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Pineapple icon depicts BYU-Hawaii objectives

October 2008

Pineapple Icon

Because many people associate pineapples with Hawaii, Dr. Max L. Checketts, BYU-Hawaii Vice President for Academic Affairs, used the imagery to create an easy-to-remember representation initiatives and objectives derived from the university's two-fold mission and imperatives:

At the outset of his tenure, President Steven C. Wheelwright stated the two-fold mission of Brigham Young University-Hawaii is:

  • To integrate "both spiritual and secular learning. Ours is a student-focused mission."
  • To prepare students "of character and integrity who can provide in their families, in their communities and in their professions in building the Kingdom of God."

Three imperatives flow from these, President Wheelwright has said:

  • Lower costs
  • Improve quality
  • Serve more students

Checketts explained that in discussion with the Church Educational System office, "they said it would be very helpful if we could come up with an icon or model that would help people see that we're working on a consistent set of things over time. To truly make a difference, you have to keep working on the same things over time."

"Working with the academic deans, we came up with the mandate of things we need to improve to meet the imperatives, out of which came eight issues we're working on." They are:

Checketts noted that work is underway on all of them, but the Board of Trustees has already approved the addition of three new degrees and how faculty contracts will change as BYU-Hawaii enters the 2009 academic calendar, which has also been approved.

"We recognized all these issues are linked in a system," he continued. "For example, you don't implement a new calendar and think it's a real simple process, because it has implications on everything."

"As we were working on a model to help from everybody on campus to the First Presidency to remember these initiatives, we came up with a graphic that has what I call 'pineapple' columns, because we wanted them to think of Hawaii."

BYU Hawaii

"I took a fair amount of teasing when I first showed this, which is fine, because now they remember these things," he said, adding he also took an actual pineapple to his first presentation of the icon in Utah.

Checketts indicated the CES office's response to the "pineapple" has been positive. "It's clear that they got it," he said. "They understand what we're trying to do, and we clearly have to have them in our corner."

"I'm very pleased with the progress we're making on the initiatives," Checketts continued. "But it takes a long time — months, even years — to arrive. It's a process. In fact, I would say that we're ahead of the schedule that I imagined."

He also praised the deans and faculty for their participation and support. "These people are thoughtful and supportive. They really want to help students. That's why they're in higher education."