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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 Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 3.00 Mica Stark
Special Assistant to the President - Gov Relations and Strategic Initiatives
Presidents Office
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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?:
Yes

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

There are numerous representative bodies by which students participate and provide a voice within university governance. Including, but not limited to:

Two students are elected to the 27-member Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire, the highest governing body. Undergraduate and graduate students are also elected to the Student Senate (http://www.unh.edu/student-senate; http://www.unh.edu/student-senate/student-senate-officers; http://www.unh.edu/gss/senators).

In addition, students sit on numerous steering committees, task forces (e.g., EcoSystems Task Force, Zero Waste Task Force, Energy Task Force), and commissions (e.g., Status of People of Color, Status of LGBTQ+ People, Status of People with Disabilities, Status of Women).


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:

There are numerous representative bodies by which staff participate and provide a voice within university governance. Including, but not limited to:

Staff participate in the Professional and Technical (PAT) Council, Operating Staff Council, and the Extension Educators Council, as well as numerous steering committees and task forces (e.g., EcoSystems Task Force, Zero Waste Task Force, Energy Task Force), and commissions (e.g., Status of People of Color, Status of LGBTQ+ People, Status of People with Disabilities, Status of Women).


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:

Faculty participate in numerous representative bodies including the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate is an elected body of faculty representatives from each academic department at UNH. The Faculty Senate is the legislative body that reviews and develops policies concerned with the academic mission of the University (https://www.unh.edu/fac-senate). Faculty also sit on numerous steering committees, task forces (e.g., EcoSystems Task Force, Zero Waste Task Force, Energy Task Force), commissions (e.g., Status of People of Color, Status of LGBTQ+ People, Status of People with Disabilities, Status of Women), and councils, including the Research Faculty Council and Lecturer’s Union.


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:
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The policies and procedures:

• The University policy that aligns with State law directs the University to provide written notification to the Town Planning Board of any construction, which constitutes a substantial change in use or a substantial new use; and then follows up with a public presentation at a Planning Board meeting.

• The Town of Durham has representation on the Campus Master Plan Steering Committee and the broader Campus Master Planning Committee, which participate in updates of the Campus Master Plan.

• There is a written agreement with the Town of Durham for the University Architect & Director of Campus Planning to meet monthly with the Town Planning Director to report all planning and design initiatives of the University.


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 Yes
Civil society (e.g. NGOs, NPOs) Yes

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):

• New Hampshire state law RSA 187-A:13 establishes the University of New Hampshire as part of the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) which is governed by a Board of Trustees with representation recommended by the Governor and appointed by the Executive Council. Trustee membership includes explicit representation by student leadership and alumni from each of the University System campuses. The RSA ensures that members represent a wide range of interests of the general public, educational, and agricultural interests in the state.

• The University participates (along with the Town of Durham) in the New Hampshire regional planning process through Strafford County Regional Planning Commission and is a formal member of the federally designated Strafford MPO (metropolitan planning organization) given our transit system operation in eight communities. As a grantee, we fulfill all required public input and hearing processes for transit projects within our operational area.

• The University offers the town of Durham membership on the Transportation Policy Committee. Currently, three town staff members (Town Administrator, Town Planner, and Chief of Police) have active input on UNH transportation and parking demand policy development.

• The Town and University mutually attend and participate in each other’s Traffic Safety Committees, which schedule public meetings to review issues of mutual concern.

• The Town and University mutually fund development and use of a Town-UNH traffic/land use model for evaluation of major development and transportation system changes impacts on traffic and air quality.

• Community members representing interests of the private sector sit on all of our major boards, including the Board of Trustees of The University System of New Hampshire (https://www.usnh.edu/trustees), the UNH Foundation Board of Directors (https://www.unh.edu/give/board-directors), and the UNH Alumni Association Board of Directors.

• Part of the mission statement of the University System of New Hampshire is to be recognized as a valued partner to the people and communities of our state https://www.usnh.edu/business-community. We take this seriously and are working hard to enhance partnerships and provide assistance. We strive to be the partner of choice with our businesses and have launched many new initiatives to further partnership efforts. This includes establishing business liaisons at each institution, creating a centralized call center for questions about online learning/training opportunities, and looking at ways we can work together to encourage more of our college graduates to stay, work, and live in New Hampshire.

In addition,
• The University President meets monthly with the Town Administrator

• The Town Planner has a formal position on the University CORPAD (Committee on Real Property Acquisition and Disposition).

• UNH officials regularly meet with the Durham Business Association and the Durham Landlord Association


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.