Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.61
Liaison Makayla Bonney
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2020

STARS v2.2

Indiana University Bloomington
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Makayla Bonney
Assistant Director
Sustain IU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

Although University administrators have not advocated for specific sustainability policy at the local level in the last three years, many IU faculty and staff (in their professional capacity, not as citizens) participated in steering committees for the City of Bloomington Sustainable Action Plan drafts, which has since been approved by the Bloomington City Council. Steering Committees collected data and submitted environmental policy suggestions. https://bloomington.in.gov/sustainability/action-plan

Andrew Predmore, University Director for Sustainability, wrote a letter for support for the City of Bloomington's USGBC LEED for Cities application last year. Bloomington is one of six participating U.S. cities in the launch o

Executive Vice President and Provost Lauren Robel have been very vocal in the University's policies and denunciation of racist, white supremacist, and anti-immigrant views. Provost Robel published a statement in late 2019 on the Ku Klux Klan flyers reported on campus and around the City of Bloomington.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

[Note, the following includes both State and National policy advocacy]

Immigration and DACA:
Since 2017, President Michael McRobbie has been very vocal about the Federal Government's termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. President McRobbie coordinated with other Big Ten universities in asking Congress to find solutions for DACA statements in 2017 and signed an October 2019 Amicus Brief in support of DACA recipients as the case moved to the Supreme Court.

LGBT+ and Title IX:
President McRobbie has been very vocal in their support of LGBT rights. The University strongly opposes any discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation; this is supported the IU Board of Trustees as an IU policy in June 2018 during an update of the University's Non-Discrimination Policy. In April 2019, President McRobbie published a response to the United Methodist Church's vote to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy.

Tax Reform:
In November 2017, President McRobbie proposed changes and expressed concerns over the tax reform legislation, H.R. 1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that was proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. This legislation as originally written would have taxed graduate school tuition waivers, as well as increasing barriers for low-income students to pursue master's or doctoral degrees.

Affordability and Access:
In 2017, US Representative Messer introduced H.R. 1429, modeled after an IU program, that requires institutions to transparently share with students what their current loan debts are and what future payments will look like. It has reduced borrowing by 22% at IU. https://messer.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=36
President McRobbie has been supportive of the Bill and has spoken openly of IU's influence on the state legislature in this area. http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/local_news/interview-iu-president-michael-mcrobbie-discusses-student-debt-school-initiatives/article_558ac278-0340-11e6-9c3b-6b52a3709697.html

In 2020, an IU-system report outlined suggestions for improving healthcare affordability in the state. https://news.iu.edu/stories/2020/01/iupui/releases/27-indiana-rising-health-care-costs-report.html

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

Affordability and Access:

In April 2017, IU President Michael McRobbie, together with other Big 10 University leaders, met with Speaker Paul Ryan to advocate for affordable public education and an increase in financial support for university research. Full summary: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/04/iu/26-matters-mcrobbie-paul-ryan.html

Summer 2017 meeting with Vice President Pence, during which IU advocated for the following:
Reducing regulations affecting higher education and research.
Building a scientific infrastructure that supports innovation.
Continuing recent efforts to preserve federal work-study and student aid programs.

During Fall 2017, The American Council on Education, on behalf of the Association of American Universities, of which IU is a member, and 45 other higher education associations, sent a letter to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee expressing strong opposition to several harmful provisions in the House Tax Reform legislation. In its letter, the ACE noted that these provisions would make higher education less accessible for low- and middle-income students. It also cited a Ways and Means Committee summary indicating that the bill would cost college students some $65 billion over the next decade. https://president.iu.edu/speeches/statements/2017/2017-11-28-tax-reform-legislation.html

Equity and support for underrepresented groups:

President McRobbie's Fall 2017 letter to Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer in support of DACA: https://president.iu.edu/speeches/statements/2017/2017-12-12-daca-big-ten-letter.html

President McRobbie issued a similar statement regarding DACA, which can be read here: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/09/iu/releases/05-daca-statement.html

Indiana University Statement on Immigration Executive Order
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie issued a public statement against the executive order on immigration signed Friday, Jan. 27 2017. The statement encouraged the executive administration to repeal the order. Additionally, the Association of American Universities, of which IU is a member, submitted a statement against the travel ban to the Trump Administration. McRobbie's full statement can be read here: https://president.iu.edu/speeches/statements/2017/2017-01-29-iu-immigration-executive-order.html

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

Although IU has not advocated for international policies as an institution, individual units are engaged internationally in the following ways:

Indiana University had official Observer status of the 2018 Council of Parties 24 in Katowice, Poland. Jessica O'Reilly, climate researcher in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, represented IU in support of global climate collaboration.

In 2019, IU also joined the U.S. Chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a consortium created to support the achievement of the UN SDGs. IU is represented there by our Office of International Development.

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

In support of American democracy and access to fair voting, in 2018, IU President McRobbie was co-chair of a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) committee which published a report titled, Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy. The report, shared with the State Department and Congress, "recommends steps that the federal government, state and local governments, election administrators, and vendors of voting technology should take to improve the security of election infrastructure. In doing so, the report provides a vision of voting that is more secure, accessible, reliable, and verifiable."

Though not explicitly connected to public policy, IU, in partnering with Ambedkar University in India, has advocated for issues of social justice and human ecology:

"Provost Robel noted that Ambedkar University complements IU's academic expertise and interests in South Asia. Among its innovating offerings are programs in social entrepreneurship, human ecology with an interdisciplinary emphasis and development studies.

The university is principally devoted to furthering the mission of Bhimrao Ambedkar, one of India's "founding fathers," an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer. He was a key author of India's constitution and throughout his life campaigned against social discrimination.

"Our new partnership with Ambedkar University offers exciting opportunities for our students, faculty and staff to deeply engage with Indian culture and the Indian educational system," she said. "We envision many innovative exchanges in the near future focused on our mutual commitments to social equality and social justice." "

IU's support of Title VI and broadened access for underserved students: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2018/01/iub/inside/29-title-vi-provides-boost-for-international-programs.html

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.