Reorganization Proposal to
Establish a Department of Public Affairs
College of Social Sciences
University of Hawai‘i At Mānoa
A. Overview of the Current Units: The strengths and assets of the current units to form a
Department of Public Affairs
The proposed Department of Public Affairs will consolidate two successful existing
units that have mutual missions and commitments and strong education, research, and
community programs: the Public Administration Program (PUBA) and the Public Policy Center
(PPC), which includes the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (MIPCR)1.
Faculty and staff of these units engage in significant collaborative work across the campus and
in the broader community in teaching, research, scholarly application, practice, and
community-based civic engagement. All units are interdisciplinary, and the core faculty and
faculty affiliates teach and conduct local, national and international research, and application
focused on public service leadership, institutional effectiveness, policy analysis, civic
involvement, conflict resolution, peace studies, human rights and community engagement.
The Public Administration Program (PUBA) was founded in 1984 and offers a
Graduate Certificate and, since 1991, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA). PUBA provides
an innovative educational program dedicated to developing leaders in public service. Its
mission is to energize public institutions and organizations, enrich and deepen civic culture,
and increase the leadership capacity of those with public or community responsibilities.
Hundreds of its graduates hold important public service positions in government and
nonprofit/NGO organizations in Hawai`i, the U.S. Mainland, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Presently PUBA is allocated 8.5 FTE permanent positions. Three of these instructional positions
are 0.5 FTE with the Public Policy Center with the locus of tenure at PUBA.
The Public Policy Center (PPC) and its Graduate Certificate in Public Policy were
approved by the Board of Regents in 2006. Through its core faculty and over 70 affiliate faculty
from the College and other units on campus, it brings together academic, community,
government, and private sector stakeholders to address, research, and execute significant
public policies and programs. The mission of the PPC is to enhance the quality of community
life throughout Hawai‘i, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region by educating
professionals for careers in public life, conducting non partisan policy research, and promoting
civic engagement on issues of local, national, and international significance. The PPC has
obtained contracts and grants in its signature areas of energy (the Hawaii Energy Policy
Forum); sustainability (the development of the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan and the
Sustainable Saunders initiatives); and long term care (Hawaii’s Long Term Care Commission).
1 The Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace has been consolidated with the Program on Conflict Resolution
and therefore will request of the Chancellor, pursuant to Administrative Procedures A3.101, that included in
this reorganization is the proposed name “Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
The Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (MIPCR), joined the PPC in 2006.
MIPCR envisions a university, community and world where the prevention, management, and
resolution of conflict are a shared enterprise. It is a multi-disciplinary academic community of
scholars, students, practitioners, and visitors who seek to promote peace and conflict resolution
through teaching, research, and application. The Matsunaga Institute for Peace was originally
approved by the Board of Regents in 1985 and continues to offer a range of courses with faculty
from across the campus and has extensive offerings through Outreach College. It has two
undergraduate programs: the Certificate in Peace Studies (equivalent to a minor) and the B.A. in
Peace and Conflict Resolution (offered in cooperation with Interdisciplinary Studies). The Program
on Conflict Resolution was also inaugurated in 1985 and began offering a Graduate Certificate in
Conflict Resolution in 2003. In 2000, PCR initiated the University of Hawai‘i Alternative Dispute
Resolution Program (UHADR) to provide dispute resolution prevention and management
(mediation, training, facilitation) to the university to promote more civil and deliberative university
relations and planning while providing opportunities for students to practice their skills. The PPC,
including the MIPCR, is allocated 5.5 FTE permanent positions and 1.0 FTE temporary position.
B. Goals and Objectives of the Proposed Unit:
Goals: The primary goals of the Department are to:
prepare students to become public service leaders who effectively serve their
communities in Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region as managers, policy analysts, conflict
resolvers, practitioners and scholars in government and nonprofit organizations;
conduct non partisan policy research; and promote civic engagement on issues of local,
national, and international significance; and
support a multi-disciplinary academic community of scholars, students, and practitioners,
to promote peace and conflict resolution through teaching, research, and application.
There is a demand for applying the rich knowledge found in our diverse disciplinary
perspectives to solve complex and challenging public issues. Universities across the nation have
responded by establishing schools of public affairs to meet that demand. Hawai‘i, with its large
government and non-profit sectors, diverse cultural affiliations, and advantageous physical
location at the crossroads between the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. mainland, clearly should
become a leader by establishing a department of public affairs.
Objectives: The Department seeks to achieve three major objectives:
provide innovative, high quality interdisciplinary and multicultural educational
experiences that encourage critical thinking among undergraduate and graduate
prepare students to become engaged and effective public service leaders who are
professionally trained with the skills needed in policy-related careers and conflict
build a strong and diverse faculty and strengthen their research productivity; and
work in partnership with government and non-profit leaders and organizations to
strengthen public institutions and improve public discourse, professional practice,
collaborative governance, conflict resolution and policy analyses to meet the
challenges and issues facing the state, nation, and region.
(1) Providing high quality educational experiences for careers in public service. The
Department will offer a cohesive and flexible curriculum to prepare students for a variety public
service and policy-making career opportunities. The carefully structured learning environment will
balance shared experiences with individual concentrations. It will be designed to enable students
to easily navigate through the Department’s offerings in policy analysis, public administration,
peace and conflict resolution; and to tailor programs of study to meet their individual interests and
needs. Its innovative interdisciplinary curriculum will enable each student, regardless of his or
her degree path, to think both deeply and broadly about complex public issues, to acquire broader
perspectives and critical thinking, and to test and hone each through carefully tailored practical and
community-based experiences. The Department will work with its diverse constituents to ensure
that its graduates have the breadth of knowledge, analytic tools, interpersonal and cultural skills,
and practical experiences to serve the interests and needs of local communities, the state, and the
(2) Building a strong and diverse faculty. Instructors, both faculty and practitioners, will
bring together diverse backgrounds and perspectives to create a rich learning and research
environment for students and colleagues. The Department’s curricular and professional structure,
by promoting collaboration and the exchange of ideas and perspectives, will attract faculty from
within and outside the UHM community while enhancing the success of its own faculty members.
Faculty and other researchers in the Department will engage in collaborative scholarship aimed at
improving the quality of life in communities, furthering a deeper understanding of public policies,
public organizations, conflicts and the challenges of effective public service.
(3) Meeting the needs of the community. The Department’s research, application, and
partnerships with government and non-profit leaders and organizations are a critically needed
resource to the broader community as it confronts the myriad of challenging issues facing the state,
nation, and region; improves public organizations and public policy; increases the capacity of
leaders; and enhances community dialogue. The Department will be known for its excellence in
conducting nonpartisan research with a particular focus on Hawai‘i and the Asia Pacific; and will
also disseminate its research and findings and share its expertise with the broader community.
II. RATIONALE FOR THE REORGANIZATION
In 2008-09, the College of Social Sciences actively engaged in the UH Manoa prioritization
process aimed at making strategic adjustments in a period of diminishing public resources. The
Public Administration Program and the Public Policy Center (including MIPCR), were asked to
explore this opportunity to join their strengths to build a strong public affairs resource for the
university. The result is the proposed reorganization to establish a Department of Public Affairs.
B. Conditions/Factors Promoting the Proposed Reorganization.
Schools and departments of Public Affairs have been established in increasing numbers
across the United States. Of the 28 peer or benchmark institutions identified by UH Mānoa, 15
feature a multi-program school of public affairs. Given the demand both nationally and locally and
the University’s resources – units with mutual missions and commitments and strong education,
research, and community programs in public service—the University must seize the opportunity to
move forward by establishing the Department of Public Affairs. The opportunity to share resources
and expertise, to provide a rich interdisciplinary learning experience that combines knowledge and
application, and to forge stronger partnerships among faculty and faculty affiliates were factors that
led to the decision to consolidate the units.
C. Exploring Other Alternatives.
We reviewed all of the schools and programs across the United States that either offer a
degree in public affairs or call themselves a school or department of public affairs. While the
structure and offerings of the programs vary considerably, all have interdisciplinary faculty that
collaborate across disciplines to achieve their goals. Based on the current faculty and the missions
of our two separate units, the organization proposed is the most able to achieve our mutual goals
and objectives, and is the most consistent with our cultural setting and regional interests.
D. How the Changes Proposed Will Affect Current Relationships and Workflow.
The proposed reorganization will merge two academic units, which include 14.0 FTE
permanent positions and 1.0 FTE limited term specialist position. Specifically, the permanent
positions include 10.0 FTE Instructional Faculty; 2.0 FTE Educational Specialists; and 1.0 FTE
Administrative & Fiscal Support Specialist, and two 0.5 FTE Graduate Assistants. The 0.5 FTE chair
will be appointed from the existing faculty positionsl
One enhancement we expect for the future will be the closer collaboration and involvement
of faculty within the units to improve the course offerings and strengthen research. There have
already been joint publications among the faculty in the different units and we anticipate an
increase in our scholarly productivity in the future. As our collaboration unfolds, we will be
developing more robust multidisciplinarity of courses and additional undergraduate courses to
better prepare students
Second, we anticipate increased coordination among our faculty in their community work
and scholarly application. As faculty engage the community for practicum and internship
placements for students, they will also become engaged in service projects and applied research
efforts. As a combined department, the faculty will learn about new opportunities to serve the
community. We will bring a multidisciplinary approach to addressing community needs.
Third, we envision (based on availability of funds) developing a central one stop service for
students. Both undergraduate and graduate students will be able to easily obtain information about
any of the current educational programs. Simplifying and enhancing the student experience will
provide more opportunities to learn about the wide array of practicums and research opportunities
within all of the program areas. These changes will require administrative and support staff to
share responsibilities and reconfigure office locations to best meet the needs of students, staff and
faculty. As the Department’s programs mature, faculty will meet on curricula, research, practicum
development, capstone research and community programs and agree upon possibly new
assignments and responsibilities.
The major organizational change will be a single chair rather than the three current
individual unit directors. Proposed is a single chair (11 month position) to coordinate and facilitate
the programs and three program directors (9 month positions with a one month overload or a
course reduction) responsible for the three current programs (PUBA, PPC, and MIP). Accordingly,
administrative support personnel responsibilities will be realigned to support the increased
collaboration across the units by providing one full time administrative support position to assist
E. Groups Impacted.
The faculty and staff of the units that will be affected have been meeting since April 2010.
They have provided input and have reviewed all drafts, including approval of the final proposal.
F. Benefits of the Reorganization.
The major beneficiaries of the reorganization are the undergraduate and graduate students,
the faculty, and the community in Hawai`i, the mainland and the Asia-Pacific Region. A major
enhancement to the current experience is the collaborative and integrated teaching, research,
advising, practicum and capstone experiences. More coordinated information sharing about
individual programs will also enable students to consider the breadth of possible courses and
experiences to customize their degree and/or certificate program. Faculty and administrative
support staff will be able to share resources and expertise to streamline and work together to
expedite processing and approval of administrative and other decisions. The collaboration of
faculty and community partners from the units will enable more extensive, innovative, and
productive scholarship, community programs and extramural projects.
III. IMPACT ON RESOURCES AND THE UNIVERSITY
The proposed reorganization will require no additional university resources as described
A. Impact on budget resources
(1) Estimated cost of the reorganization. The only future cost would be the renovation or
relocation of the offices to accommodate the one stop student services office and conference room
for student/faculty meetings, which will be discussed with the VCAFO. The resources within the
current units, including their current allocations, outreach funds, and overhead earned through
grants and contracts, will cover non-capital costs.
(2) Funding the reorganization. There are no other anticipated costs.
(3) The reorganization will be cost neutral. While the reorganization is currently
anticipated to be cost neutral, as the Department develops and grows, additional projects,
programs and students will result in additional workload, which may require additional
B. Impact on Operations Resources
(1) Overall impact on faculty and staffing responsibilities. No major changes are anticipated
in faculty workload as there will be no immediate change to the existing undergraduate and
graduate programs. However, the faculty have agreed that curriculum revisions are likely to occur
as the faculty work together to adapt their courses to integrate our collective educational content;
examine areas where shared content might be offered, either through guest lectures, modules, or
other innovative offerings.
Similarly, there are no major changes in the administrative and academic support
functions. However, changes will result in efforts to integrate and streamline operations to better
serve students, faculty, and community. The APT staff have agreed to work more closely together
to coordinate academic and administrative responsibilities and share resources and expertise. An
example of possible streamlining and improving services is the sharing of responsibility to serve as
the public reception to respond effectively to diverse types of inquiries, providing basic
information on all the degree and certificate offerings and guiding individuals to appropriate
faculty advisors for programmatic advice. Support for the Department’s policy analyses, contracts
and grants, community and outreach programs as well as academic support for student practicum
offerings and internships/clinical experiences, will also be coordinated to ensure smooth
operations across the programs.
(2) Additional faculty/support personnel. At this time, no new personnel will be
(3) Reduction in faculty/staff. There will be no reduction.
(4) Positions impacted. Changes anticipated impact current unit directors, and (2) the
Administrative and Fiscal Support Specialist (#77465) who will report to the department
chair. All faculty and staff have agreed to work together to minimize any negative
(5) Changes to supervisory/subordinate relationships. The major changes in relationships
are: (1) the Department will be headed by a chair, and thus the current directors of
individual units will report to the chair of the Department as Program Directors. The
chair will be elected by the faculty and that recommendation will be sent to the Dean who
will appoint the chair. Discussions among the faculty and staff have led to an
understanding that the chair will operate in a collaborative relationship with the
program directors and emphasize a facilitative role to advance the interests of the
constituent programs and the Department as a whole. Program Directors will be
responsible for their individual programs. (2) the Administrative and Fiscal Support
Specialist (#77465), who currently reports to the Public Policy Center Director, will
report to the Department Chair.
C. Impact on Space Resources. The three programs currently have office space on five
different floors in Saunders Hall. To increase efficiency and to better serve students,
faculty and the community, the goal is to consolidate all offices to facilitate the
development of an integrated and coordinated department. However, in the interim, the
major focus is on our students so we will bring together in one office the student support
services staff and the individual program directors and relocate instructional faculty to
be in closer proximity to student services and to each other. Upon approval to proceed,
we will begin discussion and design work with the VCAFO.