Criteria for Review (CFR) under WSCUC
Note: Guidelines are in parentheses following definitions for each CFR, evidence for each CFR are listed as bullet points.
STANDARD 1: Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives
The institution defines its purposes and establishes educational objectives aligned with those purposes. The institution has a clear and explicit sense of its essential values and character, its distinctive elements, its place in both the higher education community and society, and its contribution to the public good. It functions with integrity, transparency, and autonomy.
1.1 The institution’s formally approved statements of purpose are appropriate for an institution of higher education and clearly define its essential values and character and ways in which it contributes to the public good.
(The institution has a published mission statement that clearly describes its purposes. The institution’s purposes fall within recognized academic areas and/or disciplines.)
- UH Hilo’s Mission Statement: ʻ Aʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi. One learns from many sources. The purpose of our university ʻohana (family) is to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery, and creativity inside and outside the classroom. Our kuleana (responsibility) is to improve the quality of life of the people of Hawaiʻi, the Pacific region, and the world.
- UH Hilo’s Vision: E lawe i ke aʻo a mālama, a e ʻoi mau ka naʻauao. Those who take their learnings and apply them increase their knowledge. We will be acclaimed as a university community that works together across disciplines and diverse perspectives to prepare student scholars to thrive, compete, innovate, and lead in their professional and personal lives. We will engage every student in applied learning that links theory with practice, connects to the distinctive natural and cultural environments of Hawaiʻi, and promotes skilled participation in a global society.
1.2 Educational objectives are widely recognized throughout the institution, are consistent with stated purposes, and are demonstrably achieved. The institution regularly generates, evaluates, and makes public data about student achievement, including measures of retention and graduation, and evidence of student learning. X 2.4, 2.6, 2.10, 4.2
- UH Hilo’s IRO maintains a Retention and Graduation reporting webpage that is regularly updated.
- Student Achievement URL (link as submitted during annual reporting process.)
- UH Hilo also publishes information on Distance Learning, including enrollments.
- The UH System maintains what is called the Hawaii Graduation Initiative (HGI) Completion Scorecard, which is also publicly posted and has data from 2017.
1.3 The institution publicly states its commitment to academic freedom for faculty, staff, and students, and acts accordingly. This commitment affirms that those in the academy are free to share their convictions and responsible conclusions with their colleagues and students in their teaching and writing. X 3.2, 3.10
(The institution has published or has readily available policies on academic freedom. For those institutions that strive to instill specific beliefs and world views, policies clearly state how these views are implemented and ensure that these conditions are consistent with generally recognized principles of academic freedom. Due-process procedures are disseminated, demonstrating that faculty and students are protected in their quest for truth.)
- “Academic freedom” is guaranteed as “Protection of Freedom of Expression” in the University of Hawaiʻi Student Academic Complaint Policy
- “Academic Freedom” is guaranteed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article IX, Academic Freedom: “Faculty Members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing subjects of expertise, in the conduct of research and in their field of special competence, and in the publication of the results of their research. The Employer [UH Hilo] recognizes that Faculty Members, in speaking and writing outside the University upon subjects beyond the scope of their own field of study, are entitled to precisely the same freedom and are subject to the same responsibility as attaches to all other individuals. When thus speaking as an individual, they should be free from censorship or discipline” (p. 17).
1.4 Consistent with its purposes and character, the institution demonstrates an appropriate response to the increasing diversity in society through its policies, its educational and co-curricular programs, its hiring and admissions criteria, and its administrative and organizational practices. X 2.2a, 3.1
(The institution has demonstrated institutional commitment to the principles enunciated in the WSCUC Equity and Inclusion Policy.)
- UH System Executive Policy EP 1.202: “The Office of the President, University of Hawai‘i, hereby declares and reaffirms its commitment to the University’s equal education and employment opportunity policy. The University is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, handicap, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, and veteran status. This policy covers admission and access to and participation, treatment, and employment in the University’s programs and activities. It covers employment practices such as recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, retention, compensation, benefits, transfers, and layoffs. The University shall promote a full realization of equal opportunity through a positive, continuing program of equal opportunity and affirmative action on each campus. It is the policy of the University of Hawai‘i to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, regulations, city and county ordinances, and provisions in the collective bargaining agreements which prohibit discrimination in University programs, activities, and employment practices. These equal opportunity laws include but are not necessarily limited to the following: Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1964, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Act of 1974, Chapter 378 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, and Executive Order 11246, and applicable provisions of collective bargaining agreements.”
- UH Hilo EEOC webpage
- UH Hilo Diversity Committee (which sustains initiatives on campus that promote a wide array of thoughtful, inclusive opportunities to explore differing cultures, beliefs, and political perspectives).
- UH Hilo’s Disability Services
1.5 Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, or religious organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose and operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy. X 3.6 – 3.10
(The institution does not experience interference in substantive decisions or educational functions by governmental, religious, corporate, or other external bodies that have a relationship to the institution.)
- BOR Policy 1.202, Relationship of the Board to Administration and University: Section III.A.1.c: “The functions of the board are concerned with the government of the university; and its duties, in nature, are legislative and at times quasi-judicial. The execution of the policies authorized and established by the board is entrusted to the president, vice presidents, chancellors, and other officers of administration of the university. The regents must not concern themselves directly with the administration of the university, or individually or take part collectively, in administration, provided that it is the responsibility of the board to satisfy itself, through proper channels, that the principles, laws and policies established by the board are, in fact, being administered and that the administration is adequate.”
1.6 The institution truthfully represents its academic goals, programs, services, and costs to students and to the larger public. The institution demonstrates that its academic programs can be completed in a timely fashion. The institution treats students fairly and equitably through established policies and procedures addressing student conduct, grievances, human subjects in research, disability, and financial matters, including refunds and financial aid. X 2.12
(The institution has published or has readily available policies on student grievances and complaints, refunds, etc. The institution does not have a history of adverse findings against it with respect to a violation of these policies. Records of student complaints are maintained for a six-year period. The institution clearly defines and distinguishes between the different types of credits it offers and between degree and non-degree credit, and accurately identifies the type and meaning of the credit awarded in its transcripts.)
- Student Handbook
- Procedures for student complaints are detailed in the Student Conduct Code
- University of Hawaiʻi System Office of Research Compliance maintains oversight over compliance with federal regulations governing human research.
1.7 The institution exhibits integrity and transparency in its operations, as demonstrated by the adoption and implementation of appropriate policies and procedures, sound business practices, timely and fair responses to complaints and grievances, and regular evaluation of its performance in these areas. The institution’s finances are regularly audited by qualified independent auditors. X 3.4, 3.6. 3.7
1.8 The institution is committed to honest and open communication with the Accrediting Commission; to undertaking the accreditation review process with seriousness and candor; to informing the Commission promptly of any matter that could materially affect the accreditation status of the institution; and to abide by Commission policies and procedures, including all substantive change policies.
- All communications with WSCUC are posted and are accessible to the public via our accreditation website, Communications with our Accrediting Commission.
- Letter from Chancellor Certifying Accreditation Report for 2021 (March 2, 2021)