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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 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 3.00 Ben Kalscheur
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do the institution’s students have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a student council)? :
Yes

Do the institution’s students have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which students are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Mission:
To serve Texas A&M University by representing student opinion, addressing campus needs through targeted programming and the maintenance of tradition, and providing opportunities for leadership development in order to enrich the quality of student life.

Structure:
The Student Government Association (SGA) operates under one constitution and each branch operates under its respective by-laws. The SGA Operations Manual provides guidelines with which all members of SGA operate.

TAMU Student Government Association is 3 branches, 4 commissions, and 15 committees, all working together to implement changes, provide students with a voice, and develop future leaders.

The three branches of SGA work together to capture student opinion and propose legislation to create change across the campus community, state, and nation! The Student Body President’s Executive Council, in conjunction with the Student Senate, tackle issues related to academics, tuition and fees, shared governance, dining services, transportation and parking, along with student matters associated with the Bryan/College Station communities.

Other leadership opportunities are provided through participation in SGA’s multiple committees, who work hard to provide service to the community, host distinguished conferences, and uphold A&M traditions. To ensure fluidity and balance in SGA’s operations, Judicial Court serves to answer questions concerning constitutional interpretation, legislation, and elections. Any student may file an appeal with the Court in such cases as election violations or alleged neglect of duties on the part of an elected official.


Do the institution’s staff members have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a staff council)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s non-supervisory staff members have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which staff are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Mission:
The University Staff Council's (USC) stated mission is to represent the interests of and address the issues impacting both classified and non-classified staff employees under the leadership of the Texas A&M University President.

Purpose:
The council will provide a voice and integrate staff perspective by:
Acting as a conduit for two-way communication between staff and administration.
Engaging staff and bringing their interests before the administration.
Identifying university issues and their impact on staff.
Exploring and researching possible solutions.
Providing options and recommendations to the President.
Interacting with other councils.


Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a faculty senate)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body? :
No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which teaching and research faculty are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

All full time faculty, regardless of status, have an opportunity to vote for or be members of the university Faculty Senate. This body has mandated oversight over all curricular matters, which includes new courses, new academic program, major course or program revisions, changes to departmental or college structure, new majors and new or modifications to interdisciplinary programs. The senate also has advisory functions over most other issues concerning faculty and students.

Senators are elected as representatives of their academic college and all full time faculty can vote for the list of nominated faculty senators.

Council of Principle Investigators is a second elected faculty body that represents the research mission specifically of the university. This body is primarily advisory but because it represents all funded researchers has significant clout on campus.

Council of Built Environment is a body of faculty, staff, students and administrators that makes recommendations to the president on all aspects of the campus built environment in support of the university's core mission of teaching, scholarship and research, and engagement. Student government is represented on the council, as is Faculty Senate and the Council of Principal Investigators who appoint their own representatives.


Does the institution have written policies and procedures to identify and engage external stakeholders (i.e. local residents) in land use planning, capital investment projects, and other institutional decisions that affect the community?:
Yes

A copy of the written policies and procedures:
---

The policies and procedures:

TAMU protocol is to regularly engage with the local municipalities (Cities of Bryan and College Station) and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding the development of the campus as it pertains to planning, transportation, and on-going capital projects. In addition, the university is undergoing an update to the Campus Master Plan and these entities have participated and been provided the opportunity to provide feedback. The planning update includes long-range planning goals in regards to campus development and land use planning.


Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which community members representing the interests of the following stakeholder groups can regularly participate in institutional governance?:
Yes or No
Local government and/or educational organizations Yes
Private sector organizations No
Civil society (e.g. NGOs, NPOs) No

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which external stakeholders are engaged in institutional governance (including information about each stakeholder group selected above):

The stakeholders who were invited and engaged in the TAMU Campus Master Plan (CMP) Update were TXDOT, City of College Station, Chamber of Commerce, County Commissioners. They were regularly informed about the ongoing process of CMP update and allowed to comment on the elements of mobility, campus development planning, wayfinding and signage.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.