Friday, November 16, 2001


UH report recommends
reorganizing administration

By Treena Shapiro

A report presented to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents recommends a reorganization of the administration, putting more emphasis on enrollment and recruitment, public relations and marketing, and alumni and community relations.

"It will not be a complete reallocation of personnel, and it is the consultant's opinion that the reorganization cannot be achieved on a cost-neutral basis unless staff reductions are made elsewhere in the Manoa organization (e.g., academic administration, financial management ...) in order to pay for new positions that will need to be created," said the report by consultant Linda Campanella, former senior vice president of Trinity College.

In some cases, employees could be transferred from different departments, said Campanella, who visited UH in June before President Evan Dobelle left Trinity to come to Hawaii.

Campanella presented her report to the regents yesterday during the closed-door portion of their monthly meeting, held at Kauai Community College.

Although the report contains no recommendations on personnel, Dobelle said the briefing was given during executive session because the ensuing discussion might involve personnel matters and implications.

The findings could lead to employees being fired, but at this point the presentation was purely informational, Dobelle said.

After the meeting, the board issued a terse statement expressing support for Dobelle's leadership. "What's past is past. We have the facts and we have the right man. Together, the regents and the president will develop a strategic plan by late spring that will guide us in the years ahead," the board statement said.

Campanella, given a $30,000 contract for her analysis of the university, said she arrived in June intent on learning of all problems under the previous administration.

Drawing from interviews with faculty, administrators and staff, Campanella sketched out a picture of a university system with an inferiority complex, in which individual parts competed for resources. Leadership was lacking, morale was low, and compensation was not competitive at any levels, she said she was told.

However, she added in a briefing with reporters Wednesday, "I did go in search of warts, but I found some beauty marks."

Among the university's strengths were its faculty and its astronomy and foreign language programs, Campanella said.

But the strengths need to be marketed better, both in terms of recruiting students and increasing private fund raising, she added.

"The story is not sung from the rooftops," she said.

Campanella said she saw the problems as opportunities and that she has noticed improvement since Dobelle took over and began encouraging UH personnel to come to him with suggestions.

"It's been a culture of 'no,' and that has to change," she said.

The report will be posted tomorrow on the University of Hawaii Web site. Included will be Campanella's assessment of the top priorities:

>> Raising the morale of the university staff.
>> Creating a plan to address salary inequities.
>> Becoming current in information technology.
>> Simplifying regents' policies (with expanded delegation of authority).
>> Maintaining budget stability.
>> Clarifying the university governance system.
>> Adequately addressing repair and maintenance backlog.
>> Appointing a permanent chancellor for Manoa.
>> Deciding on organizational structure of the university.

Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii

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