Hawaiʻi Sept. 2017-Feb. 2018 Highlights
This report provides an overview of policy/initiatives occurring across the University of Hawaiʻi system (both community colleges and four-year+ colleges). It begins with information from the beginning of Spring 2018 semester, and information on Fall 2017 semester follows:
The following information is adapted from: President Lassner’s January 2018 highlights and updates,
Bills Proposed for Legislation:
- University Autonomy:There is a bill before the Hawaiʻi State legislature to revoke the autonomy of the university as was granted in the 2000 legislative session. If approved, this bill would give the legislature oversight in the running of the university.
- Tuition: Several bills addressing modification of tuition have been proposed: one to entirely eliminate charging residents tuition at the community colleges; one proposing tuition be calculated in consideration of income.
- Graduate Student Union: A bill to propose establishment of collective bargaining unit for graduate students has been introduced. NOTE: there is a request in the BOR budget to increase Graduate Assistants’ salaries.
DACA: “The University of Hawaiʻi remains steadfast in our commitment to serve all members of our community, regardless of citizenship status.” UH-System reaffirmed its commitment to undocumented students (not limited to DACA recipients) by adopting a policy to extend resident tuition rates for these students (https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2017/09/05/uh-and-state-leaders-daca-announcement/).
The following information is adapted from: President Lassner’s September 2017 highlights and updates (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cATXxG0FukA&feature=youtu.be&t=36s):
Boosting Completion Rates: Hawaii has been selected as one of four states to participate in the Complete College America’s initiative, GPS Direct for Guided Pathways to Success. This initiative is designed to support students in getting started in an academic pathway and remain on track with the goal of boosting completion rates.
Student Food Security: A two-year, $400,000.00 grant was received by UH-West Oʻahu to support a system-wide survey of students on their personal food security (students literally having enough to eat on a daily basis while they juggle the costs of attending college). UH-System will be using the survey results to “grasp the scope of the problem and set some solutions” (President David Lassner), i.e., explore the possibility of establishing Food Pantries on campus and partnering with community organizations such as the Food Bank.
Native Hawaiian Support Initiatives: UH-System was awarded seven federal grants for a total of about $3.9 million for Native Hawaiian Education initiatives that support UH-System’s commitment to support Native Hawaiian student success.
Teacher Shortage: The state continues to experience a severe teacher shortage, especially in rural areas. Education faculty and administrators across the UH-System are exploring ways to address this problem through increased certification/pathway programs for potential teachers and to counter negative narratives pervasive about the teaching profession in the state. New campaign, “Be a hero, be a teacher,” is specifically designed to promote teaching as a profession in Hawaiʻi.