UH Hilo Faculty Congress

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The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Faculty Congress is the policy making body of UH Hilo for all academic matters of concern to more than one unit. On UH system-wide issues, the Congress conveys the views of the UH Hilo faculty to the UH President through the UH Hilo Chancellor.

Motions Passed by Faculty Congress and Status of Administrative Approval 2006-2007

Date Notes Motion Status
4/27/07

Motion on second major requirements.

A student may earn one degree (e.g., a B.A.) and graduate with two majors (double major) by meeting the requirements for both majors (suggest deleting the following: with no more than nine credits counting simultaneously toward the minimum requirements of both majors). All degree requirements associated with each major must be fulfilled before the degree is awarded.

To drop the second bullet in the current UH Hilo catalog (pg.54): This student uses no more than nine semester credit hours from the first major to satisfy the second major.

The motion passed unanimously.

Approved by VCAA
4/27/07

Motion on Concurrent Degrees:

The UHH Faculty Congress Academic Policy Committee considers the following points to be significant in making its recommendation.

Fundamental to the rationale underlying the APC’s recommendation is that if a student has studied the material and fulfilled the requirements for a degree or a major, then they have earned that degree or major.

To ask a student to learn some other additional material, not required of students earning just one of the degrees or majors, sets a double standard and is therefore inherently unfair.

 

Motion: To drop the third bullet point in the current UH Hilo catalog (pg.54): The requirements for both degrees are met with no more than nine credits counting simultaneously toward the requirements of both majors.

The motion passed unanimously.

Approved by VCAA
4/27/07 Motion on double major requirements.

To adopt the following new wording in the UH Hilo catalogue: A student may earn one degree (e.g., a B.A.) and graduate with two majors (double major) provided that all degree requirements associated with each major are fulfilled before the degree is awarded.

The motion passed unanimously.

Approved by VCAA
4/27/07

University 101 was initiated a number of years ago by the CAS. The course objective is to provide a supporting experience for first-year freshman students, especially those considered at risk for experiencing academic problems during their tenure at UHH. Faculty teaching the class initially were primarily from CAS. In recent years however, delivery of the class has fallen largely to Student Services. Concern has arisen related to the oversight and monitoring of course objectives and quality.

After a number of discussions with representatives from Student Services (including several people who teach or have taught the class), the Chair of the CAS Faculty Senate, the Dean of the CAS and a representative from the VCAA’s office, the following points have been discovered: Student Services acknowledges the need for better monitoring of course planning, content, delivery procedures, and quality. Since the course is in fact a CAS course, the Chair of the CAS Senate has expressed a willingness for the CAS Faculty Senate (likely via the CAS Curriculum Review Committee) to examine the course with an eye toward the concerns stated here. The CAS Dean has similarly indicated a willingness to take responsibility for the planning and oversight of the course, again with an eye toward the concerns stated here.

Motion: The UHH Faculty Congress Academic Policy Committee is satisfied that both Student Services and the CAS intend to examine the monitoring and delivery of University 101 with the intention of ensuring consistent quality in the course. The committee therefore recommends that the UHH Faculty Congress send a copy of this summary to Student Services, the CAS Dean and the Chair of the CAS Faculty Senate. The committee further recommends that no other action regarding University 101 be taken at this time.

The motion passed unanimously.

 

 

4/27/07 Motion on course release for new faculty.

The UHH Congress moves that the UHH administration implement a comprehensive and fully funded faculty hiring and retention plan that will include a 6 hour / 9 hours teaching load  for newly hired faculty in the first year.  This teaching release time will include a standard one course reduction in the first semester of employment, and the UHH administration will add the lecturer replacement cost for this release to the UHH base budget.

The motion passed unanimously.

VCAA's Comments: Each college retains the right to provide its faculty with release time, provided that the resorces to do so can be found within the College. Normally, this is accomplished using one-time dollars made available by salary savings.
4/27/07 Motion on timing of interviews.

The UHH Congress requests that the UHH administration (and designated search committees) ensure that on-site candidate interviews take place during the established academic year (August 15-May 15) when both students and nine-month faculty are available.

The motion passed unanimously.

VCAA's Comments:

While every effort is made to assure a full range of faculty, staff and student participation in administrative searches, the Administration cannot guarantee that these processes can always be completed by May 15th. In cases where searches cannot be concluded by that date, the searches must go forward to conclusion as quickly as possible so that highly qualified candidates will continue to be available. Whenever possible, Administrative searches, like faculty searches, should begin early enough in the year to permit on-campus interviews to take place during the regular academic year.

4/27/07 Motion on Salary Compression

The UHH Congress moves that the UHH administration should consult with the faculty in formulating a clear policy and appropriate budget to ensure that in the competitive hiring process equity/compression issues generated by new hires are resolved within one year.

The motion passed unanimously.

VCAA Response: Salary compression and equity problems are not unique to UH Hilo, but are a significant national issue in higher education. The Administration has made good faith efforts to begin addressing salary compression issues on a case by case basis. Clearly, however, the problem has not been resolved. While the Administration cannot commit to eradicating identified problems within a year, it is willing to work with Congress to discuss the development of future budgets so that funds can be identified annually to continue to provide relief on a case by case basis.
4/27/07 Motion on Start-Up Costs for New Hires

The UHH Congress moves that the UHH administration should consult with the faculty in formulating a clear policy and appropriate budget to ensure UHH competitiveness in the hiring process with respect to negotiated new faculty startup costs.  The Congress further moves that prior to new hire negotiations, the respective College Deans consult with the relevant department chair to determine an appropriate and  competitive startup cost offer.

The motion passed unanimously.

VCAA Response: The amount of funding available annually for one-time start-up costs is dependent on salary savings within individual colleges. It would be appropriate for Deans to consult with Department Chairs to determine appropriate start-up requirements. Deans should anticipate needs on an annual basis and prioritize these in annual budget requests.
4/27/07 Motion on Relocation Costs

The UHH Congress moves that the UHH administration should consult with the faculty in formulating a clear policy and appropriate budget to ensure UHH competitiveness in the hiring process with the respect to negotiated new tenure track faculty relocation costs. The Congress further moves that any relocation reimbursement policy remain flexible to account for family size and travel/shipping distance to UHH, and that each amount is specified within the offer letter.

The motion passed unanimously.

VCAA Response: The current maximum relocation allowance is $8,000. within that limit, Deans are empowered to take family size and the distance the faculty member must move into consideration when determining a specific relocation allowance. The specifics of the relocation allowance should certainly appear in the offer letters. These recommendations should be addressed to the Deans.