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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 65.89
Liaison Marian Brown
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wells College
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 3.00 Marian Brown
Director
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
"---" 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:

According to the Community Handbook, all full-time Wells College students are members of the Collegiate Association. When necessary, meetings of the full Collegiate Association may be called by the Collegiate President or by petition of 15% of the student body. Motions shall carry with a two-thirds vote. Collegiate Association may initiate legislative proposals and recommend changes of administration and faculty policies to the Student-Faculty-Administration Board.

The Executive Branch of Collegiate Association consists of a Cabinet and a Student-Faculty-Administration Board (SFA Board), who shall by virtue of office accept the responsibility to uphold the Constitution of the Collegiate Association. The Collegiate Cabinet shall:
1. have the power to recommend legislative proposals to Representative Council and shall be responsible for carrying out all directives of Representative Council.
2. participate in the appointment of student Resident Advisors and Hall Directors.
3. make other appointments that are necessary and appropriate for the functioning of effective student government.
4. be responsible for the allocation of student fees upon recommendation of the Treasurer.
5. designate one member of the Cabinet to) attend monthly faculty meetings with voice, not vote.

The student body shall elect members to serve as the Collegiate Cabinet for the following academic year. All members of the student body are eligible to vote for Collegiate Cabinet members. The President and Vice President shall be elected from the rising senior class; the Secretary shall be elected from the rising sophomore or rising junior class, and the Treasurer from any class. The members of court elect the chair of Community Court. The members of Elections Committee shall elect the Senior Elections Manager. All elections shall be held in the spring preceding the term of office. Election procedures are found in the Elections Bylaws. Elected Collegiate Cabinet officials serve for a one-year term.

Minutes of all Collegiate Cabinet and Student Assembly meetings are publicly available on the GLOBE intranet.

Student-Faculty-Administration Board (SFA) acts as an advisory board to the Collegiate Cabinet or to those of its members who feel that faculty and/or administrative advice is needed, and it approves of all amendments to the Collegiate Constitution. The board shall vote after the amendments have been approved by the Collegiate Association. The members of SFA Board shall serve as the official channel of communication among the Collegiate Association, the administration, and the faculty. The SFA Board settles disputed points of interpretation of the Collegiate Constitution and Collegiate Bylaws. The SFA board shall consist of the Provost and Dean of the College, the Dean of Students, three faculty members elected to the Academic Standing and Advising Committee of the faculty, four students elected at large (two rising juniors and two rising sophomores), the Collegiate Cabinet President, and the Collegiate Cabinet Vice President. The students-at-large shall be elected in the spring, to serve for the following academic year only.

Students hold elected seats on the Curriculum Committee, the Educational Policy Committee and other advisory committees. One student representative from each of the following shall have voice but no vote in Faculty meetings: the Educational Policy Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Collegiate Cabinet.


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:

All current college non-supervisory staff are considered voting members of the Staff Forum. Annually, the Staff Forum designates a nominating committee for Staff Forum officers, who solicit nominees from among the forum membership. All members of the Staff Forum are extended the opportunity to vote for the slate of officers, who serve a one-year term.

Staff are represented on the new Committee on Institutional Planning and Effectiveness serves as an advisory council to the President. The Committee works with and provides information to the President’s Cabinet regarding the implementation and assessment of the Strategic Plan. The Committee offers recommendations on the integration of strategic actions, institutional effectiveness, and assurance of a transparent budget processes. Additionally, the Committee provides oversight of the College’s progress on the assessment of educational effectiveness and institutional improvement based on the Middle States standards. This is a newly convened committee as of Fall 2015.


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:

The Faculty shall consist of the officers of instruction holding the ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, and Lecturer, and the President of the College, and the Provost and Dean of the College. The Faculty shall have primary responsibility for teaching, curriculum development, research, and other
scholarly activities. The Faculty shall prescribe (subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees on significant matters) requirements for admission, courses of study, conditions of graduation, rules and methods for the conduct of the educational work of the college, and shall recommend to the Board candidates for degrees. Through the appropriate committees, the Faculty shall advise the relevant Administrator(s) on such matters
as admissions, scholarships, academic computing and other technologies, budget, personnel policies, and the quality of student life. The Faculty shall also have oversight over those aspects of student life related to the educational process. The Faculty normally meet monthly during the academic year. The President, the Dean of the College or the Secretary of the Faculty, upon the request of three members of the Faculty, may call special meetings. In calculating a quorum, only full-time tenured and tenure-track Faculty members shall be counted. All Faculty members as designated shall have voice and vote in Faculty meetings, except that non-tenure track Faculty shall not vote during their first year of service. The following shall also have voice and vote in Faculty meetings: the Dean of Students, the Registrar, and the Director of the Library. Faculty members not otherwise covered shall have voice but no vote.

The Academic Standing, Advising, & Admissions Committee (ASAAC) shall consist of four elected members of the Faculty, one of whom shall be chair; the Dean of Students; the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid; and the Director for Academic Advising and Student Success. The Director of Athletics shall serve a non-voting, advisory role.
The ASAAC Committee has oversight on matters involving recruitment, admissions, academic advising, and retention. It oversees the application of regulations regarding academic standing, readmission, and requirements for the undergraduate degree.

The Advisory Committee on Faculty Personnel represent the Faculty in defining, recommending and reviewing the policies of the College on all matters related to regulations of faculty status, as well as on fringe benefits and other forms of compensation for the Faculty, and sees that the policies are administered equitably.

The Committee on Committees shall be composed of the Secretary of the Faculty as chair plus two Faculty members elected for two-year terms. The Committee implements election procedures, appoint Faculty members to posts on certain committees for which election is not required, and sees that each committee that does not have a chair
convenes at the beginning of each academic year. The Committee is also responsible for receiving and recommending any proposed changes in Committee structure.

The Curriculum Committee consists of the Dean of the College as chair, the chairs of the three divisions, the Registrar as secretary, and one student. The Dean of Academic Advising serves as a non-voting advisor. The Curriculum Committee supervises the structure and contents of the curriculum, and implements current curricular policy. In cooperation with the divisions, the committee reviews and provisionally approves all course offerings. As the final authority for the curriculum is the responsibility of the Faculty as a whole, the Committee presents to the Faculty the proposed offerings for the following semester, for final approval. The Committee studies and takes recommendations to the Faculty regarding innovations and proposed changes in specific major or minor programs, interdisciplinary, and divisional courses of study.

The Educational Policy Committee consists of the Dean of the College; three members of the Faculty (one from each division), one of whom shall be chair; and one student. The
committee concerns itself primarily with long-range planning. It keeps the Faculty informed of new developments in the theory and practice in higher education
generally, so as to maintain and foster a high standard at Wells College. It studies and make recommendations to the Faculty concerning matters of educational policy and
practice, such as calendar revisions, consortium relationships, and examinations.

Faculty Evaluation Committee shall normally consist of the three Division Chairs and at least one additional tenured Faculty member from each of the three divisions, appointed by the Dean of the College in consultation with the Advisory Committee. The Committee meets with the Advisory Committee and Dean at least once a year to review the
Criteria for Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion and the procedures for the evaluation of Faculty and implements the faculty review process.

The Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence and Off-Campus Study Committee consists of three members of the Faculty, one of whom shall serve as chair, and the Director of International Programs. The Committee serves as a vehicle for Faculty action regarding inclusive and intercultural excellence at Wells College, incorporating global and domestic dimensions and their interrelations, by providing annual workshops for faculty to address diversity in teaching, advising, and community service. The Committee also concerns itself with the coordination and effective functioning of all off-campus study programs.

Student-Faculty-Administration Board acts as an advisory board to the Collegiate Cabinet or to those of its members who feel that faculty and/or administrative advice is needed, and it approves of all amendments to the student Collegiate Constitution. The members of SFA Board serve as the official channel of communication among the Collegiate Association, the administration, and the faculty. Its Faculty/Administration members are the Dean of the College, the Dean of Students, and the three Faculty members of the Academic Standing and Advising Committee.

Faculty serve on the search committee whenever a search is undertaken to fill a senior staff position (as of Spring 2013: President, Provost and Dean of the College, Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Dean of Students, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Assistant to the President). Faculty representatives shall enjoy full voice and vote and shall constitute at least half of the membership of search committees for Provost and Dean of the College, and the Dean of Students. Membership on a given search committee may be based on position, for example as representative from a Faculty Committee; however, at least
one member shall be elected from the Faculty at large.

Faculty are represented on the new Committee on Institutional Planning and Effectiveness serves as an advisory council to the President. The Committee works with and provides information to the President’s Cabinet regarding the implementation and assessment of the Strategic Plan. The Committee offers recommendations on the integration of strategic actions, institutional effectiveness, and assurance of a transparent budget processes. Additionally, the Committee provides oversight of the College’s progress on the assessment of educational effectiveness and institutional improvement based on the Middle States standards. This is a newly convened committee as of Fall 2015.


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?:
No

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

New York is a "home rule" state, meaning that local governments have been granted broad home rule powers enabling them to provide services to their residents and to enact local laws as needed in order to provide services to their citizens and fulfill their various obligations. The main college campus is entirely located within the Village of Aurora, the majority of which is part of the National Historic Register. Any construction projects on the campus, no matter how small, must follow local laws and go through the Village Code Enforcement Officer to ensure proper permits and be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Board. Those Village boards include the Community Preservation Panel (monitoring adherence to historic standards) and the Zoning Board of Appeals (for adherence to local land use laws).


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) 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):

Our college Board of Trustees has had a long-standing local trustee serving to represent the interests and concerns of Aurora residents; he also serves on the board of the local bank, sharing insights of the area business community. We also added a Board representative who recently retired from fiscal administration of another regional higher educational institution; his insights and experience about trends affecting higher education has proven invaluable.


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.