A baseline year may be any year from 2005 to the present OR a year, 1990 to 2004, that the institution has adopted as part of its sustainability plans or policies or in the context of other reporting obligations.
Recommended best practices for defining a baseline include:
- Using the average of three consecutive years to reduce the impact of outliers.
- Using the same baseline year for multiple credits to reduce reporting requirements. For example, institutions using 2005 for all STARS credits that are baseline-based would only have to calculate baseline weighted campus user data once.
- Ensuring that baseline and performance year data are valid and reliable (e.g., that the data were gathered in the same manner).