Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And Here Comes the Faculty...

In the midst of extensive budget cuts to our university by the State, I have been continually encouraging a wave of activism from the student population, community, and any other stakeholders who would want to be a part of a movement to protect and preserve Hawai‘i's education and encourage the development of future leaders.

A great opportunity has arisen to for students and faculty to come together and possibly create a massive boom...

[caption id="attachment_771" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="KITV4 News, September 18, 2009: Leaders of UH Professors Oppose State\'s Last Offer"]KITV4 News, September 18, 2009: Leaders of UH Professors Oppose State's Last Offer[/caption]

During my Comparative Politics class today, the professor opened up by highlighting a current university issue concerning the nature of faculty and administrator "negotiations". The professor drew a parallel between our university's multi-leveled autonomous bureaucracy and that of tyrannic rule under a certain, well-known dictatorship.

He has been a faculty member at a number of universities including one in Asia, but insists that he has never seen such a unique and hegemonic administration like that of UH.

(I asked if he has been aware of UH's structure before our system's administration was granted autonomy by the State of Hawaii during the mid-nineties, and if he was aware of how our campus was "administrated" before the creation of 78 new executive positions just a few years ago under President Dobelle's term. He said he would like to learn.)

My guess of why the subject of administrative hegemony was brought up was because of a certain bitterness my professor may possess in regards to a recent proposal being "unilaterally imposed" by administration: to cut UH faculty pay by 15%.

It is nice to see some spark finally igniting some major resistance from faculty to the originally State-imposed cuts, but let's not forget and overlook the fact that a few years back, faculty did receive a huge salary increase while students received a similar tuition increase. Before choosing to take on a particular stance, students should be sure to know what the consequences will be of their efforts . We need to realize that as ASUH (the Student Body), we stand alone and must remain autonomous in our decisions. We should hesitate to offer diplomatic assistance with initiatives moving towards collective goals, but we must refuse to be used as another entity's pawn: whether that be administration or faculty.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="Will we be seeing some of this again? From Star Bulletin Archives April 5, 2001"]Will we be seeing some of this again? From Star Bulletin Archives April 5, 2001[/caption]

But let's just hope faculty and administration can see eye to eye, because students can't afford to have faculty go on strike. Hopefully, I will be able to meet with various faculty leaders to discuss any collective goals between students and faculty and possibly establish a vehicle in which students and faculty could move forward together.

No comments:

Post a Comment