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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 68.01
Liaison Andrew Predmore
Submission Date March 2, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana University Bloomington
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Rebecca Polcz
Director
Office of Government Relations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

During the 2014 legislative session, Indiana University, along with other state supported institutions, advocated for legislation that would increase the statutory limit on the amount of outstanding debt that institutions may have to finance Qualified Energy Savings Projects. Indiana University Bloomington is now able to bond up to $80 million for these projects, which allows the University to improve energy efficiency while providing a means to accomplish smaller repair and rehabilitation projects. Prior to the passage of this legislation, campuses were not able to bond more than $15 million for such projects.

IU has a history of supporting this type of legislation and was successful in advocating for raising the limits during the 2009 legislative session. IU will continue to support increased bond limits for Qualified Energy Savings Projects in the future.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Affordability and Access:

Mary Frances McCourt, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, testified before the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on October 7, 2015 to speak about IU's efforts to combat the rising costs of a college education.
Jim Kennedy, Associate Vice President for University Student Services and Systems, testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on June 3, 2015 concerning the IU's efforts to help ensure college affordability.

Indiana University Statement on Immigration Executive Order
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has issued the following statement about the executive order on immigration signed Friday, Jan. 27:

"At Indiana University, we embrace openness to the world. This has long been a hallmark of great global universities such as ours that seek to attract the best students, scholars and researchers from every country and champion the cause of greater cultural understanding.

"The executive order issued on Friday that bars citizens and refugees from certain countries from entering the U.S. is contrary to the very core of our values as an institution committed to excellence and innovation, a diversity of community and ideas, respect for the dignity of others and engagement in the economic, civic, cultural and social development of our state, our nation and our world.

"IU's educational, research and service missions are inextricably bound with the rest of the world and rooted in a belief in the ever-increasing value of international literacy and experience. This is why we urge the administration to end this executive order, which threatens to disrupt these missions, as quickly as possible. We also would encourage the administration to make it clear to the rest of the world that our nation's colleges and universities will continue to open their doors to the best and brightest scholars and researchers who, through their teaching, discoveries and innovations, play a vital role in enhancing our nation's economic competitiveness and prosperity.

"The directives contained in this executive order will have a considerable impact on IU's international students and scholars, many of whom are feeling frightened and unsettled, interfering with their travel plans and other commitments. In response, we are advising that all of our international students and scholars allow plenty of time for visa processing, as wait times are expected to increase, and we are also strongly recommending that citizens of the seven countries targeted for new visitation restrictions not travel to any country outside the U.S. at this time.

"We recognize the critical importance of a strong and effective visa process to protecting our national security, which is why we continue to support collaborative efforts that ensure our visa system prevents entry from anyone who wishes to harm Americans.

"At the same time, we remain committed to doing all that we can within the bounds of the law to vigorously protect and support IU students, faculty and staff. Additionally, we will continue to provide counseling to students on immigration-related concerns through our Office of International Services, which is maintaining a new webpage with current information and advice, while we intensify our advocacy for expanded access to higher education for all IU students living in the U.S.

"We will conduct all of our actions in pursuit of our enduring mission: to educate our students for active, engaged and committed citizenship, prepare them for public service and contribute to the building of civil society around the globe."


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

IU also played a critical role in 2014 by advocating against a constitutional amendment that provided that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. IU Vice President and General Counsel, Jacqueline Simmons provided expert testimony in opposition of the bill to explain the negative impacts upon the university and why it was important to Indiana University to take a position on the bill. Due largely in part to this testimony, the bill was amended to remove a portion of the bill which experts believe would have prohibited employers from providing domestic partner benefits. Because the bill was amended before its passage, the amendment must be passed by another General Assembly before proceeding to the ballot for citizens to consider.

Had the bill passed without amendment and been eligible for a vote by the public, IU believes that the amendment would have adversely affected the recruitment of world-class faculty, staff and students, as well as jeopardize current IU policy offering domestic partner benefit policies. Taking this position was important to the university not only to promote equity on our campuses, but also to bring equity to citizens across Indiana, which is a key element of sustainability for IU. (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/resolutions/house/joint/3#)

In 2014, Indiana University, along with Purdue University and veterans groups, supported legislation that would require state educational institutions to adopt policies to award college credit to veterans who complete college courses or certain equivalency exams. This legislation was important to IU because it will increase predictability for veterans about the types of credits that will transfer to the institution, which will lead to their academic success. (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/bills/senate/331/#)

Indiana University, along with other state supported institutions of higher education, supported legislation during the 2013 legislative session that would increase access and affordability for higher education for undocumented students and veterans. In 2011, legislation was passed that prohibited state educational institutions from enrolling undocumented students who met residency requirements at the resident tuition rate. The bill passed during the 2013 legislative session allowed undocumented students who were enrolled in a state educational institution prior to passage of the 2011 bill to enroll in a state educational institution at the resident rate. This allows students who were already enrolled in a degree program to complete their degrees. Indiana University is very supportive of these students and would support legislation that would allow all undocumented students who otherwise meet residency requirements to enroll at the resident tuition rate. That piece of legislation also had a provision supported by Indiana University that would allow veterans who enroll in a state educational institution within 12 months of discharge from the armed forces to enroll in the institution at the resident tuition rate, as long as they take certain steps to establish residency in the state, such as registering to vote or obtaining an Indiana driver’s license or state identification card. Both provisions of this bill are important to the university because they expand access to and diversity of the institution. (http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/PDF/SE/SE0207.1.pdf) The second provision of the bill was also passed in nearly identical form in another bill: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/PDF/SE/SE0177.1.pdf.

In 2012 and 2013, Indiana University, along with other state supported institutions, helped to pass two pieces of legislation that expanded access to higher education and methods of transferring credits among state educational institutions. Recognizing that increasing numbers of students begin their postsecondary education and one institution before transferring to another institution, the public colleges and universities worked together to ensure that credits would transfer in blocks and ensure certain educational outcomes, which helps students to better predict how their credits will transfer and a leads students to a higher probability of academic success upon transferring to another educational institution. The bill passed in 2012 and established the Statewide Transfer General Education Core, which ensured that a block of 30 credit hours taken at one institution would satisfy certain general education outcomes and transfer as a whole to the institution in which the student transfers. (http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012/PDF/SE/SE0182.1.pdf) The following year, institutions again worked together to establish Single Articulation Pathways, which ensure that students who obtain associate degrees in highly subscribed majors are able to transfer to a four-year institution and enter the institution at a junior status, guaranteeing the ability to graduate in four years. This bill is also based on competencies that must be achieved, ensuring educational outcomes and academic success after transfer to a four-year institution. (http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/PDF/SE/SE0182.1.pdf)


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.