The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo was recently reaffirmed for six years of accreditation by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC).
A review team visited the UH Hilo campus for an Accreditation Visit April 5–8, 2022 and recommended to grant the university accreditation through 2028, with a special visit in spring 2024, an offsite review due in fall 2027, and an accreditation visit in spring 2028.
“I appreciate the time and care that the visiting team took with this review, and I am happy they recognized some core strengths of our campus, which we seek to build on in the strategic plan,” Chancellor Bonnie Irwin said.
The Commission noted several areas for special recognition, among them:
- UH Hilo’s strong sense of place
- Commitment as a community to renormalize and promote the study of indigenous languages and cultures through the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language
- Building and maintaining strong programmatic connections to the community
- Emphasis on high-impact practices, including service learning
The Commission also included in its report eight recommendations that were made by the review team related to shared governance, assessment of student learning, program review, use of data-informed decision making, enrollment management, and financial planning. A Formal Notice of Concern was issued to underscore the urgency by which the eight areas need to be addressed by 2028. The review team’s special visit in 2024 will check on three areas that need progress: (1) the integration of all strategic plans, (2) improvement of assessment and program review, and (3) building institutional research capacity to develop a data-informed culture of decision-making.
“Some of the areas of improvement that WSCUC has requested are familiar to the UH Hilo campus because they have been noted in past reviews,” Irwin said. “This review is a wake-up call for us all—faculty, staff, and administration—to engage together in the work of making our campus the excellent institution that our island and our state deserve.”