Date: To: From: Re: March 18, 2008 WASC Visit Team UH Hilo Faculty Congress Executive Committee Academic Concerns Aloha WASC Members Dr. Ortiz, Dr. Buckley, Dr. Knapp, Dr. Lucy and Dr. Osajima, The University of Hawaii at Hilo Faculty Congress welcomes you to our campus. We appreciate this opportunity to raise some issues that we feel affect the performance of our institution. Faculty participation in shared governance. The faculty would like to see more support from the administration for shared governance. For example, Faculty Congress Committees Chairs do not always get a course release for leading important committees, and this course release needs to be re-negotiated every year. We would like a commitment from the Administration to give Faculty Congress Standing Committee Chairs a one course release or course overload for the year they serve as Chair. Our General Education, Assessment, Admissions, Budget and Academic Policy Committees perform an important and valuable function in maintaining academic quality at our institution. The faculty would like representation on the Chancellor’s Cabinet. The Chancellor’s Cabinet is where university policy is promulgated and it is done in secret and without faculty participation. For example, the university budget is being discussed by the Long-term Budget Planning Committee, but it was made clear at the March meeting that the committee’s purpose was to only make recommendations to the Chancellor’s Cabinet, who will meet in secret in preparing the university’s budget request to the UH system. More Academic Support The faculty would like more financial resources committed to the core academic function. For example, We would like to hire a full-time assessment coordinator who will assist us in developing program learning objectives and help us develop program assessment plans. In addition, this person will help train programs to do assessment activities. We would like a full time person dedicated to General Education. This person will chair the General Education certification committee who will certify General Education courses. This person will also collect and review syllabi from General Education instructors to assure that their classes are meeting the program objectives. This person will assist Student Services in evaluating transfer transcripts to see if student courses taken elsewhere can be transferred in as General Education courses. This person will also work on developing assessment measures to evaluate the General Education program. We need to appoint someone to work with the registrar to review new curriculum proposals from the colleges to reduce redundancy and promote cross-listing. This person should be awarded a one course release or overload for the year of service. The university should continue to support offering enough General Education courses to relieve student bottlenecks and increase student choices. Adequate support should be allocated to help develop, circulate, evaluate and post (summary) student evaluations of faculty teaching. Consideration should be given to developing instruments that will be of service to both the faculty members and the tenure and promotion committee in evaluating faculty teaching. The university should continue to support a student learning/tutoring center to assist in student success. Faculty Support and Compensation The faculty would like to see the following issues resolved: Faculty Special Salary Adjustment requests need to be funded annually and the collective bargaining agreement process for submitting these requests honored. Faculty who submit requests should be informed in a reasonable amount of time whether or not their requests were approved or denied. The contractual process has NOT been followed in the past, and many faculty have not been informed of the fate of their request. Faculty service to the university should be honored and recognized. Faculty leadership should be counted towards tenure and promotion in a significant way. Department Chairs should be awarded an eleven-month appointment (similar to UH Manoa) and given appropriate secretarial support comparable to peer institutions in order to take on more responsibility, such as developing assessment plans for the department. Student services should distribute some of its staff to the colleges to assist in student services at the college level.