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University of Hawaii-Hilo pharmacy college faculty votes no confidence in dean

HILO >> A Hawaii pharmacy college’s faculty senate has passed a vote of “no confidence” in its dean, officials said.

Faculty senate members in the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy took the vote over the leadership of Dean Carolyn Ma, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday.

Ma joined the faculty in 2007, became chair for pharmacy practice in 2009 and has served as the dean since 2016.

The college, with 55 faculty and staff, is part of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Only tenured faculty took part in the vote, which does not have legal standing but sends a message to the administration that faculty members do not approve of the direction in which the school is going, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ken Hon said.

Tenured members make up less than half of the full faculty, and Ma was told not all tenured faculty were asked to participate, she said.

Hon is working with Ma and the faculty to “come up with a way we can restructure the academic curriculum to make it more relevant to the health care needs of the state right now and into the next 10 years or so,” he said.

The number of qualified applicants dwindled to 200 three years ago and has continued to drop. This year’s class is under 50 students, Hon said.

“So, some of the things we were doing have to go away,” Hon said. “There is some natural disagreement in how to guide the pharmacy school into this new direction.”

The vote is an “opportunity for me to listen more, to make sure that we try to come together as a faculty,” Ma said.

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