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A new six-year strategic plan for the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system was unanimously approved by the UH Board of Regents at the board’s November 17 meeting at the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.

UH System Strategic Plan 2023–2029 – Hawaiʻi’s University for Today and Tomorrow

The UH System Strategic Plan 2023–2029 – Hawaiʻi’s University for Today and Tomorrow will guide the state’s only public higher education system and includes vision and mission statements, foundational principles and four imperatives with metrics to measure success.

“This is a roadmap to getting our institution where it should be,” said UH Regent Alapaki Nahale-a before the vote. “Is it aspirational, and at the same time, does it outline the right issues that will take us to our aspirations? I think that we have accomplished that. I feel confident that if we follow this roadmap we will be a better institution progressively, year after year.”

After the regents approved the plan with minor edits, UH President David Lassner thanked the steering committee for an amazing job and specifically singled out UH Institutional Research, Analysis and Planning Office Director Pearl Iboshi and VP for Academic Strategy Debora Halbert and for their work in leading the initiative.

The plan is based on feedback from numerous sources: a survey of students, faculty and staff and town hall meetings; statewide survey of community members; consultation with numerous UH governance groups; feedback submitted during a public comment period and the UH Third Decade Report (PDF), UH Strategic Directions 2015–2021 and UH post-pandemic plans. It was developed by a steering committee appointed in March 2020, and more than a thousand students, faculty, staff and community members provided input.

Vision statement

“The University of Hawaiʻi is the world’s premier integrated higher education system, advancing the quality of life for all the people of Hawaiʻi through robust educational offerings and world-class discovery while modeling how institutions must embrace responsibilities to Indigenous people and place in the 21st century.”

Mission Statement

“With a focus on creating a healthy and thriving future for all, the University of Hawaiʻi provides broad educational opportunity for all as the higher education destination of choice in the Pacific that nurtures the personal success, leadership capacity and positive engagement of every resident of Hawaiʻi. It engages in world-class research, scholarship and service that promotes the welfare and sustainability of Hawaiʻi’s people and environment while achieving global impact by enriching the fundamental knowledge of humankind. Woven through all it does is an appreciation of and commitment to Indigenous Hawaiian people, culture, values and wisdom.”

Foundational principles

Hawaiian Place of Learning
UH champions the principles of aloha, caring for people and place, as we integrate Hawaiian language, culture, history and values across the institution and its work.

Statewide Need
The UH System’s primary responsibility as the only public provider of post-secondary education is to support the needs of the state of Hawaiʻi.

Diversity and Equity
UH System upholds its commitment to provide higher education opportunities for all, especially those historically underrepresented including Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Filipino, economically disadvantaged, first generation, LGBTQ+, rural and students with disabilities—as well as continue to diversify its faculty, staff and leadership.

UH recognizes its responsibility to the ʻāina through its own practices, through education, and by developing solutions to the complex global challenges of climate change, sustainability and resilience.

Stewardship of Resources
Including facilities, processes and human resources—UH will align institutional resources with the goals of the strategic plan.


  • Fulfill kuleana (responsibility) to Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi
  • Promote successful students for a better future
  • Meet Hawaiʻi workforce needs of today and tomorrow
  • Diversify Hawaiʻi’s economy through UH innovation and research

Imperative: Fulfill kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi

Model what it means to be an Indigenous-serving and Indigenous-centered institution: Native Hawaiians thrive, traditional Hawaiian values and knowledge are embraced, and UH scholarship and service advance all Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi.


  • Ensure that UH supports the success of Native Hawaiians in learning, teaching, service and research across our campuses and nurtures Native Hawaiians as leaders.
  • Create opportunities for all UH students, faculty, staff, executives and regents to inform their work by learning about Hawaiian language, culture, knowledge, and the past and present impacts of colonization.
  • Play an active role in the reconciliation of injustices, advancing language parity, and improving the lives of Native Hawaiians across the islands.


  • Support the Hawaiʻi Papa o Ke Ao Leadership Council in creating a detailed plan as an update to the 2012 Hawaiʻi Papa o Ke Ao Report in consultation and collaboration with the Pūkoʻa Council and others throughout the university. The detailed plan to achieve this imperative and these objectives will be presented to the Board of Regents within one year of the adoption of this plan.

Imperative: Promote successful students for a better future

Educate more students, empowering them to achieve their goals and contribute to society.


  • Increase participation in post-secondary education statewide.
  • Provide necessary support for student success, including addressing barriers to access, basic needs (such as food and housing insecurity) and holistic health and wellness.
  • Fully deploy multiple modalities of instruction that recognize changing times and widely differing student preferences, needs and goals.
  • Provide innovative learning experiences that prepare students to achieve their personal and professional goals, while fulfilling their kuleana to people and place.
  • Improve campus infrastructure to promote a vibrant, inclusive and safe environment on campuses across the UH System.


  • Number of degrees and certificates awarded, including industry-recognized credentials, disaggregated for underrepresented groups.
  • Increase the number of returning adults and those enrolling in distance/on-line programs.
  • Social/economic mobility index or survey results of alumni perception of success after graduation.

Imperative: Meet Hawaiʻi workforce needs of today and tomorrow

Eliminate workforce shortages in Hawaiʻi while preparing students for a future different than the present.


  • Prepare professionals to fulfill statewide needs in occupations that are essential to community well-being including education, health, technology, skilled trades and sustainability/resilience.
  • Enhance non-traditional offerings, including micro-credentials serving needs of specific groups of students, and industry-certified credit and non-credit credentials, for those seeking upskilling or career change opportunities.
  • Partner with employers to ensure the necessary preparation and support for students to succeed in their careers.
  • Prepare graduates for life-long learning, innovation and entrepreneurship.


  • Size of workforce shortages in key sectors/occupations (e.g., teacher shortage).
  • Number of students with work-based learning, entrepreneurial and research.
  • experiences, and internships with a preference for paid internships.

Imperative: Diversify Hawaiʻi’s economy through UH innovation and research

Build and sustain a thriving UH research and innovation enterprise that addresses local and global challenges by linking fundamental scientific discovery with applied research necessary for technological innovation to create jobs and advance a knowledge-based economy.


  • Build out and sustain research and innovation hubs in key areas: climate resilience, energy and sustainable ecosystems; ocean, Earth and atmospheric sciences; astronomy and space sciences; data sciences and global cybersecurity; health and wellness; food security and agriculture; the Asia-Pacific and Hawaiʻi.
  • Leverage intellectual diversity and Indigenous innovation.
  • Generate intellectual property and spin off startup companies that create high-quality jobs.
  • Advance meaningful engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.


  • Amount of extramural and philanthropic funding, including in identified hubs.
  • Number of active licenses and options.
  • Number of UH spinoff companies and jobs created.
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