Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.84
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Robert Bland
Sr. Director
Energy & Sustainability
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Cornell has a system of campus governance that involves all the members of the campus community in making decisions that impact life at the University. Shared Governance includes the Faculty Senate, the Student Assembly (undergraduate), the Employee Assembly, the University Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. https://assembly.cornell.edu/shared-governance-cornell. All of these Assemblies are voted in by their peers and have a seat on the Board of Trustees.

The Student Assembly is the undergraduate student government at Cornell University, and deals with quality of life issues for students, making sure that student issues are heard and addressed. The assembly has legislative authority over the policies of the Office of the Dean of Students and the Department of Campus Life, and establishes the undergraduate Student Activity Fee and guidelines for its distribution. Every Cornell student has the opportunity to voice concerns during the open microphone period held at the beginning of each meeting.

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly brings together Cornell’s 7,000 graduate and professional (M.B.A., J.D., D.V.M.) students to address non-academic issues of common concern. Drawing upon the strengths of our diverse constituencies, we work with the university administration to improve the quality of life at the University. The GPSA engages the needs and concerns of its constituents, communicating these directly to the University administration. They also appoint graduate and professional students to university committees, where they have a direct voice in decision-making processes.

The University Assembly is rather unique in higher education in that it is constituted by members appointed by the constituent assemblies (except for 2 members elected by the undergraduate students directly to seats on the UA), and has the authority to "examine matters which concern the welfare of a substantial segment of the campus community and may make recommendations thereon to the President or other appropriate officers of the university; and is tasked with representing and voicing the interests of faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students." Thus, there are four undergraduates and two graduate/professional students on the University Assembly representing the student voice on any such matters.

Cornell is one of few universities in the country with two students as full voting members on their 64-member Board of Trustees.
http://assembly.cornell.edu/Trustee/Home


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?:
Yes

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

The EA consists of nineteen members committed to providing employees with a means of continuous involvement in the governance of the affairs and life of the University. Working closely with members of the administration, the EA encourages a higher visibility for employees as community members, more equal participation with faculty and students in the policy-making process, and an increased sense of community among all constituencies through shared responsibilities.

The Board of Trustees is the institution’s highest governing body, and all staff (including non-supervisory staff) elect 1 full-voting member to that body.


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? :
Yes

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 Senate
Except for the powers reserved to the University Faculty, and subject to the power of the University Faculty to postpone or nullify any action of the Senate, all the
powers and functions of the University Faculty are delegated to the Faculty Senate. The
Senate has the following specific powers: (1) to select its officers; (2) to approve or reject nominees presented by the Nominations and Elections Committee for election by the University Faculty; (3) to approve or reject the list of members and chairs presented by the Nominations and Elections Committee for appointed committees; and (4) to adopt,amend, or repeal bylaws or other procedures relating to the conduct of its business and the duties and functions of its officers and committees.

They are elected by their peers and have a seat on the Board of Trustees.


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?:
Yes

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

There are a variety of internal protocols regarding areas of shared campus-community interest - and when appropriate related voluntary contributions, specifically related to housing, infrastructure, public schools, health care, environment, economic development and diversity. See the attached written document on Cornell's shared interest with local community.

Many of these contributions are captured in this link, engagement initiatives in the attached. We meet regularly with government, non-profit and business leaders, and the public at large.

hhttps://economicimpact.cornell.edu/assets/docs/Cornell-Local-Economic-Impact-2018.pdf


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):

Office of Community Relations (CR) – Snapshot of roles and responsibilities

CR serves as a liaison between Cornell and the community, and assists students, staff and faculty on various town-gown topics, challenges and opportunities. Collectively, staffers serve on several campus and community boards and committees.

CR meets regularly with local governments, schools, non-profits, businesses, and special interest groups, and holds monthly “office hours” in municipalities around Tompkins County. Staff produces and hosts a weekly radio show, the award-winning “All Things Equal,” and writes a twice-monthly column. “East Hill Notes,” for Tompkins Weekly.

CR oversees Cornell local investments that provide measurable outcomes and benefit Cornell and the community-at-large, or addresses a specific issue essential to the university’s core mission. This mission includes maintaining a vibrant community that aids in recruitment and retention. Critical areas and strategic priorities tied to that priority include housing for students and employees, economic development, pre-K-12 and educational services, health care, infrastructure, environment, and access to quality air and bus service.

CR manages Cornell’s high-profile campus United Way campaign that raises approximately 40 percent of the county’s campaign total on an annual basis.

CR produces an annual economic snapshot that features data tied to payroll, purchasing, visitor and student spending, construction and other key points.

CR staff regularly serves on project teams involving Cornell initiatives, including the new Maplewood graduate student housing project, the Cayuga Lake Modeling Project, East Hill Village and others. Its role is essential in municipal approval processes.

CR organizes the annual Cornell Town-Gown awards - which recognize community-campus collaborations and key leaders, and is hosted by Cornell’s president – as well as the University Relations’ Campus-Community Leadership Award that recognizes a graduating senior.

Some on-and-off campus boards that OCR staff serve on, or regularly connect with:
* City of Ithaca/Cornell University Working Group
* Campus-Community Coalition
* Collegetown Neighborhood Council
* Local Government Leaders Roundtable
* Leadership Tompkins
* President’s Sustainable Campus Committee
* Tompkins County Air Services Board
* Tompkins County Area Development
* Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
* Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
* Tompkins County/Cornell University Working Group
* Tompkins County Council of Governments
* Tompkins County Environmental Management Council
* Tompkins County Water Resources Council
* Tompkins County Higher Education Roundtable
* Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Planning Board
* Downtown Ithaca Alliance
* Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council
* Cornell Real Estate Advisory Committee
* Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
* Tompkins County Human Services Coalition
* Town of Ithaca-Cornell Working Group
* Local Trustees Coordinating Committee
* Tompkins County Area Transit
* United Way of Tompkins County
* SUNY Council for University Advancement
* International Town-Gown Association
* Local Leaders of Color
* Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes
* Access to College Program
* Cornell Tech-Local Schools Working Group


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