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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 68.58
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Jan. 15, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" 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 main governing body of the university is the University Council and University Senate. The Senate includes faculty, staff, non-voting administrators, and students (graduate and undergraduates). Undergraduate and graduate students have one non-voting seat on the University Council (Board of Trustees) each. Graduate students have 5 seats in the University Senate, and undergraduate have 10 seats. Grads and undergrads also have voting representation in the SUNY System Student Assembly.

There are approximately a dozen executive positions for undergraduates (Student Association) and approximately six for graduates (Graduate Student Association). There are 30-40 students in each legislative body. There are hundreds of leadership positions available in undergraduate and graduate student groups.

There is also a University at Albany foundation board that provides advice and counsel regarding fund raising, gift and grant management and developing and managing real property. There is a student representative who sits on this board as well.


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?:
Yes

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

There are 5 graduate students and 10 undergraduate students on the Senate, which makes up about 20% of the entire University Senate. There are several additional positions available for these students on Senate Councils and subcommittees.These student representatives are selected either by election or appointment by the Graduate Student Association and the Student Association. The University Council consists of 10 members, 9 of which are appointed by the Governor and the remaining seat is for a student elected representative (undergraduate). In addition, there is a graduate student representative appointed to the council.
The student representative for the University at Albany Foundation board is an elected position.


Do students 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 Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

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

All of these issues of resources, planning, curriculum, communication, mission and vision go through one or more of the University's Senate Councils, which both undergraduate and graduate students have representation on. This includes the University Planning and Policy Council, the Graduate Academic Council, and Undergraduate Academic Council. Other Councils include the Council on Academic Assessment, Council on Research, among others. Additionally, large scale governance issues such as long term strategic planning are often handled by steering committees or task forces which are formed through a formal consultation process with the University Senate's Governance Council (which has student representation). For example, in the last three years the Senate has had a role in developing and approving a College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the expansion of programs such as online TESOL certificates, majors and certificates in Human Development, Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, and Emergency Preparedness, the re-constitution of the committee on freedom of expression, academic freedom and community responsibility. The University Senate also had a role in forming Blue Ribbon Panels to investigate the working conditions and wages of Graduate Teaching Assistants and Contingent Faculty.


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)?:
Yes

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

Faculty is defined by the University bylaws as including both teaching and professional staff. All of these groups have representation on the University Senate and all councils and committees.
Members of classified staff (CSEA) are not included in the faculty senate. Their avenue of participation in governance bodies would be through the Joint Labor Management Committee as well as express concerns over university matters and/or working conditions via the local CSEA chapter (#691) http://www.csea691.com/


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:

The governing bodies that would most apply in this situation are the University Council and University Senate. Members of classified staff/CSEA do not have a representative at the University Senate and members of the University Council are appointed by the Governor.


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 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 Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

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

All of these issues of resources, planning, curriculum, communication, mission and vision go through one or more of the University's Senate Councils, which professional staff have representation on. This includes the University Planning and Policy Council, the Graduate Academic Council, and Undergraduate Academic Council. Other Councils include the Council on Academic Assessment, Council on Research, among others. Additionally, large scale governance issues such as long term strategic planning are often handled by steering committees or task forces which are formed through a formal consultation process with the University Senate's Governance Council. For example, in the last three years the Senate has had a role in developing and approving a College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the expansion of programs such as online TESOL certificates, majors and certificates in Human Development, Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, and Emergency Preparedness, the re-constitution of the committee on freedom of expression, academic freedom and community responsibility. The University Senate also had a role in forming Blue Ribbon Panels to investigate the working conditions and wages of Graduate Teaching Assistants and Contingent Faculty.


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 Vice Chair of the Senate also sits on the University Council. Three elected representatives serve in the SUNY System Faculty Senate and report back to the University Senate.

All faculty members can run for University Senate positions in their School or College. There are two positions for part-time adjunct faculty. However, part-time faculty do not yet have voting rights but they can serve on the Senate's Councils and subcommittees.


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?:
Yes

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

The governing body is primarily made up of teaching and professional faculty selected through faculty wide elections (faculty includes professional staff and teaching faculty).


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 Yes
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:

All of these issues of resources, planning, curriculum, communication, mission and vision go through one or more of the University's Senate Councils, which faculty have representation on. This includes the University Planning and Policy Council, the Graduate Academic Council, and Undergraduate Academic Council. Other Councils include the Council on Academic Assessment, Council on Research, among others. Additionally, large scale governance issues such as long term strategic planning are often handled by steering committees or task forces which are formed through a formal consultation process with the University Senate's Governance Council. For example, in the last three years the Senate has had a role in developing and approving a College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the expansion of programs such as online TESOL certificates, majors and certificates in Human Development, Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, and Emergency Preparedness, the re-constitution of the committee on freedom of expression, academic freedom and community responsibility. The University Senate also had a role in forming Blue Ribbon Panels to investigate the working conditions and wages of Graduate Teaching Assistants and Contingent Faculty.


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.