Papahana Hoʻolālā Hikiāloa - Strategic Plan: 2021-2031

Goal 1: Strengthen Commitment to Haumāna: Equity and Student Success

A group of students outside of class

Goal Vision

UH Hilo has advanced equity across the institution, allowing all of our students the opportunity to succeed and all of our employees to thrive. The entire campus community feels a sense of purpose, safety, positivity, belonging, and prosperity.

Equity: Our Definition

We define equity as the recognition of historic, persistent, and institutionalized factors that have created an unequal postsecondary education system. Such recognition must be supported by the guarantee of resources, fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement through the identification and elimination of systemic and institutionalized barriers that have prevented the full participation and achievement of historically underserved and underrepresented populations.

Student Success: Our Definition

Successful UH Hilo students earn their intended degrees from our campus or elsewhere within 150% of normal time and find employment or continue their studies within one year of graduation. To achieve this, UH Hilo provides rigorous, well-designed academic programs and co-curricular activities that rely heavily on our strong campus diversity, local community needs, and unparalleled natural environment to help develop productive citizens that make our world a better place.

UH Hilo enjoys the distinction of being named the most ethnically diverse campus among national universities, according to analysis by U.S. News & World Report. Historically, the university is known for a strong feeling of community that exists among its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. But, diversity and a sense of community does not ensure equity. We must work toward becoming a campus whose diversity is more than a ranking or a set of numbers.

Diversity in thought, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, life experiences, cultural heritage, attitudes, talents, and opinions in our classrooms, offices, and programs provides a richer environment for all members of the campus community, resulting in stronger programs and more informed decision-making. Representation among faculty and staff that aligns with the diversity of our student body is crucial to student success.

There is much work to do to ensure that UH Hilo’s students and employees benefit from the wealth of diversity that we enjoy, and in turn, give back to the UH and island communities. To grow, we must be intentional about our next steps and identify and leverage the strengths we all bring to the campus and community. We will do this by building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all members of the campus community. We will do this by exploring the unique needs of our students so that we best serve them. We will do this by ensuring and supporting access to higher education through local schools and community colleges. We will do this by identifying and removing barriers that block our way.

The student experience starts before students begin their work at UH Hilo and continues after they graduate - we recruit, inspire, prepare, engage, and celebrate. It is UH Hilo’s kuleana to cultivate the next generation of leaders in our communities close to home and around the globe. Working toward an equitable and inclusive culture is fundamental to meeting this responsibility. Achieving this goal will help fulfill our mission and maximize our positive societal impact, while fulfilling our commitment to our students and community.

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo: 2021 - 2031