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Executive Director JN Musto Announces Retirement


Date:        November 10, 2014

Contact:    Kris Hanselman
(808) 593-2157


UHPA Executive Director J. N. Musto Announces Retirement;
Search for Successor Now Under Way

(Honolulu, Hawai‘i) – J. N. Musto, Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) has announced he is planning to retire in August 2015 after more than 35 years in the position.
“Dr. Musto first informed us of his plans to retire at a board meeting in 2012, and this has given us ample time as an organization to develop a transition plan to continue to effectively serve our 4,000 faculty members across the ten University of Hawai‘i campuses statewide,” said David Duffy, UHPA President. “Still, this is a major change for us as an organization, and we have now begun to execute our roadmap for the future.”

UHPA’s transition plan includes finding a successor to Musto. A nationwide search for qualified candidates officially began this month with ads placed in such publications as the Chronicle of Higher Education. The UHPA board plans to start reviewing candidates mid-January 2015.

“We recognize it will be difficult to find a leader of Dr. Musto’s caliber, which is one of the reasons we are starting now and casting a very broad net,” Duffy said. “His leadership and negotiations experience combined with his ability to advocate for the needs of UH faculty and for higher education in a collaborative, respectful manner set a new bar for public sector unions in Hawai‘i. Dr. Musto’s example of relationship-building and his contributions to the advancement of collective bargaining in our state definitely earn him a permanent place of honor in the history of the Hawai‘i labor movement.”
Under Musto’s leadership, UHPA also emerged as a recognized force in political races, providing substantial financial and tactical support to those it endorsed despite its relatively smaller membership size in comparison to other public sector unions.  Musto culminates his career with a signed two-year contract with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the UH administration, and the UH Board of Regents, which is set to go into effect when the current contract expires at the end of June 2015, pending funding support from Hawai‘i’s legislators.

Position Requirements

According to the position description, the new Executive Director will be expected to “provide leadership to the Board of Directors and oversee the union’s collective bargaining, contract enforcement, service to members, and the faculty’s commitment to providing the people of Hawai‘i with the highest levels of public higher education,” while also being “able to work in the diverse, unique and complex culture of Hawai‘i.”  A full description and application information is available on UHPA’s newly established web pages.

Background on J. N. Musto

While pursuing a graduate degree, J. N. Musto was a secondary school biology teacher, with the intent to revolutionize the development and teaching methods of biology curricula.  It was his personal mission to introduce new education reforms based on experiential teaching.

His focus on science later transitioned to a deeper academic pursuit of law and education, which led to Musto earning a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1973. His dissertation was titled, “Policies, Practices, and Extent of Professional Staff Reductions in Selected Michigan School Districts.”

He taught educational law and public sector employment at Northern Michigan University, while also spending two years supervising student teachers in both Michigan and Wisconsin. This experience gave him insights into the full spectrum of educational settings, extending from Native American reservations to the most advanced university research facilities.
Before coming to Hawai‘i, Musto was the Executive Director & Chief Negotiator for the Central Michigan Faculty Association and the Ferris State College Faculty Association, affiliates of the Michigan Education Association.  During this period he participated in the organizing of faculty unions from California to New York and Florida on behalf of the National Education Association. Throughout his career, he has often been called on to give national presentations on a wide range of topics related to public employment and the unionization of college and university faculty.

In addition to serving with UHPA, Musto has supported the community in other ways.  He served on the board of directors of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i (RCUH); was a trustee and chairman of the Hawai‘i Public Employees Health Fund and later as a trustee of the successor Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF); and served on several nonprofit boards, including the Aloha United Way, the Epilepsy Society, and Hawai‘i Literacy, Inc.  During the 2014 Legislative Session, Governor Abercrombie re-appointed Musto as one of seven Commissioners to the Education Commission of the States (ECS).
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About the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly

The University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) represents nearly 4000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawai‘i system statewide. It has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty since 1974.