Strategic Plan 2023-2029
Hawai‘i’s University for Today and Tomorrow
The University of Hawai‘i (UH) offers opportunity and hope for every resident of Hawai‘i. As the sole provider of higher public education in the state, the UH can drive a more vibrant, sustainable, resilient, just and kind future across our islands. And our scholarship must address the opportunities and challenges of Hawai‘i, the Pacific and our planet.
We want the university to be grounded in traditional Hawaiian values, in aloha, to create a strong sense of place, while also serving as a forward-looking economic engine driving hubs of innovation and research.
As the UH begins its 116th year of service, we must remain vigilant, anticipate what is coming and act with agility and compassion to maintain a vital role in shaping the future of our island home. It must be Hawai‘i’s university for today and tomorrow.
The University of Hawai‘i is the world’s premier integrated higher education system, advancing the quality of life for all the people of Hawai‘i through robust educational offerings and world-class discovery while modeling how institutions must fulfill responsibilities to indigenous people and place in the 21st century.
With a focus on creating a healthy and thriving future for all, the University of Hawai‘i provides broad educational opportunity as the higher education destination of choice in the Pacific that nurtures the personal success, leadership capacity and positive engagement of every resident of Hawai‘i. It achieves global impact by enriching the fundamental knowledge of humankind through engagement in world-class research, scholarship and service that promotes the welfare and sustainability of Hawai‘i’s people and environment. Woven through all it does is an appreciation of and commitment to indigenous Hawaiian people, culture, values and wisdom.
Imperative Fulfill kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawai‘i
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 Hawai‘i.
Imperative Develop successful students for a better future
Educate more students, empowering them to achieve their goals and contribute to a civil society.
Imperative Meet Hawai‘i’s workforce needs of today and tomorrow
Eliminate workforce shortages in Hawai‘i while preparing students for a future different than the present.
Imperative Diversify Hawai‘i’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.
What We Heard and Learned
The strategic planning process yielded valuable insights about the direction of the University of Hawai‘i. Remarkably, UH faculty, staff, and students and others in the community share common aspirations for the UH. The Strategic Plan Steering Committee was able to distill the responses from the surveys, interviews and town hall meeting discussions into five foundational principles and four imperatives.
- Hawaiian Place of Learning
The 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’s primary responsibility as the only public university system is to support the needs of the state of Hawai‘i.
- Diversity and Equity
The UH 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 students and students with disabilities – as well as continue to diversify its faculty, staff and leadership.
The UH recognizes its responsibility to the ‘āina, to steward its natural resources, and to develop solutions to the complex challenges of sustainability, resilience, and climate change.
- Stewardship of Resources
The UH is committed to ensuring the university’s economic viability and will responsibly organize, align and allocate institutional resources effectively as a system, including the stewardship of its facilities, processes, and human resources.
The foundation of the work to develop the University of Hawaiʻi Strategic Plan, 2023-2029 is the Third Decade Report. The report provides an extensive scan of state, national, and international trends and emerging issues, as well as extensive interviews with campus and community members. Several of the proposed strategies come directly from this report.
Our previously completed UH Strategic Directions (2015-2021) are also embedded in this foundation. The University of Hawaiʻi Strategic Directions, 2015-2021 included five priority areas:
- Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative
- Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative
- 21st Century Facilities
- Mission Focused System
- High Performing System
Using the action strategies and metrics in these five areas, significant progress (summary of accomplishments) has been made in increasing graduation rates and degree production, increasing research funding, improving facilities, and increasing online capacity, among other areas.
These UH Strategic Directions have guided us at a high level, and our post-pandemic plans have helped us focus on what Hawaiʻi needs most from public higher education during these challenging times. They set forth shared directions and purpose toward high-priority outcomes for our institution and our state.
Developing Our Strategic Plan
Collaborative Process and Broad Engagement
This strategic plan sets out to define the University of Hawai‘i’s path forward for the next six years. A dedicated Strategic Plan Steering Committee was established by President Lassner with representatives recommended by the systemwide shared governance organizations, campus leaders and systemwide offices.
Recognizing that virtually everyone in Hawai‘i is a stakeholder of the UH system and has a vested interest in its success, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee believed it was important to create opportunities not only for the university faculty, staff, and students to share their thoughts and perspectives, but also for the broader community including residents, employers and government officials. The goal was to engage the community to collectively own the future of the UH. This plan, as presented, represents and incorporates hundreds of hours of listening and learning from individuals inside and outside the UH who care.
The Committee deployed a number of methods to capture and analyze feedback from various stakeholders.
- Surveys were sent to students, faculty, and staff to develop and identify key themes.
- The UH hosted a series of town hall meetings in Spring 2022 to elicit feedback on the themes and directions that the UH should prioritize. The Strategic Plan Steering Committee and the UH System Planning Committee met throughout Spring and Summer 2022 to further refine the themes, action items, and metrics.
- The UH commissioned SMS Research and Marketing Services, Inc. (SMS), an independent, third-party market research firm, to also conduct an online survey open to those who wanted to share their thoughts about the UH. The majority of the respondents were UH alumni.
- SMS also conducted key informant interviews with key elected officials, business and other community leaders to obtain their perspectives and to understand their hopes for the UH.
- Finally, to close the loop, a draft of the strategic plan was shared with the UH community as well as members of the broader community during a series of town hall meetings and breakout sessions in September and October 2022 to confirm the findings and direction of the strategic plan.
We present here the development schedule to guide the university system from 2023 through 2029. Your opinion matters. We hope that you will lend your voice, experience, and aloha to this important participatory process. It is an aggressive timeline, but it will help us all to have a new Strategic Plan in place as soon as feasible.
Appointment of UH-wide Steering Committee
Campus Chancellors/Provost were invited to submit names to be considered for appointment to the UH strategic plan steering committee. – COMPLETED –
UH Community Internal Survey
Faculty, staff and students will be invited to respond to an initial survey on the thematic recommendations and strategies that emerged from core planning documents including the “Reimagining” report, Post-Pandemic Hawaiʻi and UH, the Third Decade Report, and the 2017 Integrated Academic and Facilities Plan. – COMPLETED –
External Community Survey and Outreach
– SMS Research presentation on the external community survey and outreach Transcript (PDF)
– UH Strategic Plan 2023-2029 External Data Collection (PPT) .html
– SMS Research External Data Collection Final Report (PDF)
– SMS Research External Collection Final Report Appendix (PDF)
– COMPLETED –
Review of and Consultation on First Draft
Governance groups, all members of the UH community and external stakeholders will be invited to provide input and suggestions.
September 26, 1:30-3 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting
– COMPLETED –
Steering committee continues to refine the draft plan based on feedback with attention to assignment of responsibilities, timelines and resource requirements.
October 5, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
October 14, 8:30-10 a.m., 1-2:30 p.m. (for students)
Town Hall Meeting
– COMPLETED –
Proposed UH Strategic Plan 2023–2029 approved by the UH Board of Regents at its November 17 public meeting following public testimony.