Faculty Senate Moves Toward Greater Transparency

By Ricci Franklin, Kapiʻo Staff Writer

The Kapiʻolani Community College Faculty Senate is meant to be the voice for all of the faculty members. However, until this semester, there was no system in place to keep track of the ideas and policies faculty were suggesting.

Therefore, one of the first things Veronica Ogata did when she was appointed chair of the Faculty Senate was to implement an action request tracking system.

Veronica Ogata, Faculty Senate Chair

Veronica Ogata, Faculty
Senate Chair

An action request is a proposal made by faculty members on how to make the college better. These requests can address virtually anything, from transfer policies to grade calculations to faculty evaluations.

Whenever a faculty member has an idea they want to bring to attention, they do so by filling out an action request form. When Ogata receives the form, the executive committee reviews it then decides where it goes.

For example, when Ogata received a request regarding faculty parking, it was directed to the Vice Chancellor of Administration, as parking is something that he would handle.

Under the new system, once an action request is received, interested parties can track what is happening with it through the action requests tab on faculty senate website at facultysenate.kapiolani.hawaii.edu.

There, viewers can access a detailed spreadsheet that specifies the type of proposal, whether it has been reviewed by the Faculty Senate, what actions have been taken, and the results.

The ultimate goal of this new system is to make sure that propositions do not fall through the cracks. In previous years, it was not uncommon for senators and committee members to lose track of specific requests.

“So far, we have great responses from faculty,” Ogata said.

Students sometimes wonder how policies came to be. Contrary to popular belief that school policies have been set since the dawn of time, they are constantly changing to better the student body’s education.

A person does not have to be a staff member to access the senate website, making this a great tool for KCC students as well. Students can see what faculty members are suggesting in regards to their education, and what is happening with those suggestions.

In an informal poll, 10 out of 10 students contacted by Kapiʻo and apprised of the change indicated that the new, more transparent system was an excellent development.