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HB 1556, HD1, Relating to The University of Hawai‘i

The Committee on Higher Education and the Arts

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

1:30 p.m.,  Room 224

RE: Relating to The University of Hawai‘i

Attention: Chair Brian Taniguchi, Vice Chair Lorraine Inouye and Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support the passage of HB1556, HD1 that provides faculty the opportunity to serve their communities not only as an educator but as a public servant.

The UHPA has advocated for faculty members to be allowed to participate as all other citizens without being subjected to a loss of employment for holding public office.  Over the years UHPA has testified on this issue and has proposed contract language that would extend the right to hold public office to UH employees.  UHPA has not been successful in these efforts and we believe that this has been detrimental to our faculty and their voices.

The current UHPA contract permits faculty to:

request leave of absence without pay or use vacation leave while campaigning for elective political office.  Faculty Members may continue working while campaigning for elective political office as long as the campaigning does not interfere with the duties and responsibilities of the Faculty Member, as determined by the Chancellor or Vice-President, and the Faculty Member complies with Board of Regents’ Policy, Section 9-5 [RP 9.205] (see R-04 of Reference Section), Political Activity (and subsequent amendments) and other applicable rules of the University.

The University of Hawai‘i faculty are members of communities throughout the State of Hawai‘i and must be provided equal opportunity, just like other citizens of Hawai‘i to hold public office.

UHPA urges passage of HB1556, HD1.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman                                                                                                                                                                Executive Director