In 1987 Chiang Mai University set its educational target in response to the government’s policy, in the 6th National Economic and Social Development Plan (1987-1991), a plan to encourage higher educational institutes to effectively and efficiently produce graduates, conduct research, serve the academic society and to maintain arts and culture and to promote research for rural and industrial development, including social services focusing on consecutive education. Chiang Mai University has seen that in some areas in Chiang Mai Province its learning environment was crowded and could not support the expansion of large size educational development. It was estimated that an extra 1,581-1,976 acres (4,000-5,000 Rai) was needed based on data from questionnaires from various Chiang Mai University sectors.
In October 1986, Chiang Mai University appointed a working team to search for an area around Mae Thi – Mae Teeb – Mae Saan National Conserving Forest in Lamphun Province. In 1991 after having found a suitable location, Chiang Mai University requested to use this area from the Department of Forestry, however this request was denied due to the Department of Forestry act of 207/1992 dated 17th July, 1992.
Following from this the Director General Department of Forestry, responding to a submission by the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperation, arranged a declaration to admit Chiang Mai University to be able to use land in the Sri Bua Baan Sub-District, Muang District, Lamphun Province, for academic expansion, with an allotted area of 1,868 acres (4,726 rai, 2 gnaans, 98 square waa). In total the Department of Forestry allocated 4,632 acres (11,719 rai) as shown in Map-02, beyond the National Forest, arable and private areas, as shown in black on the map. This allotment was provide from 17th July, 1992 until to 16th July, 2022; a total time of 30 years.
In year 2000, Chiang Mai University changed its legal status to an Autonomous University, a prerequisite to efficient self administration. The university appointed a working team to create a 30 year Master Plan for Chiang Mai University, “Hariphunchai” Centre, Lamphun Province, and assigned this project to the Faculty of Architecture, together with the faculty members from the Faculty of Engineering and outside experts. The Master Plan is responsible for the establishment and operation of the “Hariphunchai” Centre, and that it is able to respond to the university and the needs of community locally, regionally and nationally. Since 2006 Chiang Mai University has begun the construction of buildings at the center and has been providing pedagogy courses.