WASC Senior Commission endorses Special Visit team report highlighting significant improvement in UH governance

University of Hawaiʻi
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Mar 16, 2005

ALAMEDA, Calif. — At its meeting on February 17-18, 2005, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges‘ Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC Senior) endorsed a report prepared by a Special Visit team to the University of Hawaiʻi‘s System Office on December 1-3, 2004 that found significant improvement in the overall operations of governance processes at the University since March, 2004.

In an action letter sent to the University following its meeting, the Commission commended the UH Board of Regents and the Office of the President for achieving several important milestones which occurred in a short time since the leadership transition last June.

The milestones noted included: the restoration of trust between the Office of the President and the UH Board of Regents; increased efforts by the Board to streamline its meetings and committes; efforts to simplify the System administration and redesign some positions; and the strategic planning exercise, followed by the "stocktaking" process to identify a system-wide budget with priorities established by each campus.

"The advice we have received from the WASC Senior Commission and from its Special Visit team has been invaluable in guiding our process for continued improvement at the University. We‘re grateful that the Commission has recognized and validated steps the Board of Regents and I have taken to establish more effective governance." said University of Hawaiʻi Interim President David McClain"

"We are pleased that the Commission has recognized the progress made and are committed to making changes that will continually improve University relations both internally and externally," said UH BOR Chair Patricia Lee.

In addition to the endorsed report, the Commission highlighted the following areas for continued efforts by the System: sustaining the improved working relationship between the Board of Regents and the Office of the President; continuing to define the organization and role of the System office and the relationship of the campuses to one another and to the President; addressing the reorganization request of the Mānoa campus; and defining the organizational scope of the Kakaʻako location where the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) will be sited.

The Mānoa campus reorganization and defining the scope of JABSOM were taken up at the Board of Regents‘ February meeting, with the UH Mānoa reorganization plan receiving approval from the Board and an update presented on the medical school‘s new facilities.

The Commission requested a brief follow-up visit to the System Office in November 2005, coincident with a Special Visit to UH Mānoa aimed at assessing whether progress already made there has been continuing. WASC also requested a special visit to the System Office in Spring 2007, following the appointment of a permanent university president.

For a complete copy of the WASC Senior Commission‘s action letter, visit www.hawaii.edu/vpaa.