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UH regents approve promotion denied by administration’s bias

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The University of Hawaii Board of Regents last week granted a university librarian a promotion after an arbitrator found administrators discriminated against her for her involvement with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, her labor union.

Vickery Lebbin, a librarian at Hamilton Library, claimed that interim UH Librarian Paula Mochida voted against her promotion in 2008 and wrote a letter that included "criticism of my activities on behalf of the union," according to arbitration documents.

Arbitrator Victoria Marks, a retired Circuit Court judge, determined UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw relied on "improper" letters from Mochida and others in stopping Lebbin’s application from reaching the Board of Regents.

"As a result, the negative comments about Lebbin are grounded in anti-union sentiment. Thus, union activity was a motivating factor in denying Lebbin’s promotion," Marks wrote.

Marks said Lebbin was the only person out of 114 applicants at UH-Manoa who did not receive a promotion in 2008.

The document said a Tenure and Promotion Review Committee voted 8-0 in favor of Lebbin’s promotion, but that Hinshaw denied it. In another case, the document said, the committee voted 2-1 for an applicant with five members abstaining, but that Hinshaw approved the promotion.

Marks ordered the recommendation letters by Mochida and Hinshaw be removed from Lebbin’s dossier, and that the dossier be forwarded to regents for consideration.

A spokesman for the UHPA said the regents granted Lebbin her promotion last week.

 

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