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Strategic Planning at Hawai'i Pacific University

by Nancy L. Hedlund, Ph.D., Assoc. Vice President of Planning and Assessment

Hawai‘i Pacific University’s first formal strategic planning process was launched by President Chatt G. Wright in fall, 2000. Naming this process “HPU 2010 Planning,” he created the Educational Effectiveness Planning Committee and charged it to provide for “the assessment of the University’s effectiveness as a learning institution, including ways of acting upon the conclusions of assessment and reporting of actions taken by various divisions of the University as a result of assessment.” The president additionally asked that the committee develop a process that would include a wide range of University stakeholders. A parallel planning process to be conducted by the Board of Trustees was also named: the Trustees’ Long-Range Planning Committee.



The Educational Effectiveness Planning Committee membership included 28 faculty, staff, and administrators representing the range of academic and support areas that are central to the University’s academic mission. The committee chose an academic participatory planning model to guide the process. This “inductive” model provided for development of the plan from a broad base of grass-roots participation. The majority of work to date has focused on the planning phase. Late this fall, the implementation phase will begin when the committee presents its report to the president. The report will propose plans for achieving each of 10 strategic priorities that were defined from a longer list of 25 goals established earlier in the planning process.

How has HPU’s participatory planning been conducted? The following highlights of each of the past three years show the participatory activities used in this planning process:

2000-01- The committee defined the participatory methods and conducted analyses of HPU’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Focus groups were conducted to collect data from staff, faculty, and students. Detailed reports from the focus groups were analyzed in a committee retreat and used to draft elements of the new HPU mission statement and five goal areas for the University’s future. External environmental factors were also analyzed to provide a foundation for planning. In the summer of 2001, a campus-wide workshop was conducted with faculty and staff to review HPU’s mission and generate ideas for specific goals under the five goal areas. The five goal areas defined as the basic structure for planning are: Student Learning, University Community, Global Citizenship, Institutional Effectiveness, and Academic Infrastructure.

2001-02 - Based on the campus-wide workshop results, the Committee defined 25 specific goals that were organized within the five major goal areas.

Drafts of the new HPU mission were also generated from the workshop results. The committee completed the reaccreditation proposal for WASC (Western Association for Schools and Colleges), in anticipation of the campus visits in 2004 and 2005. In the spring, staff and faculty completed first-year plans for the five goal areas. And the Committee started work on budget analyses and identification of comparison schools.

2002-03 - The committee completed the new HPU mission statement and defined nine Strategic Priorities from the 25 goals, to guide planning. Deans and managers integrated plans from the Colleges, schools, and departments, to align the plans with the Strategic Priorities. Faculty and staff completed a second year of plans. In the summer of 2003, a second campus-wide workshop was held; students, faculty, and staff served as panelists to focus participant discussion groups on challenges and opportunities associated with retention.

A major change at HPU during the two years of planning has been the increased availability of data to support the planning process, Academic Program Review, and preparation for our WASC reaccreditation visits (2004 and 2005). These activities increased the need for evidence on educational quality and resulted in development of data reports on “key performance indicators” (KPI’s), which are indicators of university progress. These reports contribute to the University’s culture of evidence by providing faculty and staff with information about such outcomes as graduation and retention rates, average time to graduation, class sizes and enrollment, student-faculty ratios, and student opinions reported on the graduation survey.

2003-04 - In the fall of 2003, the Vice President for Academic Administration will convene the new Academic Support Council, which will address alignment of resources with strategic planning through shared governance. At the same time, the Educational Effectiveness Planning Committee will present the first formal “2010 Educational Effectiveness Planning Report” to the president. This plan will summarize plans from faculty and staff and outline the Committee’s plans for addressing the Strategic Priorities. It will set the stage for formal collaboration between the Educational Effectiveness Planning Committee and the Trustees’ Long Range Planning Committee. (It should be noted that the work of the two Committees has already overlapped or intersected to create improvements.) HPU’s Strategic Priorities are listed with examples of progress;a 10th priority has been added, which makes provision for the committee’s recommendations for facilities development for HPU.



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