Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.69
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Emory University
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 3.00 Taylor Spicer
Assistant Director
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" 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:

The University Senate is comprised of faculty, staff, and students. Its members include Ex officio members from the University Administration; Members of the Faculty Council; Executive board members from the Employee Council, Student Government Association, and Graduate Student Government Association; Faculty and Student Representatives from each School; and representatives of Alumni, Librarians, Staff, and Academic Deans. The Senate considers and makes recommendations regarding all matters of general University interest, including matters referred to it by the President or Board of Trustees; reviews all new policies and changes to existing policies; submits recommendations to the President on any matter affecting the interests of the University; and makes recommendations regarding Honorary Degree recipients.

The Emory University Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) is the governing body for all graduate and professional students at Emory University. The GSGA is comprised of an executive board and legislature of appointed or elected representatives from each of the eight graduate divisions. The GSGA President and Executive Vice President are elected in annual graduate-wide elections. Other Executive Board positions are appointed by the President and Executive Vice President and approved by the Legislature. GSGA has both programming and advocacy functions and is tasked with improving the quality of Emory graduate students' lives and education. The GSGA President is a member of the University Senate and the Board of Trustees’ Campus Life Committee during her/his term.

The Emory University Student Government Association (SGA) advocates for the undergraduate students of Emory University, acting as the official voice of the undergraduate student body and representing undergraduate interests in all matters. It enacts legislation to promote the general welfare of the undergraduate student body, manages and distributes more than $1.7 million in Student Activity Fee money, and leads and develops initiatives on campus. It collaborates with the GSGA on matters of university-wide importance. The SGA consists of three separate and equal branches: the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The President and Executive Vice President are elected by all undergraduate students, and Cabinet Members, Justices, and the Secretary are appointed by the President and approved by the Legislature. Legislators are chosen differently depending on the undergraduate division which they represent. The SGA president is a member of the University Senate and the Board of Trustees’ Campus Life Committee during her/his term.

Academic staff:
The University Faculty Council serves as the chief representative body of Emory faculty and includes elected and appointed faculty members who represent all nine of Emory’s schools and colleges. The Faculty Council considers and makes recommendations to the president concerning the academic affairs of the university; reviews all changes in existing policies or the establishment of new policies related to matters of general interest to the University faculty; monitors and reviews the terms and conditions of faculty employment, the state of facilities, policies that affect scholarship and teaching, budgetary commitments, general financial condition of the University, and relationship between faculty and administration; and considers suggestions and addresses problems and concerns raised by any recognized faculty group.

Faculty Advisors are members of the Board of Trustees’ standing committees. Standing committees help to carry out the work of the Board between full Board meetings. At least one Faculty Advisor sits on the following committees: Academic Affairs; Audit and Compliance; Campus Life; Emory Development and Communications; Finance; Investment; Real Estate, Buildings, and Grounds; and Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

Non-academic staff:
Established in 1970 by the president of Emory University, the Employee Council facilitates communication between Emory employees and university administration and serves as an advisory body to the president. While it is not a decision-making body with regards to university policy, it provides information and ideas to those in decision-making positions, representing an employee perspective to the administration. The Employee Council recommends change to the Emory administration when appropriate; facilitates communication between the administration and employees at all organizational levels regarding university policies, practices, and programs; and fosters closer working relationships between organizational areas and groups of employees.
Members are selected from all organizational areas and employee levels throughout the University, from Academic Affairs to University Administration to Libraries & Information Technology. The President, President-elect, and immediate Past President of the Council serve on the University Senate as ex-officio members. The Council also selects six representatives for the Senate and three members for Senate standing committees.

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:

The Clifton Community Partnership is an initiative started by Emory to provide a framework to discuss common quality of life issues within the Clifton community – the area within three miles of Emory's core campus. Its goal is to engage local audiences, including civic leaders, business leaders, local governments, employers/employees, and local residents, in a productive community dialogue. In convening neighborhoods, businesses, institutions, and civic partners, CCP endeavors to develop a shared vision for the future and work toward it together. Advisory board members representing each stakeholder group, as well as the Emory University administration partners, can be found at http://www.cliftoncommunitypartnership.org/about/advisory-group.html

The CCP focuses on four areas that will have a significant and positive impact on the community: Live Locally, Walk Anywhere, Commute Creatively, and Enhance Vibrant Neighborhoods. These four priority areas in part guide Emory's decisions to encourage more sustainable commute options (e.g. regional public transit options, Cliff Shuttle routes, etc.) and implement pedestrian enhancements (e.g. Emory in partnership with the PATH Foundation is expanding multi-use trail networks on campus and connecting campus to surrounding neighborhoods)

Number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body.:
+ Date Revised: April 4, 2022

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data reported for FY 19.

Although neither students, academic staff, nor non-academic staff hold official positions on Emory’s highest governing body (the Board of Trustees), there are student and academic staff representatives on many of the Board of Trustees’ committees. Committees serve to create policy and conduct the work of the Board between full Board meetings. It seems it would be important to showcase the students and faculty who are invited to committees; however, this credit appears to ask only about the central Board. Therefore, committee members have not been included in the calculations for this credit. Committee members are listed here: https://secretary.emory.edu/board_of_trustees/committees.html

To count the number of women (and/or individuals who do not self-identify as men) serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body, Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives checked for the use of she/her/hers and he/him/his pronouns in the biographies of Board of Trustee members which are posted on this webpage: https://secretary.emory.edu/board_of_trustees/current_board/index.html

Emory chose not to answer the optional question asking for the number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution's highest governing body. The STARS definition of "underrepresented groups" for this credit appears to be: "For example, national ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities." It is not possible for this reporting office to determine a person's ethnic, religious, or linguistic affiliation based on the publicly available information for each of the Board's members, and this information would only be available by the members self-identification. We fear this question is suggesting that we make assumptions based on prejudicial concepts, in absence of a formal survey with published results.

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.