For my family and friends ™ (haolegirl) wrote,
For my family and friends ™

Kudos to Ikaika Hussey

Every time I read something about Ikaika Hussey... I am impressed because the guy is very very smart. It blows me away! In any case this is what he recently wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser in response to University of Hawaii Interim President David McClain's decision that the university move forward on a proposed University Affiliated Research Center:

This is Ikaika Hussey's mana o:

Decision was made against will of many at university

By Ikaika Hussey

Interim President David McClain displayed great disrespect last week by deciding to move forward with the UARC secret military research center against the will of many in the University of Hawai'i community.

In the last 450 days, the university community has built a strong majority against the University Affiliated Research Center. The Faculty Senate of the flagship Manoa campus voted last fall against the UARC, followed recently by the faculty of Hawai'i Community College and UH-Hilo Arts and Sciences.

Student governments statewide have also taken a formal position against UARC. The magnitude of opposition, in contrast with the small number of individuals who would participate (McClain himself estimates no more than 36 individuals), has forced the administration to make concessions on the plan, particularly on the issue of classified research.

On several occasions, university officials and researchers have attempted to implement sole-source contracts through questionable means, resulting in an ongoing federal investigation.

Attempts also were made since fall 2004 to have the UARC approved without public input. If not for the grass roots, the UARC would have moved forward in stealth, without attention to the serious problems of the proposed center.

McClain's revised proposal is largely unchanged from the plan that the university and the Navy have been collaborating on for the last three years. UARC military research would still be conducted throughout the state, including at Manoa.

Classified research will be disallowed but has always accounted for only a small percentage of UARC work. Most of the research will still be classified as "sensitive," which would prevent academic or community oversight.

Carving out classified research from the UARC proposal, moreover, will not prevent potentially dangerous research.

When Agent Orange was created at UH 38 years ago, it wasn't part of a classified contract — it was an agricultural project which raised rancor because of its effects on Kaua'i, even before it was identified as a military issue. Our experience with military secrecy should give us all pause. And though individual projects may not be harmful, those charged with the fiduciary responsibility of the university should err on the side of safety for UH and Hawai'i.

At the university system level, there are no checks and balances or accountability for the risks associated with military research.

The UARC would be established in a superior position to all academic programs and consultative bodies — even above UH-Manoa — in a stratum of state bureaucracy vulnerable to the vicissitudes of power politics.

The university system's kuleana is academic governance, not military research. Ironically, just before announcing his decision, McClain spoke about the need to devolve system responsibilities to the campuses. He quickly contradicted himself. It's an ironic twist on the university's motto — "Above all campuses is the UARC."

It is also unfortunate that McClain's recommendation will unduly politicize the selection of a permanent president.

There is a way forward which enriches the university and our community in a more pono manner. The sciences should be supported through an expansion of state funding so as to mitigate the need for extramural military and corporate dependency.

The UH endowment should be a top priority, not short-term fixes like the UARC. And academic freedom, like all freedoms, must be coupled with responsibility to our community.

The logical path for the Board of Regents is prevention and precaution. We have a long history of dangerous, secretive military testing and research in Hawai'i: sarin nerve-gas testing in Puna, biological warfare testing on O'ahu, chemical weapons in Wai'anae, depleted uranium in Wahiawa, Agent Orange on Kaua'i.

Will the members of the Board of Regents accept the responsibility for exposing our community to the risk of more danger? The only prudent — and courageous — course of action is to reject UARC with finality.

Seen at

And a pic of him for those who are visual:

From the Honolulu Starbulletin April 29, 2005 edition:

"Ikaika Hussey, front left, joined UH students, faculty and others at a sit-in yesterday outside the Bachman Hall office of UH Interim President David McClain. The group of about 30 said they would remain until McClain rules out a proposed Navy-affiliated research center at the university."

Seen at

Tags: ikaika hussey, uarc, university affiliated research center, university of hawaii

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