the students will carry the University of Hawai‘i community through this difficult time.

We have heard reports that some people are uncertain if they can come to campus under the current stay-at-home orders. People who provide education can leave home to come to campus for work. Instructors should feel free to use their offices and the various teaching resources on campus, including HITS classrooms. The campuses are implementing all of the CDC recommendations to maintain a safe work environment and the facilities staff have stepped up the cleaning protocols to meet current needs. The University is providing any protective equipment your work requires and you should talk with your department chair or supervisor if you have concerns, questions, or ideas.

One common report in the past few days has been that students are not all fully engaging with remotely-delivered classes and don’t always respond to instructors’ or advisors’ emails. It is important to continue reaching out to your students to help keep them engaged with the university. We have also heard of increased interactions students are having in some classes, where chat boxes, for example, make it easier for them to ask questions and interact with each other. Engaging students with learning tasks has always been the challenge for instructing, advising, or supporting learning but current situations are making it more difficult while also presenting new opportunities.

The working group will continue to meet over the next few weeks so faculty and administrators can provide input to each other on how the semester is progressing and what issues, concerns and problems arise. Please don’t hesitate to contact us via our email address with concerns you have.

UHPA MODIFIED OPERATIONS

Due to the unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Mayor Caldwell’s Emergency Order No. 2020-02 (COVID-19 [Novel Coronavirus]) Stay at home/Work from home order, UHPA is modifying its operations to ensure that we can continue to fully service and represent our Faculty Members in the most efficient and transparent manner.

UHPA’s normal business hours will remain unchanged; operating Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. In order to honor social distancing, a few of UHPA support staff will be temporarily working at home as feasible and only working from the office when operations dictate. The operations for UHPA professional staff will remain unchanged.

All UHPA staff will be available and reachable during normal business hours by email (follow this link to the staff directory) or by calling 593-2157 on Oahu and 1-808-593-2157 on the neighbor islands. For social distancing purposes, we respectfully request that all visitations and in-person (face-to-face) meetings with any UHPA staff, both support and professional, be made via appointment one day in advance. We will be transitioning to virtual meetings between UHPA staff and its membership and respectfully requests this be the preferred method during this period.

UHPA would like to take this opportunity to thank and recognize all Faculty Members for their teaching, service, and contributions not only to the University of Hawai‘i but to our communities and the State. We all collectively will stand strong and come together as one. Stay safe and healthy.

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.

 

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

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.

Christian Fern Named Executive Director

Christian Fern Named Executive Director of University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA)

UHPA board of directors unanimously voted Christian Fern as the new executive director, effective December 1, 2019.

Fern, who has served as an associate executive director with UHPA since July 2015, succeeds Kristeen Hanselman, who joined UHPA in December 2007. Hanselman will continue to serve as executive director, a position she has held for the past four years, to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

“We began to discuss the leadership transition process in February this year and conducted an exhaustive search as part of our due diligence,” said Ashley Maynard, president of the UHPA board of directors. “We reviewed a number of candidates, and Christian’s leadership experience and understanding of legislative advocacy, collective bargaining, and the challenges faculty face, made him the ideal choice to continue to lead the union forward.”

Prior to serving as an associate executive director for UHPA, Fern worked for the state’s two largest health plans, HMSA and Kaiser Permanente. He worked at HMSA for 16 years in progressively responsible roles that led to his position as manager of the Employer-Union Trust Fund and federal plan. At Kaiser Permanente, he was manager of large accounts for state and federal plans.

Fern worked as a legislative intern for the Senate Judiciary Committee while he was a University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa political science student, and returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee as a committee clerk after he graduated.

“Being a part of UHPA has provided me with valuable insights and a deep understanding of the issues facing Hawai‘i’s public sector unions and the University of Hawai‘i,” Fern said. “In this post-Janus world, the public-sector unions will need to continue to provide traditional forms of union representation while seeking new and innovative opportunities to connect with members and prospective members.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with Christian as he gained exposure to the different challenges of union representation,” Hanselman said, noting that Fern has represented members on grievances and arbitrations, worked with faculty and the UH administration on contract enforcement and interpretation, participated in lobbying at the State Legislature to represent faculty interests, and been involved in short- and long-range strategic planning.

Fern, a Honolulu resident, is a Punahou School graduate and received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa. He also completed the Advanced Labor Studies Program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Gov. David Ige appointed Fern to the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund, and Fern now serves as the chair of the trust. The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund provides medical, chiropractic, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to all eligible State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, County of Hawaii, County of Maui and County of Kauai employees and retirees. EUTF covers more than 190,000 lives: 68,000 employees, 47,000 retirees, and 80,000 dependents. Fern also serves a chair of EUTF’s investment committee and is a member of its benefits committee.