UH President and Manoa Chancellor Allocate Faculty $300,000 for Scholarship and Scholarly Activities

Amount is largest ever allocated to faculty by UH administration

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Nov 28, 2003

A six fold increase in monies to support research activities among UH humanities and arts faculty who have significantly less access to federal and extramural grants compared to their peers in the sciences has been allocated by UH President Evan Dobelle and UH Mānoa Chancellor Peter Englert. The president and chancellor each agreed to allocate $150,000 (totaling $300,000) from the Research and Training Revolving Fund (RTRF), a fund that reimburses the university for investments made on behalf of research and training supported by the federal government. The monies will go into a separate fund created solely to support scholarship and scholarly activities among faculty members who receive minimal support but are still required to research and publish for promotion and tenure requirements.

"Through creation of this fund we are reinforcing the importance of scholarly achievement in the humanities and the arts and providing our faculty with the means to meet their goals and objectives," said Dobelle.

This fund will impact approximately 300 faculty members all of whom teach both undergraduate and graduate courses. Although the fund will have a system-wide impact it is especially important to faculty in the UH Mānoa College of Arts and Humanities (A&H) and the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature (LLL).

"Our faculty prides itself on achievements in research and scholarship — much of which is global in nature. Hawai'i‘s location makes it very difficult and costly for many of them to fulfill their obligations as both teachers and scholars," said Englert. "This additional funding is critical to current faculty as well as those we seek to attract."

The fund will support professional activities such as out-of-state travel, shipping works of art for juried exhibitions, and extended stays for individuals at libraries and archives for research purposes. It will also help faculty take groups of students (UH band, orchestra, vocal groups, dance ensembles, and theatre troupes) to perform in competitions on the mainland and in Asia as well as a variety of other forms of professional development.

"I want to thank President Dobelle and Chancellor Englert for their leadership in creating this fund as it recognizes and validates the importance of our faculty‘s research activities," said UH Mānoa Dean of A&H Judith Hughes. "With the current emphasis at the federal level on the sciences, resources for the humanities and arts are scarce. These dollars are critical for UH Mānoa, Hawai'i‘s premier research institution, to maintain our strong reputation nationally and internationally."

Hughes pointed out that LLL and A&H teach 30 percent of the student semester hours at UH Mānoa which includes general education courses that all students are required to take. She anticipates the fund will enhance the classroom experience of all students, not just those in areas directly supported by the fund.

Community colleges will also have access to this support. Windward Community College Chancellor Angela Meixell said "Community college faculties are increasingly active in research, but support is harder to get at the associate degree level. This money will be very helpful in providing the initial support for the development of larger grant proposals."

Traditionally fellowships do not cover a faculty member‘s full salary or travel expenses. This fund will also be used to settle financial discrepancies in faculty salaries making it possible for faculty to accept prestigious grants such as Rockefeller and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships without suffering financial loss. In the past, fear of financial loss was a significant inhibitor to faculty applying for these grants which bring prestige not only to the faculty member but also to the university.

"This generous increase is recognition of the difficulties faculty face in garnering research dollars. It is a vote of confidence in the importance of their research, both for the scholars themselves and for the students they teach. All good scholarship finds its way into the classroom," said UH Mānoa Dean of LLL Joe O‘Mealy.

O‘Mealy emphasized "Most teaching faculty do their research and writing during the summer months. This funding will give an immense boost to their summer research projects, most of which require them to travel to sites throughout the world to collect authentic materials for teaching foreign languages or to do archival research in the world‘s major libraries, to give only two examples."

Faculty will compete for the $300,000 allocation. A review process will be administered by a faculty subcommittee of the University Research Council (URC) who will review each proposal, follow established criteria and award the grants. The Office of Research Relations will administer the awards on behalf of the URC.