Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.21
Liaison Jeremy King
Submission Date Sept. 19, 2022

STARS v2.2

Denison University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Jeremy King
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Denison Forward

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Denison Forward is our commitment to changing the way we think and act — and to spark, nurture, and demand that change in society as well. It is our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity & Antiracism (IDEA).

In the summer of 2020, the Denison Forward initiative was chartered by President Weinberg. Denison Forward built on an efort that began in January 2020 via a letter sent to the Denison community. Te letter called for a comprehensive focus on:

Inclusion – developing a campus community of belonging in which everyone feels listened to, valued, and respected

Diversity – recruiting and retaining Denison students, faculty, and staf who represent a wide range of backgrounds, views, and perspectives

Equity – creating opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participation in educational programs that are capable of closing the gaps in student success and completion.

The Denison Forward Committee was invaluable in the development of this plan. Through their hard work and efforts in campus-wide engagement, we were able to create planning that reflects the insights, challenges, and values of our full community. The committee was asked to be self-reflective and self-critical and to focus on crucial diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work to support students, faculty, and staff who have historically been underrepresented on our campus while adding an antiracism (A) agenda focused on majority groups to this work. We have transposed the DEIA acronym into IDEA to reflect positive forward thought and action.
From this vantage point, the Denison Forward task force assessed the institution from three subcommittee core areas: its people, practices, and possibilities.

The People Subcommittee was charged to research ways to invest in our people (students, faculty, and staff) through training, development, improved skill sets, and capacity-building.
The Practices Subcommittee was charged with reviewing the following: a) assessment of, reporting of, and responding to incidents of racism and other forms of bias; b) a university-wide learning framework for

During the winter of 2020, a process was launched to accomplish this work. That process was just starting to gain momentum when COVID-19 closed the campus in March 2020. When the acts of racial injustice and international protests emerged over the summer of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, we added a fourth category to our work – antiracism.

Antiracism – calling on the majority/dominant groups to proactively work against racism.

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning
Diversity & Affordability
Wellbeing & Work

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
Diversity & Equity Coordination

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Ohio EPA Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Program - Platinum Award 2020

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Denison was awarded the platinum level recognition for this in 2021.

Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Program recognizes an organization’s exceptional achievements in environmental stewardship. The E3 program now consists of three program elements designed to enhance opportunities for recognition. While the traditional E3 program continues to recognize any Ohio business, industry, trade association, professional organization or not-for-profit (including Colleges and Universities) for exceptional environmental stewardship achievements; the Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Education (E4) program specifically recognizes any Ohio K-12 public or private school for environmental education efforts and achievements; and the Encouraging Environmental Excellence for Communities (E3C) program recognizes local governments for environmental stewardship commitments and practices.

Applications are evaluated using environmental stewardship and related criteria developed by Ohio EPA. The goal of environmental stewardship is to reduce the impact of business or organizational activities on the environment beyond measures required by any permit or rule, producing a better environment, conserving natural resources and resulting in long-term economic benefits.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Air & Climate
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Campus employment and wage increases during the pandemic

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

In March 2020, the campus completely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The college continued to pay all employees (including student workers) their regular wage regardless of whether they could work remotely or work at all. This was continued this through the summer of 2020.

At the end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the college did not give salary increases because of the financial uncertainty. However, in March 2021 the college announced it would give a 2.5% raise to everyone and backdate it to July 2020 so that everyone would receive the normal compensation as though a regular raise occurred.

In June 2021, the college announced that it would give all full-time regular employees a $1000 bonus and all part-time regular employees a $500 bonus. The first time bonuses of any kind had been given out by the college.

In July 2021 the college authorized a 3.5% pool for raises.

In July 2022, the college authorized a 5% pool for raises and the college committed to making $17.25/hour the lowest starting salary for employees.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Coordination & Planning
Diversity & Affordability
Wellbeing & Work

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:

STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

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.