Next Step for Our Two-Year Contract:
Legislative Approval for Funding
The approval of our two-year faculty contract for 2013 to 2015 will be recorded as a major achievement in Hawaii’s labor history. All parties agreed to the terms and conditions about a year before our current contract expires in June 2015. This was unprecedented and demonstrated what can be achieved when all parties respectfully negotiate in good faith and collaborate to meet mutually beneficial goals.
Not A Done Deal
This was a major milestone; however, the process is not yet over. The Hawaii State Legislature must approve funding for the contract, just as it does for other aspects of the University of Hawaii budget.
UHPA and faculty must remain vigilant this coming session because the contract is not a done deal. There will be competing requests for funding, including those within our University of Hawaii system. However, the contract must be the foremost priority because it affects the University of Hawaii’s core mission.
The Domino Effect
Without quality faculty, there cannot be quality programs. Without quality programs, students suffer as they cannot take required courses for graduation. This affects graduation rates and adds to the costs of college for students who must remain in school longer. This leads to fewer qualified candidates in the workforce to build our local economy. Clearly, it is not just about faculty paychecks.
A Lot At Stake
With the University of Hawaii’s 97 undergraduate degree programs, 85 graduate degree programs, and 57 professional and doctoral degrees and a total student body exceeding 20,000, nearly 70 percent of which are local students, there is a lot of stake. New buildings may add to the value of the University of Hawaii, but ultimately, the buildings need to be filled with quality programs.
Attracting External Funding
In addition to quality teaching, the University of Hawaii is known for its research. Our faculty research programs attract capital from sources outside of state government funding. In 2012, this amounted to more than $435 million in extramural grants and contracts. This further creates jobs for Hawaii’s people. All of this drives our economy forward.
Hawaii’s geographical location makes it ideal for research in marine biology, oceanography, underwater robotic technology, astronomy, geology and geophysics, agriculture, aquaculture and tropical medicine. The proximity to the Asia-Pacific region also facilitates study and research in the arts, genetics, intercultural relations, linguistics, religion and philosophy.
Upholding Research Excellence
The National Science Foundation ranks the University of Hawaii-Manoa in the top 50 public universities for federal research funding in engineering and science. In 2013, UH-Manoa was elected to membership in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, the leading consortium of research universities for the region. The consortium represents 45 premier research universities.
UHPA recognizes it is imperative to uphold the University of Hawaii’s reputation as a preeminent institution for research and instruction.