UH Hilo Strategic Planning

Meeting Notes - June 2, 2022

Importance of Place Committee Meeting: Thursday, June 2 at 3:00pm

Present: Bruce Torres Fischer, Hualani Loo, Heather Kaluna and Kathleen Baumgardner

Meeting purpose: Focus on Action Plan work

Kuleana & Community Update

The idea: An entry level 3-credit course titled “Kuleana & Community” whose foundation lay in local history and service to the community. This course contributes to the stated goal of indigenizing the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo while also increasing retention, recruitment, and alumni support in the future. This entry level course introduces UH Hilo students to the diverse, multi-layered communities and histories of the island, better preparing them to more fully contribute to community engagement in their upper division courses.

Michele (attending a search committee meeting at this month's meeting time) provided an update on Kuleana and Community in advance:

"We ran another faculty development session on May 18, 19, 20, 2022. 10 faculty members attended. Tangarō presented and worked with faculty to further develop implementation of Kaʻao Framework. We went down to Hale O Lono fishpond on May 19 with Huihui who taught us more about that area. We also looked at some of the assessments and shared some insights as a result of the pilot offering. This past semester there were 48 students who enrolled in the pilot. We collected some data from the pilot and will be reviewing the data to make improvements to the curriculum."

"There are currently three sections of Kuleana and Community scheduled for Fall 2022. There are spaces in those sections and we are hoping that more freshmen will sign up for them over the summer. We met with Advising and Housing last week and they will be encouraging incoming freshmen to enroll in the classes. We also met with Gail and Hualani to update them about the class. They have been very helpful in supporting Kuleana and Community."

We discussed that the grant funding for Kuleana and Community expects eight sections of the course to be offered in the coming academic year. One challenge is finding faculty to teach it. It appears that there is belief in the potential impact of the course, but there needs to be more support.

There aren’t enough faculty to teach the course. Heather shared that she has participated in some of the development sessions and would like to teach Kuleana and COmmunity, but there would be no one to teach the classes she normally teaches. DSA and the Advising Center could step in, but this is not the intent behind the course. UNI101 was constantly being tossed between student affairs and academic affairs and never found a home or stability. We don’t want the same thing to happen yet again.

Great ideas are often lost due to a lack of institutional support - manpower, funding, buy-in with policy support, etc. If a person has an idea and tries to make it happen, the project may launch, but without additional support it may die on the vine. If the project earns grant funding, the project may not survive after the grant funding ends. If the innovative person who launches a project leaves campus, there may be no one to move that project forward. There have been many lost opportunities.

We discussed this reoccurring issue, with examples being shared. In the pre-planning evidence report for the new strategic plan, when asked about low points experienced, “loss” was a common word heard in listening tour sessions.

We began talking about a standard method for requesting funding and support for initiatives and identifying projects that should be institutionalized.

It was proposed that we invite the Chancellor to join a portion of our next committee meeting.

Action Items for Kuleana and Community related to a larger issue:

  • Kathleen will reach out to the Chancellor about joining our next meeting.

Ka Leo o ka Uluau Update

The idea: The first season of Ka Leo o ka Uluau is a 24-episode podcast, with installments released twice monthly in 2021. The second season is a 12-episode offering that focuses on Hawaiian cultural practices that inform us how to meaningfully and sustainably interact with the place we live based on traditional knowledge systems. The purpose of the Ka Leo o ka Uluau podcast is to hoʻokamaʻāina listeners to the island of Hawaiʻi. Storytellers who are associated with each place or practice share their mana`o with podcast hosts Drew Kapp and Leilani DeMello.The blog associated with the podcast includes StoryMaps, images, and other useful resources.

The podcast has now been downloaded more than 19,000 times. We discussed the podcast continuing to serve as a resource in the future. The production team has begun talking about potential new directions or content that may serve as assets for classrooms, on- and off-campus.

Action Plan Project: 8.1.1. and 1.1.2.

Strategy 8: Create a professional development program that targets critical skills needed on campus. Action 1: Improve and expand the onboarding process for new employees. Deliverable 1: Established employee orientation including how we operate, strategic framework, and sense of place: values, place, vision, mission, priorities.

Simultaneously being pursued with Strategy 1: Provide students an equitable experience to ensure student success. Action 1: Build an infrastructure that supports the hiring and retention of faculty reflective of our diverse student body. Deliverable 2: Developed a detailed guide for establishing a one year onboarding process grounded in a sense of place and strategic framework: values, place, vision, mission, priorities.

We reviewed the onboarding and place survey that we have been working on. We are planning to send it out twice - in summer and in fall, in order to get as much input as possible from all employees. We will make several changes in order to identify differences in attitudes/concerns and eliminate bias:

  • Break down job classifications for faculty and staff
  • Add a question about barriers to activity attendance

Action Items for onboarding:

  • Kathleen will revise the survey and send it to Kalei and Kris.

We talked about adding new members, especially community members, to the committee. We will pick up that discussion after our next committee meeting. At this point in the discussion, the 60-minute meeting time expired. The meeting was adjourned.