Standard 1: Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives (2024)

STANDARD 1 Defining Institutional Mission and Acting with Integrity

The institution defines its mission and establishes educational and student success objectives aligned with that mission. The institution has a clear sense of its essential values, culture, and distinctive elements, and its contributions to society and the public good. It promotes the success of all students and makes explicit its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The institution functions with integrity and transparency.



Institutional Purposes

CFR 1.1 The institution’s mission and other statements of purpose are appropriate for an institution of higher education and clearly define its essential values, culture, and ways the institution contributes to society and the public good.

    • UH Hilo’s Mission Statementʻ 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 VisionE 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.

CFR 1.2 Consistent with its purposes and character, the institution defines and acts with intention to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its activities, including its goal setting, policies, practices, and use of resources, across academic, student support, and co-curricular programs and services.

    • System Statement of Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action E 1.202, III. Executive Policy: “It is the policy of the University of Hawai‘i to provide equity of opportunity in higher education, both in the educational mission and as an employer. The University is committed to complying with all state and federal statutes, rules, and regulations which prohibit discrimination. The Office of the President, University of Hawai‘i, affirms its commitment to the University’s equal education and employment opportunity policy. The University is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the bases of race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, disability, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy (including childbirth, pregnancy related medical conditions, and lactation/breastfeeding), arrest and court record (except as permissible under State law), sexual orientation, national guard participation, status as a protected veteran or other military status, status as a domestic or sexual violence victim, or any other protected category under federal or state laws, regulations, and/or executive orders. This policy covers admission and access to and participation, treatment, and employment in the University’s programs and activities. The University shall promote a full realization of equal opportunity through a positive, continuing program of nondiscrimination and affirmative action (41 CFR Chapter 60) on each campus.
    • The University of Hawai‘i is committed to maintaining a community that fosters understanding and mutual respect. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas, and enriches campus life. To protect the diversity of people and ideas, we must provide an environment in which the civil rights and dignity of every individual are fully respected. Discrimination and harassment undermine the trust and mutual respect which must prevail if the students and employees of the University of Hawai‘i are to reach their fullest potential. The University prohibits and does not tolerate discrimination or discriminatory harassment based on the protected categories as referenced in this policy. This policy also prohibits retaliation against any person for bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment or for assisting or testifying in an investigation or complaint resolution pursuant to this policy, as discussed in further detail in Section III.C.3 below. The University will take prompt and appropriate action to prevent, correct, and, if applicable, discipline behavior that violates this policy (up to and including dismissal from the University.”
    • 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 is home to Ka Haka ‘Ula o Ke‘elikōlani, the School of Hawaiian Language which is at the forefront of Hawaiian language and cultural revitalization. Our institution also hosts a number of academic programs devoted to the study of underrepresented ethnic and cultural groups in the islands: Filipino Studies and Pacific Islands Studies.
    • UH Hilo also support a range of student support programs that promote diversity and safe spaces for students, and they include: UH Hilo’s Disability Services, the Women’s Center, the LGBTQ+ Center, the Pacific Island Student Center, and Kīpuka: the Native Hawaiian Students Center.


Integrity and Transparency

CFR 1.3 The institution operates with integrity and transparency in its operations, and truthfully and clearly represents its academic goals, programs, requirements, services, and costs.

    • UH Hilo’s catalog provides information on all of the degrees it offers; credit requirements for those degrees including majors, minors, and academic certificates; GE and Integrative course requirements for UH Hilo graduates; the academic calendar; and tuition and fees.
    • UH Hilo also hosts a Student Right-to-Know website that includes important statistics, including six-year completion rates for different races and nationalities and percentages of Pell Grant and subsidized Strafford Loans.

CFR 1.4 The institution maintains appropriate operating policies and business procedures including timely and fair responses to complaints and grievances.

CFR 1.5 The institution treats faculty, staff, administrators, and students equitably by adhering to its published policies and procedures.

    • UH Hilo’s statement on non-discrimination and harassment states: “UH Hilo values and is committed to fostering a diverse academic environment. Discrimination, harassment, and intimidation based on one’s race, national origin, ethnicity, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic are strictly prohibited. Reports of any incident of discrimination, harassment or intimidation should follow University procedures.”
    • Policies and academic expectations and responsibilities for students are mainly articulated in the Student Handbook.
    • UH Hilo also posts publicly posts a Student Conduct Code.

CFR 1.6 The institution maintains, publishes, and adheres to policies on academic freedom.

    • “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).

CFR 1.7 The institution communicates about important issues with its constituents.

CFR 1.8 The institution is committed to honest and open communication with the Commission and to undertaking the accreditation review process with seriousness and candor. The institution abides by Commission policies and procedures and informs the Commission promptly of any matter that could affect the accreditation status of the institution.

UH Hilo maintains a comprehensive website devoted to open communication about accreditation, including reviews by secondary specialized accreditors. Our website hosts all documents pertinent to regular program review and both undergraduate- and graduate-level assessment which ensures our institution is monitoring student learning and making improvements to courses and curricula as needed.