Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.33
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 1, 2024

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sarah Carson
Director, Campus Sustainability Office
FS - Energy & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which the following stakeholders can regularly participate in the governance of the institution?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Academic staff Yes
Non-academic staff Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal participatory or shared governance bodies:
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. All of these Assemblies are voted in by their peers and each constituent group has at least one elected 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 Division of Student and 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 held weekly during the academic year. The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) brings together Cornell’s 8,000+ 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 its diverse constituencies, the GPSA works with the university administration to improve the quality of life for the members of its community. The GPSA also appoints graduate and professional students to university committees, where they have a direct voice in the decision-making processes. The University Assembly is rather unique in higher education in that it is constituted by members appointed by the constituent assemblies and the Faculty Senate (with 2 members directly elected by the undergraduate students), 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 students as full voting members on their 64-member Board of Trustees. https://assembly.cornell.edu/shared-governance-cornell

Total number of individuals on the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of students representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of non-academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of women serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Percentage of official members of the highest governing body that are women:

Website URL where information about the institution’s highest governing body may be found:
Does the institution host or support one or more formal bodies through which external stakeholders have a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them?:

A brief description of the campus-community council or equivalent body that gives external stakeholders a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them:
Office of Community Relations 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. Example of East Hill Notes: https://www.tompkinsweekly.com/articles/east-hill-notes-communities-cornell-all-things-water/ 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. https://unitedway.cornell.edu/ 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 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 http://communityrelations.cornell.edu

Number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body.:

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.