Chancellor Don Straney and Vice Chancellor Matt Platz: The proposed reorganization creates two new college units.
Faculty members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have raised ideas for reorganizing our colleges over the past several years. The Division of Natural Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences, for example, has long sought to be a standalone college.
On November 23, 2015, the Faculty Congress passed Motion 8 calling for “the Creation of a Campus-wide Task Force to Study the Reorganization of Academic Units at UH Hilo.” The Task Force worked during the 2015-16 academic year and talked with many individuals to understand their opinions about possible college structures. They published a report in spring 2016 and invited the campus to a town hall meeting to discuss their report.
At the end of spring semester, Chancellor Don Straney and Vice Chancellor Matt Platz agreed to consider input from all sources and to produce a formal recommendation for reorganization at the beginning of fall 2016. We outline here our proposal, which we are also sending to the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly, and the Hawaii Government Employee Association, per Administrative Procedure No. A3.101.6 (PDF).
UH Hilo has experienced enrollment losses, as has most of the rest of the UH System. Given that the majority of our funding now comes from tuition, stabilizing and rebuilding enrollments is essential to maintaining the comprehensive university we have labored to build over the decades. Reorganization must be viewed as a tactic for rebuilding enrollments and preserving programs and services.
Our proposed reorganization creates two new college units that will be expected to manage retention and graduation of their students in a more effective manner than at present. This will be accomplished by eliminating administrative layers between deans and the departments, fostering better management of resources, while being minimally disruptive.
A. College of Business and Economics (COBE); College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM); Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (KHUOK); and the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) will remain as they are currently configured.
B. Effective August, 2017, restructure the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS):
1. Eliminate the positions of Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the three Division Chair positions in that college.
2. Create two new college units based largely on the previous divisions in CAS: one for the humanities and the social sciences, and one for the natural and health sciences (Nursing and Kinesiology). Two new Dean positions will be created, one for each of these units utilizing the former Dean and Associate Dean positions in the College. Searches will be conducted to select permanent Deans of the new colleges.
The College of Natural and Health Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will each receive a new position for a budget specialist. The resources for these positions will come from reallocation from Divisions outside of Academic Affairs.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be comprised of the Office of the Dean and retain its current division makeup: Humanities and Social Sciences. The Dean will be supported by a Secretary III position. Each division will have a faculty lead, and the division will be supported by a Secretary II and an Office Assistant.
The College of Natural and Health Sciences will be led by a Dean and assisted by a faculty lead. The Dean will be supported by a Secretary III position and Office Assistant III, and the faculty lead position will be supported by a Secretary II and Office Assistant III.
It is our intent that the aforementioned faculty lead positions in each college remain unfilled to permit a closer relationship between the Departments and the Dean. Clerical positions within the new colleges will be expected to service their assigned units as well as perform other duties as assigned within the College itself.
This plan will reduce the number of 11-month administrative appointments (CAS currently has five leadership positions with 11-month appointments, this drops to two EM positions and three unfilled nine-month faculty appointments in the reorganized structure), and eliminates a level of bureaucracy between faculty and dean. The plan minimizes disruption by retaining mostly familiar groupings of departments. Importantly the new colleges will retain their FY17 base budgets and position numbers, by sub-unit (Natural vs. Health Sciences; Humanities vs. Social Sciences) again minimizing disruption.
Completion date: August, 2017
- Each of the resulting colleges will have college-specific retention and enrollment goals they will be responsible for achieving.
- Faculty and staff members in each department will remain in their departments.
- Newly created colleges will be developing governance documents during this academic year in a manner that will allow them to be applied beginning Fall 2017.
We have taken the summer to consider the campus input before generating this reorganization plan. The plan is being sent to the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly and Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association as part of the consultation required by the Collective Bargaining process. We thank the Faculty Congress Task force and every individual who has contributed to the campus dialogue on reorganization.
We will organize meetings with the affected units in September to hear your thoughts on implementing this plan and to answer questions. We believe this plan achieves the goal of streamlining administration and creating structures best able to manage resources to promote student success.
We understand that the subject of reorganization has been a source of uncertainty and concern, and appreciate your patience with the process. We thank all of you for your commitment to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and its community.