PA 3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance – version 2.2
Data Accuracy Video
Frequently Asked Questions
How has this credit changed from STARS 2.1 to 2.2?
Substantive changes have been made to this credit. A requirement that stakeholders of the highest governing body be elected and that staff representatives directly represent non-supervisory workers have been removed. A new part recognizing gender equity in governance is introduced, a subject addressed in the SDGs that has not been well addressed in STARS. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.
What is considered a “highest governing body”?
An institution’s highest governing body is the body with ultimate decision-making authority over the institution (e.g., the power to hire and fire the institution’s chief executive). This body might be called the board of trustees, board of governors, board of overseers, board of visitors, or some other nomenclature. For institutions that are part of larger systems, the highest governing body is typically the system-wide board.
Do students, staff and/or faculty on the highest governing body have to be voting members to count for this credit?
No, they don’t have to have voting privileges to count as representatives, but they do need to be “official” members of the highest governing body and elected by their peers.
Can representatives of a subcommittee of the highest governing body count under this credit?
No, in order to earn points, students, staff and/or faculty representatives must be “official” members of the highest governing body (such as the Board of Regents or Board of Trustees). Simply attending or reporting at meetings is not sufficient, nor is participating on a subcommittee of the highest governing Body if formal membership is not evident.
- American University – Great documentation of the institution’s formal participatory and shared governance bodies. Part 4 references and links to a Community Liaison Committee.
- Eastern Connecticut State University – Comprehensive responses in all sections. Part 4 references a Town-Gown committee with great detail.
- Kent State University – Comprehensive responses. Part 4 references a Town Gown Partnership that includes a webpage link.
- Northwestern University – Great documentation of the institution’s formal participatory and shared governance bodies. Part 4 references a City Committee in Evanston that includes detailed information on membership and committee objectives.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst – Comprehensive responses in all areas, with links included where relevant.
- University of St. Thomas — Comprehensive responses. Part 4 includes a good example of how an institution devotes resources to external committees.
- University of Southern California – Comprehensive responses throughout. Part 4 references stakeholder engagement through a Community Advisory Board.
Common Issues Identified During Review
- Part 1: Affirmative responses for Students/Academic staff/Non-academic staff must be supported in the descriptive field. To qualify, institutions should reference student governments, faculty councils, staff councils, collective bargaining units, or similar.
- Parts 2/3: Response must reference the institution’s highest governing body, which has ultimate decision-making authority over the institution (board of trustees, board of governors, board of overseers, board of visitors, etc.). For institutions that are part of larger systems, the highest governing body is typically the system-wide board.
- Part 4: A Yes response under this section must be supported by information provided in the subsequent descriptive field. The intent is to highlight institutional programs that give typical community members a voice in institutional decisions that affect them. Examples that count include campus-community councils, “town and gown” committees, community advisory panels, and regular multi-stakeholder forums that are convened at least once a year and open to any community member.