The meeting was called to order by the chair, Jerry Calton , at 3:00 p.m.
Present : Jerry Calton, Bill Mautz, Barbara Leonard, David Miller, Sabry Shehata, Helen Rogers, Barbara Heintz, Lincoln Gotshalk, Robert Fox, April Komenaka, Nina Buchanan, Pila Wilson, and Student Members: Ginger Takeshita, and Loli Mao
Ex Officio: Margaret Haig, Steve Hora
Guests: Don Price, Marcia Sakai, Jim Juvik, Don Hemmes
Jerry Calton announced the agenda of this special meeting and that, by the disclosure rule, a vote must be taken with a 2/3 majority required in order to vote on any proposal brought before the Congess in the absence of at least 1 week’s advance notice.
The agenda and need for a special meeting is for the Congress to consider approval of two items in advance of the Board of Regents Meeting on October 16.
1. The proposal to establish an MS degree program in Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) at UH Hilo.
2. The proposal to establish a College of Business and Economics separate from the College of Arts and Sciences.
1. First Agenda Item
A motion was made by Barbara Leonard to suspend the rules in order to discuss the proposed MS Degree program in TCBES. The motion was seconded by Bill Mautz and was passed by a vote of 9 to 2. (By prior request, all votes for this meeting were held by secret ballot).
A motion was made by Sabry Shehata to approve the new MS Degree program in TCBES, and the motion was seconded by April Komenaka.
David Miller asked whether the CAS Senate and the Dean of CAS had approved the MS degree proposal and whether there was corresponding approval by the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management. He said if not, then for Congress and the BOR to proceed with approval sets a bad precedent for the process of program approval.
Jim Juvik responded that the MS in TCBES proposal had been submitted to the Ad Hoc Graduate Council and, based on its academic credentials, it was approved by the council. It was then forwarded to The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Subsequently last spring there was a meeting of Congress including the VC of Academic Affairs and Dr. Juvik representing the Graduate Council to explore the establishment of an appropriate process for establishment of graduate programs at UHH.
Bill Mautz then reviewed the history of the development of the program. It started with a group of interested faculty about 4 years ago. It is interdisciplinary and includes faculty from the CAS departments of Biology, Marine Science, Geography, and Chemistry and from the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management. The program development predated EPSCoR Hawaii funding initiatives. The EPSCoR opportunity arrived later and fortuitously to support the TCBES program. CAS based proposed TCBES graduate courses were submitted to the CAS Senate for approval by the curriculum committee, but the Senate responded that the program should be approved before the courses were approved. Because the process for graduate program approval for such an interdisciplinary program was not clear, it was sent to the Graduate Council for review and approval.
David Miller responded that the program had therefore not been approved by the Senates.
He then made a motion to postpone Congress review of the proposal until the Senates can review it. Ginger Takeshita seconded the motion.
Vote: Yes 5, No 6, Abstain 1. The motion failed to pass.
Discussion of the motion to approve the proposed MS degree program in TCBES then continued.
April Komenaka stated that while we are formulating policy for program approval, we should not hold the MS degree in TCBES back while policy is established.
Steve Hora stated that it had been up to Congress to resolve these process issues, and it did not do so.
Bill Mautz stated that what is done today in immediate advance of the BOR meeting does not have to set firm precedent for the process of program approval. In recognition of the present uncertainty, any new procedures are open to be established.
Nina Buchanan stated that we are discussing in Congress the issue of prioritizing strategic initiatives. It is not for the Congress to scrutinize the details of the program such as the specific courses. Congress should ask: Do we need this program at UHH?
Robert Fox stated that the MS in TCBES is a well-composed program. It does meet the criteria for need and faculty initiation. One precedent in the current process he (Fox) does like is the fact that the VC of Academic Affairs has brought to the Congress an offer to pull the review for approval of the degree program off of the BOR agenda if the Congress so desires.
Don Price emphasized again that this degree program was initiated and developed by an interdisciplinary faculty group.
Barbara Heintz asked whether we do not now have virtual graduate programs, programs that are approved but are not active due to lack of resources.
Jim Juvik replied that the programs in counseling psychology and education are lagging in getting started, but they are viable.
Barbara Heintz asked how will the program impact undergraduate education.
Bill Mautz replied that in the sciences, undergraduate participation in faculty research is a major component of undergraduate education at UHH, and the graduate program will enhance this. The graduate program will be training for career paths in environmental resource management on the Big Island. Undergraduate students may enter the program in training for jobs on the Big Island or go on to PhD programs in conservation biology at UH Manoa or elsewhere if they desire. EPSCoR will provide additional faculty positions, and the present undergraduate course curriculum will be distributed among the new faculty. As undergraduate courses are moved to the new faculty and as graduate teaching assistants are recruited to teach laboratory courses, there will then be releases open for all faculty interested in graduate education to participate in the graduate program teaching graduate courses and sponsoring graduate students.
Helen Rogers asked what will happen when EPSCoR funding is over.
Don Price responded that the program was originally designed based on the current strengths of the faculty. It would be appropriate and could work, although at lower activity, without EPSCoR.
Bill Mautz added that among recent grant proposals by the present faculty interested in TCBES, 9 graduate research assistant positions have been requested. Research grants of the present and future EPSCoR faculty will help fund the program.
Robert Fox made a motion to end discussion. David Miller seconded the motion.
Vote: Yes 12, No 0, Abstain 1.
The motion was approved.
Robert Fox called for the question with no objections.
Vote on the motion for the Congress to approve the MS degree in TCBES program.
Vote: Yes 11, No 1, Abstain 1.
The motion to approve the MS degree program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science was approved.
2. Second Agenda Item
A motion was made by Robert Fox to suspend the disclosure rules in order to discuss the establishment of the College of Business and Economics. The motion was seconded and was passed with a vote of 10 to 3.
A motion was made by Barbara Leonard that the UH Hilo Faculty Congress affirm its approval of the establishment of a College of Business and Economics. The motion was seconded by Nina Buchanan.
David Miller was concerned that the package of background materials the Congress members received this week was different from what the BOR received. Jerry Calton assured him that the documents were the same, but that there are several documents.
David Miller stated that the position of the union is that all new administrative appointments be frozen. He asked if the College of Business and Economics is to be approved separately before a general re-organization of CAS occurs. Why not wait until the issue of a general re-organization is reviewed and resolved?
Robert Fox replied that last May, the Congress reviewed the issue and passed a resolution in support of an independent College of Business and Economics as long as there was a fair allocation of resources.
David Miller asked if the intent of the present motion was to remove the provision of fair allocation of resources among CAS units from the May resolution.
At this point there was a series of cordial but rapid and emphatic statements, clauses, and exchanges among several people.
Robert Fox, speaking in support of the motion, stated that there has been considerable review and wide discussion of the proposed separation in the CAS Senate and in the CAS divisions to address faculty views. None but a very few have expressed concern that faculty review has not happened.
Bill Mautz stated that this motion appears to be redundant to the motion of last May. The Congress has already approved the separation, and the language is in the minutes of the May meeting.
Steve Hora stated that it is critically important for the purpose of accreditation to affirm support for the re-organization to form a separate College of Business and Economics.
Nina Buchanan stated that this restructuring of Business and Economics has been under consideration since 1989. We need to get on with it and get it done.
Barbara Heintz asked if there were adequate resources for the separation.
Marcia Sakai responded that Business and Economics has been growing steadily in majors. The re-organization is planned in phases with a schedule of costs that is expected to be met with growth and increasing tuition revenues. With a new dean leading the unit, there will be more community-focussed fund raising opportunities.
April Komenaka stated that since the College of Hawaiian Language has been independent, it has been very beneficial for the professional standing of its faculty.
Robert Fox stated that the continuing uncertainty over separation has been destructive. Approval of separation by the Congress and the BOR will be constructive, even if the actual implementation of independence is delayed.
David Miller stated that he will vote in favor of the separation; he does not oppose a College of Business and Economics. His concern is that this should be part of an overall re-organization of CAS coming through a proper procedure that culminates in an up or down vote of the faculty.
Ginger Takeshita asked if a separate College of Business and Economics would still participate in general education.
Jerry Calton responded yes. As general education requirements are university wide, a new College of Business and Economics will still contribute to general education.
Pila Wilson called for the question with no objections.
The motion came to a vote.
Vote: Yes 11, No 1, Abstain 1.
The motion that the UH Hilo Faculty Congress affirm its approval of the establishment of a College of Business and Economics was approved.
Jerry Calton adjourned the meeting at 4:10 PM
Vice Chair, UHH Congress