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  • 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 68.76
Liaison Meghan Chapple
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 3.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do all enrolled students, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which students have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

The Student Association (SA) is an elected body of student representatives. The Student Association meets regularly with GW senior administrators, including the president. The SA president and one of its vice presidents participate on the Board committees on Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. The SA president, or a delegate, report on the SA’s activities and initiatives at every Board of Trustees meeting. The SA president also meets with the Chair of the Board of Trustees on a regular basis.


Is there at least one student representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative student body or organization?:
No

A brief description of student representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

N/A


Do students have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals No
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives No
Strategic and long-term planning No
Existing or prospective physical resources No
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning No
Communications processes and transparency practices No
Prioritization of programs and projects No

A brief description of the formal student role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

N/A


Do all staff, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
No

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all staff have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

GW staff supports and attends Board and committee meetings. The staff participate in a number of committees established by the university on issues of importance to staff, including, e.g., the Benefits Advisory Committee, and employee grievance committees. The president of the university is an ex officio voting member of the Board of Trustees. There is no other staff representation on the university’s Board of Trustees.


Is there at least one non-supervisory staff representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative staff body or organization?:
No

A brief description of non-supervisory staff representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

N/A


Do non-supervisory staff have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following? :
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals No
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives No
Strategic and long-term planning No
Existing or prospective physical resources No
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning No
Communications processes and transparency practices No
Prioritization of programs and projects No

A brief description of the formal staff role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

N/A


Do all faculty, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all faculty (including adjunct faculty) have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

The faculty have a role in governance through two university-wide groups: (1) the Faculty Assembly, which consists of academic personnel in full-time service and certain designated administrative personnel; and (2) the Faculty Senate, a representative body acting for the faculty as a whole in legislative and advisory capacities. The chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee participates on the Committee on Academic Affairs meetings, and reports on the Faculty Senate’s activities and initiatives at every Board of Trustees meeting. The chair of the Board of Trustees meets with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee chair on a regular basis. This year, faculty are also participating in working groups with trustees to review and make recommendations regarding faculty governance.


Is there at least one teaching or research faculty representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative faculty body or organization?:
No

A brief description of faculty representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

Our assumption here is that the governing body is the Board of Trustees.


Do faculty have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices ---
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal faculty role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

Category: Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals
• The Faculty Senate provides leadership and guidance in university planning in such areas as program development and physical facilities. Faculty members also serve as members, and often chairs, of executive leadership searches such as those for the director of the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, the School of Nursing, and the Elliott School of International Affairs.

• Websites
o http://www.gwu.edu/~facsen/
o http://gwtoday.gwu.edu/george-washington-university-announces-new-dean-school-nursing
o https://advising.columbian.gwu.edu/general-curriculum-requirements

• Examples
o GW Faculty Senate review of Faculty Code
o Executive Searches
o General curriculum requirements

Category: Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives
• The Faculty Senate provides leadership and guidance in university planning in such areas as program development and physical facilities. Recently, faculty across the university participated in a review and revamp of the university’s Faculty Code and participated in four working groups that targeted such areas as governance, tenure, and promotion. Faculty also have responsibilities specific to each school as outlined in their bylaws.

• Websites
o http://www.gwu.edu/~facsen/
o https://provost.gwu.edu/school-bylaws
o https://library.gwu.edu/about/faculty-open-access
o https://advising.columbian.gwu.edu/general-curriculum-requirements

• Examples
o GW Faculty Senate review of Faculty Code
o Faculty Open Access Policy for Research Publications
o General curriculum requirements

Category: Strategic and long-term planning
• Faculty served in key roles of the planning and development process for the GW Strategic Plan, including serving as chairs of working groups and as members of the steering committee. The Faculty Senate provides leadership and guidance in university planning in such areas as program development and physical facilities. Faculty also have responsibilities specific to each school as outlined in their bylaws.

• Websites
o https://provost.gwu.edu/strategic-plan
o http://www.gwu.edu/~facsen/
o https://provost.gwu.edu/school-bylaws

• Examples
o GW Strategic Plan
o GW Faculty Senate
o School bylaws

Category: Existing or prospective physical resources
• The Faculty Senate provides leadership and guidance in university planning in such areas as program development and physical facilities. Recently, faculty from four schools participated in the design of Science and Engineering Hall, which brings together faculty, students, and researchers who before were housed in nearly a dozen buildings across campus.

• Websites
o http://www.gwu.edu/~facsen/
o http://seh.gwu.edu
o http://publichealth.gwu.edu/facilities/950-new-hampshire-avenue

• Examples
o GW Faculty Senate
o Science and Engineering Hall
o Milken Institute School of Public Health

Category: Budgeting, staffing, and financial planning
• The Faculty Senate reviews major investments by the university and has the authority to create working groups to explore such areas as faculty compensation and benefits. The Senate also hears reports from key offices across the university, including the Division of Student Affairs, Division of Athletics, Office of Sustainability, and Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Faculty also have responsibilities specific to each school as outlined in their bylaws.

• Websites
o http://www.gwu.edu/~facsen/
o http://seh.gwu.edu
o http://publichealth.gwu.edu/facilities/950-new-hampshire-avenue
o https://provost.gwu.edu/school-bylaws

• Examples
o GW Faculty Senate
o Science and Engineering Hall
o Milken Institute School of Public Health
o School bylaws

Category: Prioritization of programs and projects
• Faculty lead programs to advance the mission of the university, such as the Elliott School of International Affairs’ Strategic Opportunities for Academic Research Initiative, which provides seed funding to faculty with strong prospects for external funding. Faculty also have responsibilities specific to each school as outlined in their bylaws.

• Websites
o https://elliott.gwu.edu/sites/elliott.gwu.edu/files/downloads/GWES-AR2013-14_v033g_WEB.pdf
o https://advising.columbian.gwu.edu/general-curriculum-requirements
o https://provost.gwu.edu/school-bylaws

• Examples
o SOAR Initiative
o General curriculum requirements
o School bylaws


The website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:

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.