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Memorandum: Guidance on Instructional Activities Associated With Pu‘uhuluhulu

UH System Logo, gold, with words University of Hawaii System., Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono.


August 7, 2019

TO: Members of the UH Faculty and Staff
FROM: Donald O. Straney, PhD, Vice President for Academic Planning and Policy, UH System

SUBJECT: Guidance on Instructional Activities Associated With Pu‘uhuluhulu

There is a list of courses that faculty are offering for students to take remotely while staying in the Pu‘uhuluhulu region of Hawai‘i Island. The list is primarily built around already existing on-line or independent study options. However, there are also some face-to-face courses listed.

We appreciate faculty support for students who are participating in this important moment in history, and that the learning opportunities presented by the list will in many cases literally bring the course material to life. We know that faculty members who have offered their courses to students who wish to remain away from campus are doing so with respect to the policies and procedures of their campus.

We offer the following guidance to clear up any misconceptions, note current policies that may be applicable, and to make sure we are all aligned in how best to proceed.

  • UH does not provide services at Pu‘uhuluhulu. The University does not assign employees to work there, nor will it require students to study there.
  • Faculty members may accommodate students choosing to stay away from campus through modified attendance and assignment policies or through online or telephone contacts. For those wishing to teach remotely, we encourage you to consider using a HITS classroom to facilitate instruction (which would be considered a face-to-face course for the students). More information may be found online: Hawaii Interactive Video Service (HITS).
  • Courses approved for credit at UH campuses have been through a regular course approval process that includes a review of content, learning outcomes, and quality. This review includes approvals by faculty members at the department, college, and campus level.
  • Course availability has been published for the Fall for all campuses and most students have already registered. The University expects courses to meet as indicated or faculty members should follow regular campus processes to modify the offering.
  • Faculty members may develop attendance policies or hybrid models of delivery to accommodate students learning from a distance within a face-to-face course, but the learning opportunities must be available equally to all students registered for the course. Faculty members wanting to offer alternative assignments for students who remain away from campus must make the same options available to all students. Please be sure these policies are clear in the course syllabus.
  • When discussing directed reading, independent study, or on-line course options with students, please consider potential impacts to student financial aid, liability, and graduation requirements. Some majors limit the number of directed readings that can count towards a degree. If students take courses not applicable to their degree, it may have an impact on their financial aid. If international students are enrolled in the course, they should check with their campus international student advisor to ensure they can take the course if the mode of delivery changes. Please discuss the relevant considerations with your students so that they are aware of the possible consequences and can plan accordingly .
  • In cases of independent study or research courses, it is the responsibility of the student/researcher and the faculty member to secure the necessary permits that are required for the work. Students who intend to attend class from or conduct research in the Pu‘uhuluhulu region should understand their own responsibilities on land the University does not control and sign appropriate waivers.
  • As a matter of good practice, faculty should include information about their policies regarding absence from or non-participation in class in each course syllabus. These policies must be applied equally and consistently to all students registered in the class. All students should know what their options are if they must miss class for any reason. In the case of independent study or research courses, faculty members determine the scope and content, typically by developing an individualized work plan with the student so that it is clear to both the faculty member and the student what is expected in terms of workload and final assignments to document and assess student learning.
  • The University embraces and supports experiential learning, independent study, and research options for students. Faculty members decide the content of these courses they supervise.

The University of Hawai‘i will maintain a learning environment in which students, faculty
members, and staff members provide equal access to instruction, fair evaluation of
performance, and an environment that encourages and accepts the free and fair exchange of ideas.