Saturday, October 13, 2001


Dobelle says faculty
shapes UH success

His call to empower individuals
gets rave reviews from many

By Treena Shapiro

University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle has told numerous audiences that he never has been failed by an empowered faculty.

On Wednesday, for the first time since taking office in July, Dobelle passed on the mantra to an auditorium full of UH-Manoa faculty and administrators at the Faculty Congress's fall meeting.

Dobelle, who recently introduced a $700 million capital improvement project package to be considered during the special legislative session later this month, told faculty that "buildings are not the key indicator of how a university is doing."

Rather, Dobelle said his success would be measured by how many full-time tenured faculty positions were added, as well as the salary of individual faculty members.

According to the last figures reported by the American Association of University Professors, UH-Manoa full professors' salaries fall in the bottom 20 percentile. "We need to get it up to 50th to 80th percentile in the next four to seven years," Dobelle said, to a loud burst of applause.

Dobelle also briefly discussed plans for a health and wellness complex in Kakaako, building a West Oahu campus in Kapolei to enable the flagship Manoa campus to achieve its full potential as a research institution, and plans to transform Manoa into a college town.

"My job is to make things happen for you," he told the faculty.

James Wills, recently promoted to associate dean of the College of Business Administration, said: "I think his first three months is one of the greatest starts of any president I've ever seen in my 25 years at the University of Hawaii.

"I thought his empowerment of the faculty was very good, and I think his visionary leadership and fast-action approach to decision-making gives us a lot of hope in these difficult times."

"What I hear coming from President Dobelle is very positive, very supportive, and I like that," said Bob Koehler, a media specialist at the Center for Instructional Support.

Business professor Bob Doktor said he was impressed by the esteem Dobelle expressed for the faculty.

"I think it was very inspiring and helped pick up the faculty morale," Doktor said. "That's a very important first step. Productivity will follow morale."

Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii

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