NEA HIGHER EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT
NEA Higher Education Director Sally Pestana reported that both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (No Child Left Behind) and Higher Ed reauthorizations are moving ahead in Congress at an aggressive pace, due in great measure to the new party configuration in both houses. NEA is taking a strong proactive stand and working very hard to lead the way in final language for both acts.
The Spellings Commission Report (lengthy report can be found at http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/index.html) will have a great impact on the Higher Ed reauthorization. While NEA applauds many of the report’s accessibility and affordability recommendations, the assessment and accountability recommendations have a definite No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) flavor.
Department of Education Director Margaret Spellings will convene a Higher Education Summit in March to bring those of her choosing to the table to discuss all aspects of the Commission’s report, as well as implementation strategies. The voice of faculty was blatantly overlooked. NEA President Reg Weaver personally made a strong case with Ms. Spellings for the need for faculty to have a representative at the table. As a result, NEA’s National Council for Higher Education President, Kathy Sproles, will be participating in the Summit.
An excellent e-newsletter for following all the trends and concerns in Higher Education is Inside Higher Ed. For the latest update on the Higher Ed Act, as well as to subscribe, see http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/03/09/hea
Sally is working with Senator Akaka’s office to secure data on how much higher education faculty spend out of pocket for teaching supplies. Please add your personal experience to the data, by answering the one question survey on the opening UHPA website page at www.uhpa.org. Your input will be used to work towards a tax deduction for such expenses for higher education faculty (currently only K-12 teachers are eligible for such a deduction).
President Mary Tiles attended the Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) meeting. She indicated that it would be elaborated upon later by the CBC Chair.
President Tiles was invited to talk about faculty governance to a graduate class This prompted the reflection that although the Board of Regents (BOR) policy on faculty governance and Chapter 89 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) express similar sentiments about the reason for including faculty participation, the ability for faculty to exercise the roles conferred in the two documents has been different as Chapter 89 is a law and its provisions can be legally enforced. Board of Regents policy in this area has been difficult to enforce. She recommends that members of faculty senates should look at Chapter 1 of the BOR policies, as all senates should have the language about shared governance as part of their organizational structure. She also indicated that it would serve the faculty if the faculty senates and the union could continue to work in harmony as the faculty’s voice.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Executive Director J. N. Musto reported that UHPA is moving the corporation’s business insurance from Bank of Hawaii to another firm, which will include liability insurance for Directors and Officers.
The building permit, necessary to begin renovations on the Akala Lane property, will soon be submitted to the City & County of Honolulu. Provisional arrangements are being made to connect both telephone service and data access to the two buildings prior to the completion of the bridge that will connect them.
The number of serious grievances and complaints related to faculty employment and possible terminations has grown. There continues to be many other contract-related issues, including negative evaluations in tenure and promotion dossiers that are being reviewed by Executive and Associate Directors.
The Executive Director has continued to work with the faculty groups, the UH administration, and legislators trying to find solutions for the housing crisis that new faculty, especially, and those currently living in UH faculty housing are facing. Although the possibility of UH back mortgage guarantees and down-payment loans are possible, these are answers to providing affordable housing. Some form of UH or state ownership of land and development of housing is necessary.
UHPA is already preparing for the next round of bargaining scheduled to begin in April 2008. Faculty retirements in the next five years will place a huge strain on the ability of the institution to replace these faculty members. Housing and salaries will certainly be priority issues.
Treasurer Ming-Bao Yue reported the expenditures that have affected the budget this past month. Directors passed a motion to receive the financial report for the fiscal period ending January 31, 2007 and to refer that report to the Finance Committee.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING COMMITTEE
Chair Karla Hayashi reported that the Collective Bargaining Committee met in January. They agreed to a series of questions that will be put out to UHPA members through the website. The first set of questions will go up the week of February 26 and remain available for two weeks. New questions will rotate every two weeks. The responses will be gathered by the Collective Bargaining Committee and used in preparation for the next round of negotiations.
Directors considered two cases—one was an appeal to arbitration recommended by the Grievance Committee and the other an appeal to arbitration recommended by legal counsel. Directors did not pass the motion by the Grievance Committee. Directors passed the motion to appeal a UH-Hilo faculty member’s case to arbitration based on Article XVIII.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORT
The Legislative Committee informed Directors that on March 14 Human Rights’ Day will be celebrated at the State Capitol. Representative Lyla Berg is actively involved as are other legislators. Directors unanimously passed a motion to participate in the Human Rights and Quality of Life Day on March 14 and to approve expenditures up to $500 for tee shirts and a banner that will come from the Special Services Account.
1. Committee Appointments
Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointment of Amarjit Singh (UH-Manoa) as a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee.
Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointments of Nina Buchanan (UH-Hilo), Joel Fischer (UH-Manoa), B. Jeannie Lum (UH-Manoa), Earl Nakahara (Honolulu CC), Francis-Dean Uchima (Hawaii CC), and Richard Nettell (UH-Manoa) as members of the Grievance Committee.
Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointments of Belinda Aquino (UH-Manoa), James Cartwright (UH-Manoa), Joseph Chernisky (Leeward CC), Robert A. Fox (UH-Hilo), James McFarland (Kauai CC), Barry Nakamura (Leeward CC), Duane Stevens (UH-Manoa), Elizabeth Tam (UH-Manoa), and Francis-Dean Uchima (Hawaii CC) as members of the Legislative and Political Action Committees.
Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointment of Adrienne Valdez (UH-West Oahu) as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Special Projects.
The above appointments begin their terms immediately, which will end on August 31, 2007.
2. Proposed Conflict of Interest Policy for UHPA Employees and Consultants
A motion was made to have a new conflict of interest policy for UHPA employees and consultants; however, it did not pass.
3. Faculty Representative Appointment
A motion was made to appoint a Faculty Representative for Primary Academic Unit 087, which is for the College of Education at UH-Manoa. Directors, however, deferred action until clarification is made on the individual’s home campus as there is another faculty member with the same name at Kauai Community College.