Faculty Senate Highlights, Academic Year 2019-2020

Aloha Leeward CC Faculty and Staff,

We hope this message finds you and yours safe and well.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee would like to take this opportunity to share the work and accomplishments of the Faculty Senate for the 2019-2020 academic year.  We care deeply about communicating with our campus community, especially as we navigate the many and unprecedented challenges, disruptions, and changes provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Policy Review, Shared Governance, and Continuous Improvement

First and foremost, to run thoughtfully and kindly, our college requires the collaborative input of many stakeholders.  In accordance with the recommendations from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to regularly review and update our college policies, the Senate reviewed, recommended changes to, and approved several academic policies, chief among them being the Policy on Shared Governance (L1.201).  This important policy review was initiated by the Faculty Senate and stewarded by Senate Chair Michael Cawdery.  We went to great lengths to ensure that each of the Authorized Governance Bodies (AGBs), as well as administration, was included in this policy review and development process.  We are thankful to the leadership and members of the Pūkoʻa no nā ʻEwa Council, Campus Council, and Student Government for their intellectual generosity, dialogue, and support as we collaborated to fulfill our collective responsibility in the shared governance of the college.  This policy work has provided our representative groups with a framework for collaboration and decision-making at the college.  This policy, alongside UHPA and BOR R-20, Roles And Consultation Protocols Involving UH Administration, UH Professional Assembly, And UH Faculty Senates, and Board of Regents Policy 1.210, provides additional assurance that faculty interests and perspectives have a formal voice through the Faculty Senate.  

Along these lines, and in accordance with recommendations of the ACCJC, the Senate reviewed and approved the college’s new Policy on Policy Development and Review (L1.101) at its meeting of 11 October 2019.  This policy provides the college with a consistent protocol to develop new or revise current policies to ensure that they support both the institutional integrity of the college and student success.  Included in these efforts was the operationalization of policy, making it accessible and usable by the campus at-large.  Using this policy change as an impetus, Senate Chair Cawdery, and former Office of Planning, Policy and Assessment (OPPA) Director, Shuqi Wu, worked to develop the Policy Development and Review procedures.  We received support from the office of the VCAA and the Student Affairs committee. We are hopeful that these procedures can empower various groups to examine, review, and change policies that govern our work.  Engagement with policy, while at times tedious and challenging, can have long-lasting effects on our institutional efforts to support students. 

In keeping with this spirit of revision and improvement, the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Faculty Senate Charter and Bylaws, led by Vice Chair Michael Oishi and former Vice Chairs Eiko Kosasa and Wayde Oshiro, identified and amended the many grammatical, typographical, and stylistic errors marring our bylaws to provide a clean, consistent, and professionally-presented copy of the internal rules, responsibilities, and organization of the Senate.  The revised Bylaws now ensure that the Senate Vice Chair will review and evaluate the Charter and Bylaws every two years, or more frequently as situations demand, to ensure currency of information and compliance with the college’s and UH System’s existing policies and practices.  This requirement also supports the ACCJC’s recommendation to review and update college policies.

Communication Processes and Strategies

The Senate has also worked to update and enhance its communications with the campus community.  We are careful to communicate our agendas, meeting dates, and minutes to the campus and we maintain our Faculty Senate website in an effort to be transparent with our work and to constituents.  This work often flies under the radar, but maintaining accurate records and formal written communications are essential foundations of an effective institution.  The role and responsibilities of the Secretary should not be understated nor go unrecognized. 

This Spring, Senate Secretary, Junie Hayashi, took the initiative to convert the blog posts in our soon-to-be-defunct Faculty Senate Edublogs site to the News page on the Faculty Senate website.  Senator Hayashi’s efforts to convert our blog posts have helped to consolidate important Senate communications into one online platform, have preserved an important mechanism for the Senate’s institutional memory, and have saved the college financial resources that can now be used for other purposes.

Resolutions to Assert Our Role in Shared Governance

Resolutions are foundational components of the shared governance process.  They communicate the sincere wishes of our Authorized Governance Bodies (AGBs). These mechanisms are an opportunity to bring concerns to the forefront in a conscientious and professional manner and with the support of the entire body.

At its meeting of 6 December 2019, the Faculty Senate unanimously passed two important resolutions to assert its protected rights in the shared governance of the college.  First, and in response to many faculty concerns and frustrations, the Senate passed Resolution 19.1, which seeks to amend the procedures and processes regarding the use of campus facilities.  In an effort to drive change, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee formally presented this resolution to the administration at a meeting on 6 January 2020 and followed up action later the same month with a campus survey that assessed common areas of concern regarding requests, access to, and use of campus facilities.  Senate Chair Cawdery collected, analyzed, and communicated the responses to this survey in a report delivered to our Leeward CC administration on 30 April 2020.  In an email dated 10 June 2020, Chancellor Peñaloza acknowledged receipt of this report and noted that members of the Leeward CC administration are currently reviewing the recommendations contained therein and intend to address them in Fall, once plans for the safe reopening of the college are complete.

Faculty Senate also unanimously passed Resolution 19.2, which affirms the Senate’s negotiated and protected rights to participate in the recruitment, selection, and evaluation of all academic executive leadership appointments—interim, acting, or permanent—at the campus and system level.  Faculty Senate passed this resolution in response to the lack of Faculty Senate representation in the Fall 2019 search for a permanent Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (VCAA), as well as in the appointment of an interim VCAA in December 2019.  In response to our resolution, Chancellor Peñaloza appeared at our Senate meeting of 10 January 2020 to affirm that Faculty Senate would indeed have a representative involved in the Spring 2020 search for a VCAA and that the Chancellor would be as transparent as possible about the process and timeline of the search.  The Spring 2020 search for a VCAA incorporated Faculty Senate Chair Michael Cawdery.  While Chancellor Peñaloza has not yet communicated the final results of this search to the Senate or the campus, he has indicated to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee his intentions to do so in the near future.

Standing Committee Work and the Development and Maintenance of College Practices

The Assessment Committee, chaired by Michele Mahi, has been busy collecting course assessment data for the college to help faculty reflect and improve on their instructional design and delivery.  To date, 343 (or 59.1%) of course have been assessed according to the 2019-2020 Course Assessment Report.  Additionally, the Assessment Committee has been busy in the selection of a new Assessment Management System (AMS) for the college.  The committee is happy to announce Campus Labs as our new AMS starting this summer.

As usual, the Curriculum Committee was busy this academic year, reviewing a total of 106 proposals.  This included proposals for 11 new courses, 68 course modifications, 7 course deletions, 2 new programs, 18 program modifications, and 1 program deletion.  Senator Petersen Gross, chair of the Curriculum Committee, also shepherded to conclusion the Policy on Curriculum Review and Revision for Programs, which ensures that programs, like courses, be reviewed every five years.  This policy had been approved by Faculty Senate on 16 April 2014, but had never been approved by our Leeward CC administration, which necessitated another Senate review and approval for currency and compliance with existing policies and programs.

The Distance Education (DE) Committee, chaired by senators Kelsie Aguilera and Warren Kawano, was vital in helping the college provide quality online education this year.  At our meeting of 6 December 2019, senator Aguilera and Educational Media Center coordinator, Rachael Inake, gave a presentation on the DE Guidelines Self-Assessment Process.  The DE Self-Assessment is to be completed by online instructors once every three years for each online course taught.  All current online instructors have been added to a schedule in which they will complete the DE Guidelines Self-Assessment at some point from 2019-2022.  The value of the DE Committee was particularly evident in its deployment of DE Liaisons in each division to serve as a resource and point of contact for instructors as they coped with the abrupt transition to distance-delivery this Spring semester, and in the work to complete Baseline Recommended Actions for Distance-Delivered Instruction

Our Student Affairs Committee, led by co-chairs Summer Barrett and John Signor, has been very active this year, identifying and resolving concerns to help ensure quality support services to students.  As a part of reviewing multiple policies impacting students, the committee identified a loophole in the Unsatisfactory Academic Progress (UAP) policy that allowed students to graduate in Summer with a cumulative GPA below 2.0.  The committee recommended to Faculty Senate the creation of a college graduation policy to remedy the problem and is currently drafting a proposal for a revised policy.  Additionally, at the request of the Office of Planning, Policy and Assessment (OPPA) and the office of the Dean of Student Services, the committee has begun a review of all student service-related policies and procedures to provide a more systematic review, referral, and creation process of student service policies.

Envisioning Team and Working Groups

Finally, and as part of its responsibilities in the shared governance of the college, Faculty Senate has been heavily involved this summer in the plans to reopen the campus in Fall 2020.  Chair Cawdery and Vice Chair Oishi have been participating with administration and shared governance leadership on our campus “Envisioning Team.”  Together, we have worked through challenges presented to our normal operations as a result of COVID-19.  We have been singularly focused on how to manage and communicate change for Fall 2020. 

As a part of the preparations for Fall 2020, Senators Michael Cawdery, Kelsie Aguilera, and Michael Oishi, along with Educational Media Center coordinator, Rachael Inake, have worked to identify and explain the available instructional modalities to division chairs and discipline and program coordinators who must now rethink traditional instructional design and delivery as they account for the impacts of social distancing and enhanced health and safety requirements.  Meanwhile, Senator Betty Ickes has been contributing to ongoing conversations regarding preparations to our physical plant and health and safety protocols in the Facilities working group, and Senator James West has been busy on the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) and UH Administration Temporary Remote Working Group--a group that has been tasked to balance the need to deliver quality education while safeguarding the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff across the UH System.

These are just some of the many examples of Faculty Senate working to uphold its commitments to students and faculty at Leeward Community College.  For a complete accounting of Faculty Senate committee reports, please consult the Fall 2019-Spring 2020 Supporting Documents folder of our Faculty Senate website.

That said, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee wishes to acknowledge the contributions of all our faculty senators whose work has been vital in furthering the interests of the college.  In particular, we would like to thank Kelsie Aguilera (Distance Education Committee Co-Chair), Summer Barrett (Student Affairs Committee Co-Chair), Jeremiah Boydstun (A.A. Program Review Committee Co-Chair), Weirong Cai (General Education Committee Co-Chair), Petersen Gross (Curriculum Committee Chair), Warren Kawano (Distance Education Committee Co-Chair), U‘ilani Keli‘ikuli (Faculty Committee Co-Chair), Gholam Khaleghi (Academic and Institutional Support Committee Chair), Kealohilani Leleo (Student Government Secretary and Faculty Senate representative), Michele Mahi (Assessment Committee Chair), Stan May (Budget and Planning Committee Chair), Erika Molyneux, Suzette Scotti (General Education Committee Co-Chair), Michael Scully (Elections Committee Chair), John Signor (Student Affairs Committee Co-Chair), Kale‘a Silva (Student Affairs Committee member), Jean StavRue-Peʻahi (Student Affairs Committee member), Christine Walters (Lecturer Group Representative), James West (Faculty Committee member), and Danny Wyatt (Faculty Committee Co-Chair).

In closing, we look forward to serving you again next year, with some role changes to our Executive Committee.  After two years as Chair, Michael Cawdery will be rolling off Senate.  Michael Oishi, current Vice Chair, will be succeeding Senator Cawdery as Chair while Junie Hayashi will be stepping into the role of Vice Chair.   We are also fortunate to have the commitment of Kelsie Aguilera as our Secretary-elect.


Mahalo for your hard work, consideration, and continued support.  Together, we hope to continue to serve Leeward and strive for the excellence and recognition that our community deserves. 



The Faculty Senate Executive Committee

Michael Cawdery

Chair, Leeward CC Faculty Senate, 2019-2020

Michael Oishi

Vice Chair, Leeward CC Faculty Senate, 2019-2020

Junie Hayashi

Secretary, Leeward CC Faculty Senate, 2019-2020