Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 83.20
Liaison Mina Amundsen
Submission Date Nov. 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colby College
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Douglas Terp
Vice President for Administration and Treasurer
Academic and Administrative Vice President's Office
"---" 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)? :

Do the institution’s students have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which students are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Any interested student can run to become a member of the student government or can apply to join campus committees such as the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, the Oversight of Clubs on Campus Committee, or the Traditions Committee. Additionally, anyone can attend student government meetings and has access to multiple assigned representatives since each class year is represented by four senators and two class presidents. The president and vice president of the Student Government Association, who are elected to these positions by the student body, also sit on the Board of Trustees. They serve a one-year term on the Board. In this way, the student government is able to respond to pressures from the larger student body in regards to sustainability. For example, the student government unanimously voted to support divestment and the student body presidents presented this motion to the entire Board of Trustees. The student representatives on the Board of Trustees also provide input in other areas, including the hiring of different staff members and campus planning.

Do the institution’s staff members have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a staff council)?:

Do the institution’s non-supervisory staff members have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which staff are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Colby has a President's Staff Advisory Council which allows staff members to work directly with the president of the College. The Council advises the president on initiatives that create a positive working environment for all College employees, provides input into Colby’s planning and decision-making processes; provides feedback on policies and procedures that pertain to or affect staff and the College community; consults with the president on the shape of new initiatives; hosts open meetings with all staff, the president, and senior staff; manages the annual staff awards and recognition process; and encourages and promotes social responsibility and service to the College and surrounding community.

Staff are also members of the Environmental Advisory Group (EAG), which advises the president and College community on issues related to the environmental stewardship of the campus and region.

Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a faculty senate)?:

Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body? :

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:

Faculty are represented in college governance at virtually every level. Members of the faculty serve on Trustee committees, elected faculty committees, and College advisory committees such as the Environmental Advisory Group. Depending on the committee, they are either appointed or elected by faculty vote. Additionally, faculty vote on various policy issues in the monthly faculty meeting. Two faculty are also elected by their peers to serve on the Board of Trustees. These representatives serve one three-year term on the Board. Additionally, two faculty are appointed to serve on each of the 5 committees of the Board. These representatives serve two-year terms.

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?:

A copy of the written policies and procedures:

The policies and procedures:

Engaging external stakeholders is standard practice in land development that affects the surrounding community. The Master Planning process is carried out in a manner that engages the community and solicits community opinions and concerns. Colby is in the process of a downtown redevelopment project, and has made it a consultative process by working with a steering committee, who hosted open public meetings and public discussions. Some results of these meetings include a transportation survey assessing the bike and pedestrian access of the downtown area, the commission of a Cultural Inventory of Waterville in conjunction with Waterville Creates, the City Council moving their chambers into the new mixed-use dormitory that will be completed Fall 2018, and the creation of meeting rooms on the first floor of the dorm for non-profits and other community organizations. Prior to this redevelopment project, there has not been a large amount of College off-campus development. The project managers of the solar array that sits on the edge of campus worked with community members who were directly affected by the new array, including the gardeners of the Community Garden, in order to assuage any concerns they had and work together in moving the garden to the edge of the array. Going forward, Colby's Board of Trustees expects this process of community engagement as a matter of good practice in all developments downtown or off-campus.

Local partnerships have been a key part of Colby's redevelopment strategy in downtown Waterville. Partners include the Central Maine Growth Council, Harold Alfond Foundation, the City of Waterville, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Waterville Creates!, and CGI. These partners are regularly involved in decision-making as it relates to downtown Waterville. Planning principles were agreed upon through collaboration with the City of Waterville and the members of the stakeholder workshops. They are a work in progress and meant to guide development while being subject to continual discussion and refinement. These principles reflect the framework for revitalization city council adopted in February 2016. The planning principles include" leverage existing strengths, attract more visitors and residents, increase economic activity, create a sense of place, and organize around a plan (Create consensus and continue a process of public engagement, collaboration, and implementation). An effort to achieve many of the goals laid out in the planning principles is already underway.

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) Yes

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):

The Colby College Woodland's Committee is tasked with advising, monitoring, and planning the trees and forested areas of the Colby campus. This includes but is not limited to 1. monitoring, managing and planning around trails and other recreating areas; 2. monitoring, planning, and archiving research conducted in the forested parts of campus; and 3. encouraging engagement and valuation of the woods by the Colby and Waterville communities. Committee membership includes two Colby faculty, two Colby staff, and the Director of the Waterville Parks and Recreation department.

The Board of Governors for the Colby College Museum of Art includes the Director or the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, an artists residency located in Madison, and an art teacher from the Jonesport-Beals High School and Elementary School.

The Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC), located in Waterville, Maine, is public-private collaborative regional economic development partnership funded by municipalities and businesses who share a common vision of economic prosperity for our region. CMGC is committed to fostering a robust regional economy. Our belief is that the standard of living and quality of life of our citizens is best served by a vibrant, healthy economy. This is accomplished with a strong successful business community.Colby College has a seat on the board of directors of CMCG, which is currently filled by the Vice President for Planning. CMGC is involved with college governance as it relates to Colby's revitalization efforts in downtown Waterville.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Colby's governance includes trustees, officers, representative faculty, and representative students.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.