Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.95
Liaison Joan Pauly
Submission Date June 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Berea College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Joan Pauly
Sustainability Coordinator
Operations & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

The June 2011 (most recent) strategic plan for Berea Colleges addresses the issue of how Berea College will fit into a vision of ecological sustainability in the face of global climate change (page 72, "Question #3: How should Berea College's vision of ecological sustainability be realized?").


A copy of the strategic plan:
The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):

Berea College Campus Master Plan (2014) of which one of the stated objectives is to continue Berea College's commitment to sustainability. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B14xTB0zDhbRTUR2NFhhMlBqRm8/view?usp=sharing


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Increase number of programs with at least one sustainability oriented required course.
Strategy: Increase conversations and collaboration between sustainability program and other programs.
Time frame: Within 2 years, 3 new programs will add a sustainability focus to their required major courses.
Within 5 years, 80% of programs will have a sustainability focus to their required major courses.

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Strategy: We could easily measure an increase in sustainability research by looking at data from annual faculty reports. Timeframe: in 2 years, when sustainability is again the subject of supplemental data in the faculty annual reports, we will know whether increases in sustainability research have happened.

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Goal is to achieve Net Zero Waste for all events by 2018:
1. Strategy is to engage with building captain volunteers quarterly to report results and discuss operational issues.

2. Goal is to increase Recycling pounds per person to 6 during 2017 Recyclemania.
Strategy is to engage the EcoChallenge Committee members to develop communications plan, provide incentives, and coordinate with hall monitors to present education programs around waste, energy, and water reduction in all residence halls during the competition.

3. Goal is to increase membership in Enterprise Carshare by 30% by end of 2018 academic year
Strategy: Assign project to student labor positions Alternative Transportation Coordinator and Marketing and Communications Project Coordinator with oversight by Sustainability Coordinator. Work with vendors to develop marketing plan and implementation.

4. Attend new employee orientations to educate new employees about our sustainability efforts. HR has committed to Sustainability Coordinator's attendance at all new employee orientations. (Goal achieved)

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Objective: to engage at least 30 community members in sustainable land use through the Dandelion Festival, growing to 100 community members by 2018.

Strategy: Continue to host an Dandelion Festival each spring

Timeframe: spring 2016-spring 2018, ongoing.

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Berea College will use ACUPCC’s definition of climate neutrality for consistency with the current GHG accounting approach and with other institutions setting targets for ACUPCC:
Climate neutrality is defined as having no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, within a minimum scope of boundaries laid out in this Guide. This is to be achieved through such measures as conservation, renewable energy, and carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions.
The minimum scope of boundaries includes all direct emissions (Scope 1) from sources such as boilers and fleet vehicles on campus; all indirect energy emissions (Scope 2) from electricity purchases; and selected indirect emissions (Scope 3) from daily commutes to campus, institution financed air travel, and solid waste. Some indirect emissions are not included in the ACUPCC definition and therefore this definition should be seen as the minimum emissions mitigation and/or offset required to attain climate neutrality. Berea College’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% below 2010 levels by the year 2036. The strategy is to engage operations, academics, staff, faculty, and donor relations to communicate current greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to energy, natural gas, transportation, and all other sources of emissions in order to encourage behavioral and operational changes on campus.

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

As part of Aramark’s 2010 building energy assessments of 1.2 million square feet − about 85 percent of Berea’s building space, over 400 energy efficiency recommendations were identified that include installing more efficient equipment, replacing aged or non-functional equipment, maintaining equipment, and improving control strategies. Berea is working with a local consultant to implement the energy conservation measures for nine of the buildings included in Aramark’s study. This strategy will also include interval analysis of campus buildings that are part of the building automation system (BAS).
In addition to reducing energy consumption and the associated GHG emissions, many of these projects will also reduce Berea’s energy demand and the associated demand charges on those meters where such charges are applicable.

Metrics
• Electricity consumption per square foot
• Natural gas consumption per square foot

Technical feasibility: Berea is already in the initial process of implementation.

Capacity for implementation: These recommendations can be completed internally by Facilities Management. Regional contracts may be solicited for other recommendations.

Key assumptions
• Aramark’s assumptions for estimating energy savings
• Unit costs of $0.083/kWh for electricity
• Electric rate escalation of 2.4% percent per year

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The potential for building occupants to conserve energy through behavior has been demonstrated on many campuses nationwide and the savings are sometimes significant. By turning off lights, powering off and unplugging unused appliances, better managing windows and doors, responsibly operating dishwashers and laundry equipment, and better controlling building temperatures, occupants have a large toolbox for reducing building energy consumption.
During the 2013-2014 academic year Berea participated in the Campus Conservation Nationals. This competition pits higher education campuses against one another in a competition to reduce electricity consumption. Berea’s 14 participating buildings reduced their electrical consumption during that period by 11.3%. As a result, Berea won the Bluegrass Unplugged group that included University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University. Additionally Berea ranked in the top 10 schools overall.
Berea trained residence hall monitors, provided evening programs, made posters, and encouraged students to come up with their own ways of engaging their peers, such as creating games related to energy conservation. An on campus laser tag and ice cream party was also used to incentivize student participation.
Another strategy that Berea has used to encourage energy conservation in its student body is to host Kentucky’s first carbon neutral basketball game.
All of these energy conservation efforts help strengthen an infrastructure that Berea can use to become a campus where energy conservation is not just part of a finite competition but becomes a social norm. For example, an annual fall challenge can be instituted as a way of engaging and training for the Campus Conservation Nationals in the spring. In the later fall and spring after the competitions, Berea can hope for some persistence in energy savings as students, faculty, and staff continue to practice the habits developed during the challenges. While the continuous flow of students through campus provides a challenge in educating students on how to reduce their personal energy consumption, it also provides an opportunity for these challenge mechanisms to be continually effective since students are not as likely to become bored with them over the course of their relatively short time at Berea.
Creating a sustained social norm around energy conservation will also raise awareness for the energy saving potential of buildings receiving deep energy retrofits, and informed occupants will help those buildings perform as designed.
Metrics
• Electricity consumption per square foot
• Natural gas consumption per square foot
• Comparison to historical performance

Technical feasibility: Energy conservation is an accessible strategy that relies primarily on awareness and education.

Capacity for implementation: Facilities Management has demonstrated the capacity to conduct an energy conservation campaign and can apply the lessons learned from each year’s Conservation Nationals to future efforts.

Key assumptions
• Fifty percent of electricity consumption attributed to activities under building occupant control
• Persistent 5 percent reduction in electricity consumption in all buildings
• Savings applied to projected electricity use after planned efficiency projects are implemented

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

All pre and post compost is weighed and reported monthly.
All local food purchases are tracked against all dining services food purchases to document annual percentage.
Continued use of the lean path system to reduce the amount of pre-consumer waste generated and pre-consumer waste tracked monthly

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Berea College can continue to increase its own farm production and encourage local growers and businesses through the following efforts, some of which are already underway or completed:
• Re-introduced poultry program (laying hens and meat birds) as a student driven project and matched local price of poultry.
• A packing shed was completed that accommodates increased production and meets health and safety guidelines for Sodexo. Additional processing facilities will be required to meet goals (e.g. a cook-chill facility).
• Encourage local food processing and partnerships with food pantries to take advantage of seasonal surplus.
• Seek sources for specific local products like honey and hydroponic lettuce.
• Sponsor local food events at campus food venues and support food week in October.
• Use surplus or seasonal items from College farm and local growers for catering or special events.
• Add hoop houses on College farm to expand growing season.
• Increase production of select items for wholesaling.
• Develop additional food storage space which will be needed to meet goals.
• Develop a local supplier network/infrastructure that can be shared with the community and other organizations with like-minded food goals. Continue to offer products at farmer’s market, farm store, and college bookstore.
• Identify and study potential of edible forest products (e.g. acorns, maple syrup).
• Provide retail space for locally grown or produced products in the Berea College Farm Store, which already offers a variety of food products from the College and surrounding areas.
Metrics
• Dollar value of food produced on College land holdings
• Dollar value of food purchased within 150 miles of the campus
• Dollar value of food purchased from Sysco Louisville’s local and traditional food lines (for evaluation of percent of total food purchased locally)
Goals
• Near-Term: Purchase 51 percent of food from College and local area farmers (within 150 miles) by 2018.
• Long-Term: Purchase 80 percent of food from College and local area farmers (within 150 miles) by 2030.
Technical feasibility: The Berea College farms, gardens, and land holdings (almost 500 acres) support the goals of this strategy.

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Berea currently employs a number of purchasing practices related to sustainability. Many of these practices are embodied in the Purchasing Policy, which was developed in 2007 and revised in 2012. In addition to addressing overall best practices in procurement, the Policy includes a “Sustainability Initiatives in Procurement” section, which specifies that procurement decisions will consider recycled content, waste minimization, and energy efficiency in the purchasing decision-making process – along with total life cycle impacts, cost, and durability.
The Purchasing Policy specifically addresses a number of purchasing categories related to sustainability, including making the following purchases whenever possible:
• ENERGY STAR products, appliances, and equipment
• Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) personal computers, notebook computers, and monitors
• Fair Trade-certified coffee, tea, rice, fruit, and other such foods in Dining Services, at catered events, and in offices
• Fair Trade-certified clothing, handicrafts, jewelry, and other gift items in College stores
• Office supplies with recycled content from vendors, with particular use of 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper that is either Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified and available from the College’s Printing Services
Other practices related to sustainability in procurement include using Green Seal certified cleaning products for campus-wide housekeeping. Dining Services is also currently phasing out disposable packaging in favor of non-disposable service ware in catering operations. The purchase of locally-sourced products is also encouraged where feasible.
In general, best practices in sustainability for procurement include purchasing products that reduce their environmental and/or social impact because of the way they are made, transported, stored, packed, used, and disposed. When determining whether a product is preferable, the following standards should be considered:

• Available locally
• Bio based
• Biodegradable
• Carcinogen-free
• Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) free
• Compostable
• Durable, reusable, or refillable
• Energy and water efficient
• Heavy metal free (i.e., no lead, mercury, cadmium)
• Low toxicity
• Low volatile organic compound (VOC) content
• Made from renewable products
• Persistent, Bio accumulative toxic (PBT) free
• Post-consumer content
• Recycled content/recyclable
• Reduced GHG emissions
• Reduced packaging
• Refurbished


While Berea’s Purchasing Policy is comprehensive and is being effectively applied to purchasing decisions, there are opportunities to improve on both the policy as well as purchasing practices. These opportunities include the following:
• Add Language Assessing the Need for Purchases: Berea’s goal is to significantly reduce its overall ecological footprint. As a result, in addition to providing guidelines for incorporating sustainability in product purchases, the Policy could also include guidance and a process to justify the need for new purchases in the first place. Building on Berea’s 7th Great Commitment, encouraging “plain living”, this could include having faculty and staff document need for more significant new purchases given environmental, social, and economic factors involved in new purchases compared to other alternatives – including repair, re-purposing of another good (Berea already has a strong surplus program), or purchasing a used replacement (also a strong practice in many areas). This practice could be implemented through the use of a checklist, as well as in education and training. Reinstituting the Office Supply Exchange program that previously existed at Berea would be a good mechanism for encouraging reuse.
• Improve Tracking and Monitoring of Sustainability-related Purchasing: Berea currently does not comprehensively track its supply chain (e.g., use of paper with recycled content, number and level of EPEAT-certified computers, etc.), and its Banner ERP software currently does not provide the capability to track such purchases.
• Provide More Campus Education, Particularly for Small Purchases: While there is widespread campus support for the sustainability aspects of the Purchasing Policy, there is opportunity to better integrate sustainability considerations into smaller purchases for which a Purchase Order is not necessary. This includes, for example, small office supply orders by individual departments directly to Hurst. One such information tool could be a simple purchasing guide for staff, faculty, and students that build on existing resources developed by Berea on office greening, as exemplified in Error! Reference source not found..
• Expand the Topics and Purchases Covered by the Purchasing Policy: While the Purchasing Policy covers a range of products and topics (e.g., recycled content, waste minimization, energy efficiency, total life cycle impacts), other topics could be added, such as carbon footprint, water efficiency, chemicals (such as VOCs), etc. In addition, other large purchases could be added to the policy, such as vehicles (fuel efficiency, alternative fuels), building materials, and/or landscape management materials.

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Objective: We would like to see an increase in daily commuting by foot or bike increase by 2-6 individuals over the next couple of years.
Strategy: Increase bike repair support on campus (happening currently) and increase bike trail infrastructure in town (ongoing).
Timeframe: Current actions will result in increased foot/bike commuting within 3 years.

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

There are three areas of focus for solid waste management at Berea: total waste generation, percent of waste recycled, and percent of waste composted. During the 2014-2015 school year, Berea generated 682 pounds of waste per capita (1,603 total tons), of which 68% percent was recycled and 3 percent was composted. In the last few years, Berea has implemented a number of programs to reduce paper use on campus. The College has begun charging departments for their paper use and providing students with a $5 print credit . After this credit is exhausted students must pay out of pocket for any printing the rest of the term.
The college also has a move-in/move-out program. The move in recycling program recycled 1 ton of cardboard in 2015. The move out day program has partnered with the local Goodwill to place their bins in the dorms during the past two academic years and collected around 2 tons of goods both years.
There are opportunities to reduce the total waste generated on campus as well as increase the diversion rate through campus-wide policies and awareness, additional recycling and compost collection containers, and consistent signage and educational efforts.
Metrics
• Annual gross/net operational solid waste per capita
• Diversion rate (recycle and compost)
Goals
• Near-term (2022):
o Reduce total solid waste generation to 470 pounds per person per year.
o Achieve an 80 percent diversion rate (recycle and compost).
• Long-term (2030):
o Reduce total solid waste generation to 270 pounds per person per year.
o Become a net-zero waste campus (90 percent diversion rate).
Technical feasibility: The majority of the opportunities identified can be implemented easily with currently available technology.

Capacity for implementation: One of the limiting factors for implementing a successful waste management program at Berea will be allocating the appropriate staff resources to implement and manage the program. Berea should consider creating a new student labor position or integrating these efforts into an existing position.

To achieve the net-zero standard of 90 percent diversion additional options and/or more aggressive implementation of the proposed strategies will have to be considered.

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Berea College’s water footprint includes two components, water use and water pollution/quality. To reduce the campus water footprint, both aspects will need to be addressed. Considering the limited water supply in Berea’s watershed, water use may be particularly important to Berea.
Berea has recently targeted upgrading end-use fixtures campus wide as a strategy to reduce municipal water usage. The college just completed retrofitting toilets to low-flow models and will begin retrofitting restroom faucets and showerheads with lower flow models soon.
In addition to the end-use fixture upgrades listed above, there is also an opportunity to encourage water conservation on campus through various awareness and incentive programs:
• Awareness
o Use direct digital control (DDC) as a tool for Facilities Management to troubleshoot potential problems, identify leaks, etc.
• Incentives
o Develop competitions and water use challenges.
o Return a portion of recognized cost savings to buildings/departments.

Water Pollution/Quality
The other aspect of Berea’s water footprint that will be addressed here is the impacts of stormwater runoff from campus to the water quality in the local receiving water bodies. There are a number of different measures that can be taken to improve runoff water quality:
• Rainwater harvesting: The efforts to capture rainwater as a means of reducing Berea’s blue water footprint will also reduce the runoff from campus (rooftop runoff will be collected and stored for supply) and therefore reduce the water quality impacts of the campus.
• On-site Stormwater Management: Currently Berea and the City of Berea have limited active stormwater management; runoff from storm events is entering directly into receiving water bodies without any treatment. By installing stormwater best management practices (BMPs) on campus, such as constructed wetlands and retention ponds, Berea would be able to treat the stormwater runoff before it enters the local receiving waters, thereby improving runoff water quality and reducing the campus grey water footprint.
Metrics
• Municipal water use
• Per capita water use
• Percent of roof area with rainwater catchment
• Percent of campus covered by impermeable surfaces
• Percent of campus runoff volume captured by on-site stormwater BMPs
Goals
• Near-Term (2025): Reduce total Berea water footprint by 25 percent below 2010-2011 baseline.
• Long-Term (2050): Become a water neutral campus − reduce campus blue and grey water footprints to zero .
Technical feasibility: The current end-use fixture replacement will be relatively straightforward and will require little to no additional analysis or design prior to implementation.

Capacity for implementation: Almost all of the recommendations can be completed internally by Facilities Management. On-site stormwater management may be best addressed in collaboration with the City of Berea as the City is also currently addressing its future plans for improved stormwater management.

Cross-cutting Themes
• Campus engagement
o Incentivize participation by faculty/staff by returning a portion of the recognized cost savings for conservation efforts back to the respective department.
o Create residence hall competitions to encourage participation by students.
• Labor programs
o Support end-use fixture upgrades (e.g., inventory of standard flow fixtures, preparing materials, replacing fixtures).
o Support maintenance activities.
• Partnerships/policy: Through local/regional partnerships and collaboration, encourage changes to current Kentucky plumbing code to allow for use of greywater, waterless urinals, and composting toilets.
Implementation plan
• Responsible parties: Operations and Sustainability, Facilities Management

(From the Climate Action Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Objective: increase number of minority majors in STEM and related disciplines.
Strategy: An inclusive teaching workshop for STEM related faculty was held in spring 2016, and a committee has been formed from the Carter G. Woodson Center to help facilitate additional course content on interracial issues. The effects of improved teaching will be gradual.
Timeframe: Current and ongoing; increased majors would be measurable by fall 2017.

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:

10% of the endowment was invested according to sustainability principles in fall of 2016 (100M).
Strategy: Investment committee will identify and discuss which endowment investments are particularly problematic, and some portion of the endowment will be divested of these investments.
Timeframe: current, reevaluation in spring 2017.

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Objective: increase the health and stress of graduating seniors 10% by 2020.
Strategy: Fresh Start program, with informational events, nutrition and exercise incentives, and changed health-related curriculum.
Timeframe: initiated in fall 2015. Measurable differences hoped for by 2020.

(From the Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Sustainability Charter Document; See upload under Sustainability Plan)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

For Berea College, sustainability refers to the capacity of individuals, communities, and societies to coexist in a manner that maintains social justice, environmental integrity, and economic well-being today and for future generations.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

included with all the other commitments covered in this section.


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.