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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright

March is a busy month at Hawai‘i Pacific University as we make final preparations for our reaccreditation visit from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Five faculty members and administrators from other schools will form a WASC review team. They will spend two days on our campuses (March 16-17), meeting with faculty, students, staff, and administrators. Their primary goal during the visit will be to look at HPU’s capacity — its resources, organizational structures, and commitment to the future. visiting team members will be seeking to validate that the progress we have made is based on a solid foundation of participation, evidence, and self-reflection.

Although the visiting team will spend a great deal of time with individuals and groups responsible for the core “capacity” functions of the University, three important open meetings are scheduled with students, staff, and faculty on Thursday afternoon, March 17, at locations to be posted on campus. I urge all of you to participate in these meetings and share your views with the team visitors to help demonstrate our commitment to self-reflection and improvement.

On the last day of their visit (March 18), the team will report its preliminary findings personally to me. Next year in March, the team will return, this time to evaluate the University’s educational effectiveness, focusing on specific educational outcomes ranging from student learning in the classroom to graduation and retention rates.

We are looking forward to this visit because it is an opportunity for HPU to receive not only constructive criticism but also affirmation of the important progress we have made in key areas that affect HPU’s present and future. We have much to be proud of. We are a university that has engaged in strategic planning and looks forward to making decisions about where we’re headed. We have become a university that devotes time and energy to finding ways to ensure that students are learning. We have expanded our ability to do institutional research, gathering data and asking what that data says about the University’s strengths and weaknesses. And finally, our faculty, staff, and administrators have developed creative and effective ways to come together in a spirit of shared governance, always with an eye to what’s best for the entire HPU community.

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