Log In
  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date May 14, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

George Washington University
PAE-2: Strategic Plan

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.00 / 6.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Year the strategic plan or equivalent was completed or adopted:
2,012

Does the institution's strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include the environmental dimensions of sustainability at a high level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the strategic plan or amendment addresses the environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The George Washington University strategic plan "Vision 2021" addresses environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability as an integral part of the future of the world, and thus the university. Social, environmental, and economic issues are cited throughout the plan as problems that the institution is equipping GW graduates and researchers to address. Referencing the rise of globalization and the changes in global demographics as drivers the higher education sector, the plan points out that nations around the world are struggling to address major social, economic, and environmental issues. GW’s Strategic Plan recognizes these trends, and seeks to prepare its students to work effectively with people from diverse countries and cultures, and to appreciate diverse belief systems.

In addition to the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability framing the overall plan, the university-wide sustainability minor is cited as a exemplary manifestation of the main themes of the strategic plan. These include:

» innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration
» globalization of our educational and research programs
» expansion of our programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors
» emphasis on infusing the ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything we do

The plan also points out that sustainability (inclusive of environmental, social and economic dimensions) is a priority area to be addressed in creating cross-disciplinary research institutes that bring together faculty and students from multiple disciplines to address complex questions and problems.

Finally, the plan references sustainable design in its own infrastructure as key to expanding GW’s role as a model institutional citizen for the greater Washington, D.C., area.

Clearly, all three dimensions of sustainability are at the heart of GW's university-wide strategy.


Does the institution's strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include the social dimensions of sustainability at a high level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the strategic plan or amendment addresses the social dimensions of sustainability:

The George Washington University strategic plan "Vision 2021" addresses environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability as an integral part of the future of the world, and thus the university. Social, environmental, and economic issues are cited throughout the plan as problems that the institution is equipping GW graduates and researchers to address. Referencing the rise of globalization and the changes in global demographics as drivers the higher education sector, the plan points out that nations around the world are struggling to address major social, economic, and environmental issues. GW’s Strategic Plan recognizes these trends, and seeks to prepare its students to work effectively with people from diverse countries and cultures, and to appreciate diverse belief systems.

In addition to the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability framing the overall plan, the university-wide sustainability minor is cited as a exemplary manifestation of the main themes of the strategic plan. These include:

» innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration
» globalization of our educational and research programs
» expansion of our programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors
» emphasis on infusing the ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything we do

The plan also points out that sustainability (inclusive of environmental, social and economic dimensions) is a priority area to be addressed in creating cross-disciplinary research institutes that bring together faculty and students from multiple disciplines to address complex questions and problems.

Clearly, all three dimensions of sustainability are at the heart of GW's university-wide strategy. Specifically, in relation to the social dimension, GW's strategic plan has a focus on citizenship demands committed service to local, national, and global communities. Through our academic and cocurricular programs, we need to reinforce the idea that success is measured not solely in terms of individual or national economic well-being but also in terms of how each person, community, or country contributes to the greater good. The service opportunities we offer students must be learning experiences that link to the other curricular and cocurricular elements of the education we provide. The plan outlines how GW needs to develop more courses that promote critical thinking about how ethical decisions are made, what citizenship means, and how to lead effectively and imaginatively. The plan also points out how GW needs to expand our role in the larger community as a forum for thought and debate about citizenship and leadership.


Does the institution's strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include the economic dimensions of sustainability at a high level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the strategic plan or amendment addresses the economic dimensions of sustainability:

The George Washington University strategic plan "Vision 2021" addresses environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability as an integral part of the future of the world, and thus the university. Social, environmental, and economic issues are cited throughout the plan as problems that the institution is equipping GW graduates and researchers to address. Referencing the rise of globalization and the changes in global demographics as drivers in the higher education sector, the plan points out that nations around the world are struggling to address major social, economic, and environmental issues. GW’s Strategic Plan recognizes these trends, and seeks to prepare its students to work effectively with people from diverse countries and cultures, and to appreciate diverse belief systems.

In addition to the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability framing the overall plan, the university-wide sustainability minor is cited as a exemplary manifestation of the main themes of the strategic plan. These include:

» innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration
» globalization of our educational and research programs
» expansion of our programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors
» emphasis on infusing the ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything we do

The plan also points out that sustainability (inclusive of environmental, social and economic dimensions) is a priority area to be addressed in creating cross-disciplinary research institutes that bring together faculty and students from multiple disciplines to address complex questions and problems.

Clearly, all three dimensions of sustainability are at the heart of GW's university-wide strategy.

The plan points out that excessive exploitation of natural capital is in part due to increased industrialization and a more globalized economy. To create a more sustainable future around the world, it is essential that graduates and researchers are equipped to navigate the global economy and to generate solutions suited to such connectivity. This will require them to be able to manage global organizations and govern across political boundaries. The actions of GW’s strategic plan are based on the need for researchers and graduates to develop public and business solutions that are affordable in nature and global in scope. It also calls for the university to generate technological solutions to address resource constraints in order to drive economic growth and social change.


The website URL where information about the strategic plan is available:

The George Washington University released its strategic plan in 2013. It reflects aspirations to provide a unique, rigorous education to every GW student and to secure our position as one of the world’s premier research universities. GW’s strategic plan calls for actions that build on four major themes uniting activities across the entire university: innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration; globalization of our educational and research programs; expansion of our programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors; and an emphasis on infusing the ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything we do. Sustainability as a concept to create systemic solutions that provide healthy and thriving natural resources for all, cuts across these four themes. Sustainability in the form of research, curriculum, practice and outreach is a critical priority focus area for the university as it implements the strategic plan.

The cross-disciplinary, pan-university, sustainability minor is the first manifestation of GW’s priority to create a more unified undergraduate educational experience, as outlined in the strategic plan. Additionally, the GW Office of the Vice President for Research has made sustainability one of the eight cross-disciplinary institutes that undertakes research in new fields as part of the strategic plan.

As part of the implementation of its strategy plan, GW is positioning itself to be the premier university on policy and governance for sustainable systems through research, teaching, practice, and outreach.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.