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Thursday, March 31, 2022
UH Faculty Senate Denounces Sen Donna Mercado Kim
By News Release @ 3:49 PM :: 987 Views :: First Amendment, Higher Education

RESOLUTION FINDING INAPPROPRIATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS UNDERMINING UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE AND FREE SPEECH

Presented to the Mānoa Faculty Senate by the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (CAPP) for a vote of the full Senate on March 23, 2022, a resolution finding entirely inappropriate legislative actions undermining the governing and management roles of the Regents, Administration, and Faculty of the University of Hawai`i.

WHEREAS, the University of Hawai`i Board of Regents (BOR) has the authority to manage the university under Article X of the Hawai‘i State Constitution, and Chapter 304A of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes; and,

WHEREAS, the University of Hawai`i administration has the authority to execute policies authorized and established by the Board of Regents, as stipulated by RP 1.202; and,

WHEREAS, faculty, through their respective governance organizations, have rights of consultation in academic decision-making as protected by the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents Policy (RP) 1.210, Executive Policy (EP) 1.201, and the UHPA-BOR Collective Bargaining Agreement Section R-20; and,

WHEREAS, Senator Donna Mercado Kim has repeatedly introduced legislation to usurp the decision-making authority of the UH Board of Regents, UH administration, and UH faculty (cf. SB 3269 SD1, SB3186 SD1, SB3187 SD1, SB3267 SD2, SB3268); and,

WHEREAS, during the legislative session 2021[1], Senator Kim pushed the elimination of a tenured faculty member’s position; and,

WHEREAS, during the 2022 legislative session, Senator Kim introduced SB 3269 SD1, a bill that attempted to alter tenure and transfer managerial authority over the university from the Board of Regents to the legislature; and,

WHEREAS, during the 2022 legislative session, members of the Hawai`i State Senate, with the exception of two senators, passed SB 3269 SD2; and

WHEREAS, the 1940 AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure upholds that the primary purpose of tenure is to protect academic freedom, to include freedom in teaching, research, and publication; and,

WHEREAS, the UH Board of Regents and UH administration explicitly opposed drastic changes to tenure, like those introduced by Senator Kim in SB 3269 SD1, as noted in the final report of the SCR 201 Task Force; and

WHEREAS, the aforementioned bills introduced by Senator Kim are repeated attempts to intervene in previously agreed upon rights of shared governance of the UH System, violating Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) standard 1.5 and Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) standard IV.C.4, protecting the institutional integrity and educational mission of the UH from undue influence or political pressure, and which jeopardizes the accreditation of the entire UH System; and,

WHEREAS, these actions continue to harm and diminish faculty, their work, and especially their relationships with their students; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Mānoa Faculty Senate finds entirely inappropriate legislative actions to undermine and, in some cases, eliminate the decision-making authority of the University of Hawai'i's Board of Regents, administration, and faculty; and,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Mānoa Faculty Senate respectfully requests that all members of the Hawai`i legislature recognize the value of the University of Hawai`i to the state and people of Hawai`i, and recognize the excellence of the University of Hawai`i and especially its flagship campus, UH Mānoa, and support the continued excellence of the university; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Mānoa Faculty Senate reaffirms the principles of appropriate governance and free speech-- enshrined in policy, practice, and law -- to keep the university independent of political interference.

[1] https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2021/06/02/in-rare-move-lawmakers-vote-to-eliminate-job-of-well-paid-universit y-professor/  

CB: UH Faculty Leadership Votes To Condemn Donna Mercado Kim

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