UH Hilo Faculty Congress

Minutes of Meeting

December 5, 2003


The meeting was called to order by the chair, Jerry Calton , at 3:05 p.m. 


Present : Jerry Calton, Bill Mautz, Barbara Leonard, Helen Rogers, Lincoln Gotshalk, Robert Fox, Philippe Binder, April Komenaka, Sabry Shehata, Nina Buchanan, Pila Wilson, Barbara Heintz.

Student Member: Liko Puha

Ex Officio: Steve Hora, Chris Lu, Margaret Haig

Guest: Thora Abarca


1.                  Minutes of the meeting of November 7, 2003 were reviewed and approved with the correction that reference to Chris Weller should be Chris Keller.

2. Disclosure Rule

The proposed change to the disclosure rule was revisited as required by the by-laws: any business not routine in nature or any proposal of more than 15 words must be available for review by members at least 48 hours before consideration by the Congress. This rule may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Congress members present.  The rationale for this change is that a requirement of one week to review new proposals limits the ability of the Congress to respond to current events and initiatives in a timely manner.

The change was unanimously approved.


2.                  The proposal to amend transfer admissions requirements was revisited. 

Discussion: Bill Mautz reported that Keith Miser requested a delay in Congress vote on this proposal until in-progress analyses of its impact by Gail Makuakane and Lynn Stamoulis are complete. 

Jim Cromwell stated that while there is an inconsistency in admission requirements for freshmen vs. transfer students that amounts to a loophole for ESL students, it is a small loophole.  However conditions are changing as increasing numbers of foreign students enter and transfer students take up seats in english courses from freshmen.

Gail Makuakane reported she has been researching effects on recruitment, advising, and on community colleges.  Some colleges in the Pacific Rim do not offer English 100.  We have long term agreements with them to support transfer students.  We are also trying to recruit from community colleges, and this will have a negative influence.  Most community college transfer students come in with basic English and Mathematics requirements fulfilled; the change will mostly affect transfer students from outside Hawaii.

Jim Cromwell stated that there are differences in admission requirements between campuses and raised the question of whether or not there is a BOR policy on the issue.

Robert Fox stated there is no formal policy, just agreements among admission officers.

Jim Cromwell stated that UHH policies are an offshoot of UHM policies based on history.

Barbara Heintz made a motion to postpone final consideration of this issue.

Vote: unanimous approval.


3.Proposal to establish a doctoral program in the College of Hawaiian Language and Literature.  (motion was made and approved to advance this item in the order of the  agenda).  This proposal is for discussion only at this stage, not for approval by the UHH Congress.

Pila Wilson provided background information.  Planning for this program has been advancing for a long time.  UHH’s College of Hawaiian Language is recognized as a world leader on language re-vitalization.  There have been invitations for UHH faculty to visit New Zealand and to visit North American Native American groups involved in language re-vitalization.  There is a bill before the US Congress to fund the UHH CHL for such programs.  Dr. Suzanne Romaine (Oxford Univ) visits UHH each summer to assist the development of language re-vitalization programs here.  There is interest in recruiting Dr. Romaine to UHH.  The Univ of Arizona, Univ. Oklahoma, and Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks also want to work with UHH in a joint graduate program.

Steve Hora asked what other languages are under consideration?  Pila responded that there are some 200 or more Native American languages, and about 20 still have substantial populations of speakers.  We expect to train other native speaker students in the academic process of language recovery.

Jerry Calton asked what funding is available?  Pila responded that President Dobelle promised funding for the College of Hawaiian Language, but to date all such funds have been put into UH Manoa’s Hawaiian language programs.  The BOR has said that the UH system must fund UHH.  Kamehameha Schools policy is now seeking to affirm support for programs in Hawaiian language and culture.

Nina Buchanan asked how the graduate faculty for such a program could be sufficient.  At present there are only 4 faculty and the additional possibility of Dr. Romaine.  There is a need to recruit a more diverse and larger faculty to have a sustaining program.  Pila Wilson responded that the CHL expects to have substantial additional resources as visiting faculty.

Jerry Calton asked if approving the program would assist in gaining funding.  Pila Wilson responded that there is concern that a program could be approved but then languish for lack of support.

Nina Buchanan noted that the CHL MA program has graduated 2 students while the Education MA program has graduated about 20.

April Komenaka pointed out that the MA degree in CHL is designed for an academic specialty in Hawaiian Language, but the PhD program is oriented around social structure and change.  Pila Wilson responded that that is why there is national interest in the potential PhD program at UHH.

Philippe Binder asked whether a PhD granting program would affect the Carnegie classification of UHH as a 4 yr. Liberal arts university. Sabry Shehata stated that this program will be a unique quality for UHH and a good thing for the University.

Nina made a motion that the proposal should be referred to committee for review.

Vote: unanimous approval.


3.                  Proposal to change grading policy for graduate programs.

The proposal will change the current graduate level grading scheme (A, B, C, D, F, CR, NC, I, S, NG) to more closely match the undergraduate grading scheme by adding +/- grade options to A, B, and C grades and add CE (credit by exam grade).  April Komenaka made a motion to approve the proposal, and the motion was seconded.

Vote: Yes 11, No 0, Abstain 1.


4.                  Proposal to establish deadlines for submission of programs and new courses.

The proposed deadlines are spring semester (May 15), fall semester (Jan 31), and summer term (Oct 31).  A motion was made and seconded to approve the proposal.

Vote: unanimous approval.


6. Proposal for revisions to the UHH General Education Program from the GE

Committee.  April Komenaka provided background on the committee recommendations.  1) There is a need to have formal hallmarks or guidelines to meet GE.  2) To be compliant with WASC, there must be upper division GE as well as lower division GE courses.  Details of the recommendations are in the committee report. 

Robert Fox made a motion that the UHH Congress receive the report and transmit it to the senates of the colleges for review.  The motion was seconded.

Vote: unanimous approval.


7. Resolutions on governance from the Congress Executive Committee.

Six resolutions were presented to better define the role of the UHH Faculty Congress in faculty governance as mandated by WASC.  There was an extended discussion about the meaning of the word “approval” in this context of faculty governance by the Congress.  Some felt that Congress should not use the word “approve” in its review of issues, because it implies that the Congress is asserting the final say on university policy while the BOR delegates the right of final approval to the Chancellor.  Most felt that “Congress approval” is simply a statement that the Congress as the representative body of the UHH faculty approves (or dis-approves) and nothing more global than “approval by the UHH Faculty Congress” is implied.  The administration is free to over-rule Congress decisions of approval or dis-approval, in keeping the BOR policy.

Two motions were made to amend the resolutions, and these were unanimously approved.

1). Add language “academic” to modify “programs.”

2). Add “or disapproval” to follow “approval.”


Resolution 1. That proposals for the establishment of new programs, the termination of existing programs, or the modification of existing programs which involve significant changes in methods and goals or in funding levels shall be formally transmitted from the UH Hilo only after having received prior review and approval from the appropriate body of the UH Hilo Faculty Congress.

Vote: unanimous approval.


Resolution 2.

That, in the consideration of whether a matter requires faculty discussion or—as appropriate—faculty approval at the UH Hilo campus-wide level, the most consultative approach shall be taken.  That is, when in doubt, matters should be referred to the UH Hilo Faculty Congress.

Vote: unanimous approval.


Resolution 3. Insofar as Board of Regents Policy 1-10 charges the Chancellor of each campus with fostering the greatest possible involvement of faculty members in decision making through organized faculty governance bodies, the UHH Faculty Congress calls upon the UH Hilo administration to limit appointment of individuals acting as faculty representatives on campus-wide decision-making or decision-recommending groups to those faculty members appointed by the UH Hilo Faculty Congress.


There was discussion in regard to the notion of a “faculty representative.” A question was raised as to whether anyone appointed to a committee who is also a faculty member is then a “faculty representative” and must they then be appointed only by the Congress?  If so, then it was felt that the Congress is assuming too much authority over committee appointments.  In response, it was stated that any claim of “faculty representation” on a committee or any committee whose academic function requires people who represent the UHH Faculty needs to be associated with Congress approved members.   It is possible for people to be appointed to a committee independent of the UHH Faculty Congress; these committee members may happen to be faculty, but they do not serve as representatives of the UHH Faculty.

Robert Fox made a motion that the Congress Governance Committee meet with the VC of Academic Affairs to revisit the agreement on these issues that was concluded last spring. 

Vote: Unanimous approval.


Resolution 4. That the UHH Faculty Congress urges the University of Hawai'i at Hilo administration to implement both the spirit and the letter of Board of Regents Policy 1-10, by consulting with faculty through its BOR-approved organized governance bodies.  To this end, the UHH Faculty Congress will circulate to the University of Hawai'i at Hilo faculty this Resolution and an electronic copy of Board of Regents Policy 1-10.


 Vote: unanimous approval.


Resolution 5. That the UH Hilo Faculty Congress calls upon the UH Hilo administration to change the name of the so-called Academic Policy Council to the UHH Council of Academic Administrators.

Background: this council is not a Congress unit, but, because of its name though presumably not its intent, people are bringing UHH academic issues to this council instead of to the UHH Congress.  Such issues should be properly brought to the UHH Congress for consideration by the Congress Academic Policy Committee.

A motion was made and seconded to table the motion and request that the VC Academic Affairs and the “Academic Policy Council” consider renaming this body.

Vote: unanimous approval.


Resolution 6. Insofar as Board of Regents Policy 1-10 charges the Chancellor of each campus with fostering the greatest possible involvement of faculty members in decision making through organized faculty governance bodies, the UHH Faculty Congress calls upon the UH Hilo administration to limit appointment of individuals acting as faculty representatives on campus-wide decision-making or decision-recommending groups to those faculty members appointed by the UH Hilo Faculty Congress.

 A motion was made and seconded to post pone consideration of this resolution on the function of the Graduate Council and its relationship to the UHH Congress.


Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Mautz,

Vice Chair, UHH Congress