Log In
  • 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 Silver
Overall Score 55.50
Liaison Alistair Hall
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Vassar College
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 3.00 Alistair Hall
Sustainability Assistant
Dean of Strategic Planning
"---" 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 Vassar Student Association holds its elections annually and allows students to serve as leaders of the organization, which is integral to programming and policymaking. Students are elected to the Executive Board, the Council (legislative body), and the wide network of committees.


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:

The President of the Vassar Student Association (VSA) serves as an observer on the Broad of Trustees. This student is elected annually through campus-wide VSA elections.


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 No
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:

Elected students sit on a wide range of committees including Priorities & Planning, Campus Master Planning, College Sustainability Committee, and others.

These elected students have participated in decisions regarding the approval of construction of a new Science building, reporting of and responses to Bias Incidents, the prioritization and promotion of campus life offices and programs. A few specific examples include the establishment of gender neutral bathrooms in academic and administrative buildings, voting on Resource Conservation Fund proposals, and voting on the College's shareholder proxy votes.

The Vassar Student Association controls its own budget, established by student activity fees, and allocate them among student organizations, residential houses, and campus causes.


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:

We do not currently have mechanisms setup to formally have staff participate in college governance. However the President and Senior Officers have recently reinstated staff forums and there is regular communication with Union leadership.


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:

At this point in time non-supervisory staff do not have representation on the governing body.


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 No
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:

Non-supervisory staff in Sustainability, Campus Life, Residential Life and other departments do participate in a number of College committees and have been involved in decisions regarding reporting of and responses to Bias Incidents, voting on Resource Conservation Fund proposals, activities and priorities for New Student Orientation, campus health/financial/academic-related resources for students, and discussion on proposed construction or renovation projects.


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)?:
No

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

While all faculty members are invited to attend monthly faculty meetings, non-tenure track part-time faculty are not granted suffrage. Faculty elect representative to sit on a wide range of College committees.


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:

Elected faculty members attend Board of Trustees meetings and participate in certain Trustee Committee meetings.


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:

The Dean of Strategic Planning, Dean of the College, Dean of Studies, and the Dean of Students positions are all faculty roles, furthermore faculty-elected peers to sit on a wide range of committees including, Priorities & Planning, Faculty Compensation, Campus Master Planning, College Sustainability Committee, Campus Investor Responsibility Committee.

These committees have been involved in the approval of construction of a new science building, review and promotion of faculty to tenure, voting on the College's shareholder proxy votes, the reporting of and response to Bias Incidents, and more.


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.